Rostov-on-Don is the administrative center of the Rostov Region and the Southern Federal District of Russia with a population of more than 1 million people. The city is located in the southeast of the East European Plain, on the banks of the Don River, 46 km from its confluence with the Sea of Azov. The area of the city is 348.5 square kilometers, the distance to Moscow is 1076 kilometers. The date of foundation of Rostov-on-Don is 1749, when the Russian Empress Elizaveta Petrovna signed a decree on the establishment of the state customs at the mouth of the river Temernik. After that, a port appears here, and in 1761 - the construction of the military fortress of St. Demetrius of Rostov begins. Favorable geographical position contributed to the economic development of Rostov. To its 100th anniversary, the city had about 15 thousand inhabitants, and by the 20th century there were already more than 110 thousand people living in it. The basis of the economy of Rostov was trade, and the city itself was called merchant. Nevertheless, by the beginning of the XX century, more than 100 enterprises operated in Rostov, each third of which belonged to foreign capital. Until 1917 Rostov was the third city in Russia in terms of the size of the non-economic trade turnover. By the end of the 1930s, it was one of the ten largest cities in the Soviet Union in terms of population and level of economic development.
In the heroic annals of the Great Patriotic War Rostov entered as a city where the Red Army passed from defense to offensive. Rostov-on-Don in the plans of the fascist command was a strategic goal - it's not for nothing that Goebbels called it the "Gateway of the Caucasus." But, it was here, at the "Gates of the Caucasus" in November, the 41st Wehrmacht suffered the first major defeat. During the occupation of the city fascists shot and tortured tens of thousands of civilians, about 50 thousand people were taken into slavery. The central districts of the city were turned into ruins, the buildings of theaters, institutes, schools and hospitals were blown up and burned. Of the 270 factories and plants, only six survived. However, thanks to the self-sacrificing work of the Rostovites, the capital of the Don was restored from ruins and became even more beautiful.
In 1970, by the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the city of Rostov-on-Don was awarded the Order of Lenin, in 1982 by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree. On the eve of the celebration of the 63rd anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, Rostov-on-Don was awarded the honorary title "City of Military Glory." Today Rostov is one of the largest megacities of modern Russia, a political, economic, cultural and scientific center of the south of the country, an important junction of transport highways.
Positioning as the capital of the South of Russia and localization in the city of industrial enterprises and structures of the South-Russian scale (SKVO headquarters, management of the North Caucasus Railroad, etc.) causes additional concentration in Rostov-on-Don of jobs, provides an increased level of economic activity and investment attractiveness.
A factor that is favorable to the social and economic development of the city is its positioning as a "core" of the Rostov agglomeration with a demographic potential of up to 2 million people forming the largest local consumer market in the South of Russia, which concentrates a large part of the scientific, educational, industrial and financial investment potential of the region.
Only in 2008 the total amount of investments in the city's economy amounted to about 65 billion rubles. The average wage in Rostov-on-Don in 2008 increased by 31.5%, amounting to 17.4 thousand rubles. The index of physical volume of production for a full range of enterprises was 113.5%. Leading positions continue to retain such enterprises as Rostvertol, Rostselmash, Yug Rusi, Gloria Jeans.
The economic potential of the city was repeatedly noted at the All-Russian competition "Golden Ruble", which is conducted by the "National Corporation for Economic Development" under the patronage of the President of the Russian Federation and promotes the best economic experience achieved by the regions, cities and enterprises of Russia. According to the results of 2008, Rostov-on-Don, according to the rating of the Federal Business Journal of RBC, which took into account the indicators of 64 out of 75 Russian cities with a population of 250 thousand people, entered the top ten most attractive cities in Russia for doing business.
For city authorities, the priority direction of social policy is to provide targeted assistance to low-income and disabled citizens. Among the implemented measures of social support for the population - the provision of free hot meals and textbooks in schools, benefits, subsidies, various social benefits. Since 2002, the city's social protection bodies have been providing subsidies for housing and communal services to low-income families using personalized social accounts.
In 2008, about 13 billion rubles were allocated from the budgets of various levels to implement the social policy in Rostov-on-Don. At the end of the year, 390 thousand Rostovites received assistance in 19 normative acts, including 10 federal, 7 regional and 2 city. One of the most important areas of targeted social support, for which over 4 billion rubles was allocated, were housing subsidies that guarantee the availability of payment for housing and communal services to low-income citizens. In total, compensation for housing and public utilities services in 2008 was received by about 210 thousand Rostovites for the amount of 866 million rubles.
