Rostov-on-Don is the biggest city in Southern Russia, situated on the banks of the Don River.
The city is a large administrative, educational, cultural and industrial center, as well as the most important transport junction in the southern part of the country. Rostov is unofficially called the Gates of the Caucasus and Russia's Southern Capital, and also the Don Capital and the capital of combines. Rostov is also famous for its renowned citizens, such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Mikhail Sholokhov and Anton Chekhov.
Father Rostov is popular among tourists, mostly owing to its hot climate and wide variety of recreation centers. Many stop in Rostov on their journey to Sochi. If you travel by car, you can take a tour of the cities of Southern Russia and visit Anapa, Novorossiysk, Sochi, and then even make it as far as Crimea, which is not far away. But for now we'll only talk about Rostov-on-Don.
The Southern capital's attractions can be divided into two categories: historical and entertaining. Let's begin with historic sites.
If you travel in order to learn something new, see the heritage of our ancestors with your own eyes, revel in the country's historic peculiarities, here’s a list for you where we outline the sites objects that will give you what you’re looking for.
Bolshaya Sadovaya Street
The construction of Rostov-on-Don's main street began in 1781, however back then it didn't have a name yet. In the past, Rostov-on-Don had two streets called Sadovaya - Bolshaya (Big) and Malaya (Small) - and they were parallel to one another. But during the Soviet period Bolshaya Sadovaya was renamed after Friedrich Engels, and Malaya Sadovaya was named Alexander Suvorov. In the 90s only the city's central street got its historic title back. Local inhabitants call one of Bolshaya Sadovaya's sectors the “Rostov Broadway”. This is the sector, between Budennovsky and Voroshilovsky avenues, is incredibly beautiful because of the unique buildings situated there, each of which used to bear the name of its owner.
Today the city's guests can see only some of original architectural masterpieces that resided on the Rostov’s central street. They are Margarita Chernova's house, the municipality building, the state bank, the Moskovskaya hotel, and other notable buildings.
Margarita Chernova's house
This amazing two-story mansion, which beautifies Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, was built in 1899 specifically for Margarita Chernova, a famous actress from the XIX century. Designed by the architect N. Doroshenko, this house became a present from the merchant Paramonov, who was in love with this gorgeous woman. This luxurious building had a reception hall where Feodor Chaliapin sang. Nikolai Gumilyov read poetry from the stage situated in the corner of the building. Apart from caryatids, this graceful structure is decorated with an original tower crowning the central entrance. Sadly, time didn't spare the house with caryatids; it was especially damaged during wartime. Today the city’s visitors can see the mansion in an almost reconstructed state, as the restoration, which helped give the building its original appearance back, finished in 2001. At the moment some of its large rooms are being occupied by a bank.
Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The main cathedral of Rostov’s episcopate is situated on 58 Stanislavsky Street. The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rostov, the port of five seas, represents a diminished copy of the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. Like in old times, the central market, in the past called the bazaar, is open nearby. The grand Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the architectural adornments of Rostov-on-Don, built according to the architect K.Ton’s project. The plan of the cathedral is built in the shape of a cross.
Cathedral of the Intercession in Rostov-on-Don
The Cathedral of the Intercession is situated in the very heart of the city. Features from both traditional and modern styles are combined in the architecture of this beautiful building. The height of this church, made of white stone, is as high as 30 meters, and is crowned with a gold cupola and seven bells. The entrance to the cathedral is decorated with a mosaic, and the door portal with elaborate fretwork. The Cathedral of the Intercession’s interior, including the iconostasis, is garnished with white marble. Light-blue vaults and veiny granite floors complement the cathedral’s refined interior. The walls of the church are decorated with beautiful mosaic panels depicting biblical stories. A 7-meter high bronze monument of Elisaveta Petrovna stands on the southern side. In 1749 this Russian empress issued the decree ordering the creation of a port and a custom house here. A bit later the fortress in honor of Dmitry Rostovsky was constructed nearby. The settlements around its walls were destined to eventually grow into the future Southern Capital – Rostov-on-Don.
“Rostovchanka” Sculptural Composition
The “Rostovchanka” monument greets the guests of the megapolis and residents on the embankment of Don. This sculptural composition is dedicated to beautiful women of the Southern capital. The creator of the monument is the sculptor and artist A. Sknarin. He depicted a generalized image of a Rostov woman as a young girl with her hair down. Free like the wind, she threw wide her arms and turned her face to the sun. There is an opinion that the sculptor created “Rostovchanka” with his spouse as a model. This monument, so symbolic for Rostov-on-Don, is decorated with a marble plate, on which Lev Oshanin’s poem dedicated to Rostov women is engraved. As the poem says, “Rostov women are the people of all-union beauty!”; and this is undoubtedly true. This sculptural composition appeared on the Fyodor Ushakov embankment in 1984. Many compare “Rostovchanka” with Aphrodite: like the goddess of love, she comes out from the waves, only not from the sea, but from the Don River. To admire the collective image of the Rostov-on-Don women, you’ll have to go to the Zheleznodorozhny district. The monument is set between the river terminal and the Voroshilov bridge.
