Rostov-On-Don, the Gates to the Caucasus
We have already told you the history of the city of Rostov Veliky, one of the most beautiful city of the golden ring. Today, I would like to introduce you with another city whose name is very similar to Rostov Veliky. This is the only similarity that can be found between the two cities.
Ростов-на-Дону (Rostov-on-Don) is situated about 1000 km south of Moscow и стоит на берегу крупной судоходной артерии страны, реки Дон (and stands on the bank of a major navigable artery of the country, the river Don). That’s how the city got its name.
Rostov on Don also has a long history and a number or architectural monuments. However, its status is much higher since there are about 1.5 million inhabitants и город по праву считается самым крупным на юге европейской части России и одним из самых крупных в стране (and the city is considered the largest in the southern European part of Russia and one of the largest in the country).
You won’t find any Kremlin there, and almost all the main and ancient cathedrals and churches were destroyed during WWII, when the city was under the occupation of the Nazi troops. For that reason, Rostov on Don can’t offer many attractions in the usual sense of the word, но в определённом смысле является достопримечательностью сам по себе (but in a specific sense, the city is a curiosity by itself).
This city stands on the crossroads of civilisations, cultures, religions and world-view. This is one of the reason it earned the nickname of “Ворота Кавказа” (Gates to the Caucasus). If you’re going on a journey through the picturesque corners of Caucasus, then there is no better place to prepare and start your trip. And if you didn’t plan to visit the Caucasus, but are just curious about the culture and the people living there, then it’s more that recommended to visit Rostov on Don, as for centuries representatives of different nations (Russians, Ukrainians, Armenians, Georgians, Ossetians, Jews, Kalmyks and many others) live harmoniously in the city. As a result, you can learn about the traditions and culture of different nations and taste culinary specialities from all those countries.
By the way, Rostov on Don has another nickname which appeared during the Russian Empire: “Ростов-папа” (Rostov-Dad) by analogy with a similar nickname of another city of the Empire, Odessa now in Ukraine which was called “Одесса-мама” (Odessa-Mum). Such a nickname was once given to the city by the representatives of the criminal world, however, like in Odessa, the time when gangs ruled the town are long gone и сегодня здесь безопасность на уровне любого крупного мегаполиса Восточной Европы (and today the security standards are the same as in any major metropolis of Eastern Europe).