The targeted approach is also used in the work with veterans, who live in the city more than 20 thousand. They are provided with practical assistance in the repair of housing, the purchase of household appliances, etc. To improve the living conditions of disabled people and participants of the Great Patriotic War, a complex of specialized houses for 350 people residing in which there are rooms for catering, domestic, medical, social, advisory, cultural and recreational services is built, which has no analogues in Russia.
Rostov-on-Don has a special, unique appearance due to its rich historical and cultural heritage. His entire history, since the time of a small settlement at the Temernitskaya customs and fortress of St. Demetrius of Rostov, and to this day is reflected in numerous monuments of architecture, archeology, monumental art and memorial complexes of military glory.
In Rostov-on-Don today there are more than 800 objects of cultural heritage, including 470 monuments of architecture, 55 monuments of archeology, 106 monuments of monumental art and military glory. The historical center of Rostov is especially full of buildings-monuments of architecture. The unique building is a building designed by the academician of architecture A.N. Pomerantseva - "City Duma" (B. Sadovaya, 47). To the masterpieces of architecture of world significance is the building of the Drama Theater named after. M. Gorky Architects V.A. Shchuko and V.G. Gelfreich, whose layout is stored in the British Museum of London.
Paying tribute to the past, the city immortalized in the stone and bronze the images of its fellow countrymen and people who made a worthy contribution to the history of the Don capital: M. Gorky, M. Sholokhov, M. Saryan, G. Sedov.
On the streets of the city you can meet many urban sculptures. It is a strolling "Town-dweller", offering the merchandise "Merchant", a sweet "Flower Girl" with a basket of the first violets, and many other small-scale sculptures that delight Rostovites and attract the attention of city guests.
The symbol of the revival of spirituality was for the Rostovites the opening on Cathedral Square of a monument to the heavenly patron of the city - Saint Dimitry, Metropolitan of Rostov and the restoration of the bell tower at the Rostov Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. In the Kirov Square, in its historical place in 2007, the Intercession Cathedral was erected and a monument to the founder of Rostov, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, was erected.
Don culture has not only a glorious past, but also an equally bright present. In Rostov there are 220 cultural and art institutions, creative unions and national cultural societies.
At various times in the city lived and worked such outstanding writers as A. Solzhenitsyn, M. Nalbandyan, M. Shaginyan, V. Panova, A. Fadeev, artists M. Grekov, M. Saryan and V. Shcheblanov, composers and musicians A. Artamonov and K. Nazareth, actors Yu. Zavadsky and V. Maretskaya. Rostov-on-Don - Homeland of Russian ballerina O. Spesivtseva, an outstanding singer of the twentieth century I. Yurieva, People's Artist of the USSR R. Plyatt.
Rostov-on-Don is a large educational and scientific center. According to the number of universities, the city takes the third place in the country (after Moscow and St. Petersburg). There are 50 institutions of higher professional education (13 state, 12 non-state universities and 25 branches of universities working in other cities), where more than 120,000 people study.
In Rostov there are 4 theaters, two of which are academic, four museums, the largest in the south of the country - the Don State Public Library, the State Circus, the Regional Philharmonic, the Rostov Conservatory. S.V. Rachmaninov, Rostov-on-Don branch of the St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts, the School of Arts, the school of culture, exhibition halls of artists.
In Rostov-on-Don, for 80 years, one of the largest zoos in Europe has functioned. This corner of the fauna with an area of 90 hectares inhabits about 5 thousand individuals, including 400 species of rare animals, birds and reptiles, more than 100 of which are listed in the Red Book. One of the largest gardens in Russia is the Botanical Garden of Rostov State University, which covers an area of 161 hectares.
Rostov-on-Don is also one of the largest jazz centers in the country. It is here, as anywhere in the world, the base of pop and jazz education, which in the early 80's was laid by the first "professor of jazz" in the country, Kim Nazareth, opened at the Rostov Conservatory, the department of pop and jazz music. A good tradition was the holding in Rostov-on-Don of art festivals "Don Spring", "Minifest", "Russian Comedy", international jazz festivals, the festival of young composers of memory of the Rostov composer A.P. Artamonov, as well as the festival of folk art "My city is my destiny".