Southern Federal District
Time: Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).
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Federal district: Southern Federal District.
Main cities: Taganrog, Shakhti, Novocherkassk, Volgodonsk, and Novoshakhtinsk.
Land and Resources: Rostov Region is located on the southern part of the East European Plain and in the Precaucasus, with a coastline on Taganrog Bay in the Sea of Azov. It borders on Stavropol and Krasnodar territories in the south, Ukraine in the west and northwest, Voronezh Region in the north, Volgograd Region in the northeast and east, and the Republic of Kalmykia in the east, southeast, and south. The main rivers are the Don and Northern (Severny) Donets. There are 450 lakes.
Climate: The region has a temperate continental climate with average January temperatures ranging from -9 °C in the north to -5 °C in the south and average July temperatures of +22 to +24 °C.
Transportation: Rostov Region has a well-developed transportation infrastructure. Rostov-on-Don, the regional center, is one of the largest transportation centers in Russia, the CIS, and Europe, with six main railway lines, seven highways with a length of more than 18 500 km, and a major water transport route along the Don River. River routes connect Rostov`s river port with 16 countries on the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic, and Caspian seas. Rostov Airport has regular service to more than 90 cities in Russia and the CIS countries.
Recreational resources include local summer vacation resorts with high-quality mineral water (Sea of Azov coast, Aksai spring) and a wide range of possibilities for developing international tourism.
Rostov-on-Don`s founding date is generally considered to be December 15, 1749. For over 100 years, City House (it marked its 100th anniversary in 1999) has been the symbol of Rostov municipal authority. Today, Rostov-on-Don is the region`s largest cultural center. Numerous cultural institutions are located here, and all kinds of festivals and concerts are held. The city has 4 theaters, a philharmonic, the Rostov State Circus, the Kim Nazaretov Municipal Film and Concert Center, a zoo (one of the largest in Europe), and parks of culture and rest. Rostov`s four museums have extensive collections numbering more than 200 000 exhibits.
Rostov also has 543 architectural monuments, 57 archeological sites, and 18 federal monumental art sites.
Due to its great historical and cultural heritage, Don land provides one of the most attractive tourist venues in the Russian Federation. When traveling throughout the region, Russian and foreign tourists are introduced to the richest history of the steppe country, its modern life and places of interest, poetic legends and originality of Don Cossacks culture who live in small communities called stanitsy.
Among recognized tourist centres are Rostov-on-Don, Novocherkassk, Azov, Taganrog, Aksaiskiy, Neklinovskiy, Ust-Donetskiy, Belokalitvenskiy, Tsimlyanskiy and Sholokhovskiy districts.
In Taganrog, native town of A.P. Chekhov, there is a historic and architectural reserve which includes Literary museum “Gimnasia”, house, where the writer was born, Museum of Taganrog history and town-planning, Alferaki Palace (Museum of local lore). In 30 km from Rostov-on-Don along the right bank of the Don river stretches one of the biggest stanitsy of the Rostov region – Starocherkasskaya – former Cherkassk city, the first capital of the Don host, where historical and architectural museum-reserve is now situated.
The museum in Veshenskaya stanitsa, motherland of the great writer M.A. Sholokhov, is well known all over the world. Antiquity lovers can visit Archeological museum of Rostov University, Museum of local lore in the town of Azov, historical and architectural museum “Tanais”, Museum of history of the Don Cossacks in Novocherkassk.
Cossacks traditions of cooking and wine-making are carefully kept in Don land. Don varieties of grapes and Don wine are famous all over Russian for their particular mildness and exquisite bouquet.
Rostov region is a place of particular interest for hunters of game and birds. At all times, vast water lands occupying almost all the territory of the region attracted fishing lovers.
Novocherkassk is one of the biggest towns in Southern Russia. It is renowned for its glorious history as well for its particular character: planning, architecture, unique monuments. Novocherkassk was founded in 1805 with the intention of becoming the new capital of the Don Host Region. For more than one century it had been the town of the Don elite: hosting atamans and army administration, officers and officials, cultural and educational centre. Novocherkassk gained the status of the historical centre of the Cossacks` revival and later was declared the world Cossacks capital. The town attracts Russian as well as foreign tourists. The first thing that catches your eye when you come to Novocherkassk is huge triumphal arches erected to commemorate Don Cossacks` participation in the 1812 Patriotic War. Two identical arches were built in the entries to the town – one in the west, another in the north-east – on the design by St. Petersburg architect A. I. Ruska in 1817 while the town founder count Matvey Ivanovitch Platov, famous Don ataman, hero of the 1812 Patriotic war, was still alive. Going uphill along Platov prospect from the west, we find ourselves on Azov square. Architectural originality of Novocherkassk consists of a combination of buildings in the classical style with typical Cossack “kurens” (traditional Cossack house). In the middle of the square there is the Church of Archangel Michael built in 1870. Nowadays only 8 churches remain intact and still fulfill their initial missions.
The Don Museum building (1899; Museum of the History of the Don Cossacks nowadays) celebrated a 100th anniversary in 1999. It is a unique museum in the world where the rarest materials on the history of the Cossacks are collected.
Host Cathedral of Ascension occupies the dominant position in the architectural ensemble of Novocherkassk. The cathedral is the third in Russia in height (it is 74,6 m) after Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow and St Isaac`s Cathedral in St Petersburg.
On a vast Cathedral square paved with quarry stone a bronze monument of Ermak, the famous Don ataman, conqueror of Siberia, was established in 1904. On the opposite side of the square stands the monument to general Ya.P. Baklanov, hero of the Caucasian War, brought here from the cemetery of Voskresensk convent in St-Petersburg. Numerous mansions add architectural value to Novocherkassk`s general look.
Encarta World Atlas
http://www.donland.ru - Site of the Administration of Rostov Region
http://www.rostov-gorod.ru/ - Official website