This is only a small part of Rostov-on-Don’s architectural heritage, so you shouldn’t forget that this city is full of other objects of interest. This is why we propose the following options for tourists with children, for the young, for those who came here to relax and get away from the fuss and everyday problems, and, all in all, for anyone who sees Rostov as a resort.
The Don River embankment
The Rostov embankment is the Southern capital’s guests and citizens’ favorite spot. “Father-Don” is framed with lots of monuments, stone plates and blossoming flowerbeds.
On a sunny day you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city from upper decks of cruise ships, take some photos and just enjoy a nice walk.
There are several monuments, emblematic of the South of the country, on the embankment of the Don River. They are Nakhalyonok with Ded Schukar, friendly Rostovchanka, and the Lock Tree. Quite recently new characters have appeared on the right bank – The Artist, Father-Don, The Fisher, Grigory and Aksinya in the boat, and others. The city embankment becomes a venue of merrymaking on holidays, especially on City day, when representatives of all the diasporas of this multinational megapolis cook festive refreshments for Rostov citizens.
“Don-Park” Water park
“Don-Park” Water Park is a large water entertainment complex close to Rostov-on-Don that is situated on the bank of the Salt Lake. It was opened in 2014, and for the past couple of years has managed to become favorite place for family free time for Rostov inhabitants and guests. There are 40 fun rides and water slides, 4 pools with different configurations (2 of them heated), and a Jacuzzi in the park.
The park also provides everything necessary for calm leisure time: deck chairs, sun umbrellas, benches and even VIP space for enhanced comfort. Children can enjoy a special game-zone designed as a pirate ship, hills shaped like fairy tale characters, and little fountains where they can frolic in the water.
The Rostov Dolphinarium is a wonderful place for family free time in Rostov-on-Don – here you can have a good time and take a rest. The complex was opened in 2009. It consists of three pools inhabited by sea creatures, three comfortable grandstands for viewers, and very unusual and beautiful decorations. The building itself also is worthy of particular attention – it was constructed in soviet times and became the first building in the country that was designed specifically for holding sea animals and organizing their performances. The shows put on by these “sea performers” gave the visitors, especially children, the opportunity to make great memories and have a fun time in the process. Dolphins are not the only stars here: among the performers there is also a fur seal, a walrus and a beluga.
The entertainment program is based on spectacular performances and diverse tricks that the animals do under the guidance of professional coaches.
Another unusual offer - swimming with bottlenose dolphins - may become a wonderful present for anyone. Sea inhabitants are very friendly and sweet, and being close to them is absolutely safe. You may touch them and even play funny games with them, for example, “catch up”.
In addition, being alongside dolphins has a good influence on people's health and psyche, helps to relieve stress, get rid of depression, and normalize their emotional state.
This zoo is among the largest in Russia, it covers a territory of 90 hectares, and today its collection includes more than 5,000 animals. This consists of about 400 species, including rare ones. The animals that always spark a special interest from guests are three Asian elephants, pink flamingos, Japanese cranes, sea eagles and other inhabitants of the zoo in Rostov-on-Don. The zoo can also boast of its amazing atmosphere, which allows its animals to be very comfortable, surrounded by artificial and natural reservoirs, emerald lawns and beautiful flower beds. Guests can ride along the Rostov zoo's alley in a carriage, thus taking a journey across the huge territory.
Rostov Museum of Cosmonautics
The Rostov Museum of Cosmonautics belongs to the “Vertical” science and education complex that conducts research in the field of cosmonautics and is enormously popular among those who love stars and the endless universe. It allows its guests to get acquainted with models of space machinery, spacesuits and astronaut outfits, models of space ships and satellites, and many other interesting objects.
The museum reserves are truly abundant with exhibits. Among them there are astronauts' personal effects, rocket and modules navigation gear, relevant pictures, books and other printed resources, coins, stamps, awards, archive documents and numerous spaceship models. There are also samples of the pilots' food and the metal tubes and plastic bags designed for keeping them. Overall there are over 400 of these objects.
Apart from observing the exhibitions, visitors may enjoy the comfort of the area where astronauts stay during takeoff and the landing, take a virtual flight into space and watch a documentary film about the life and work of the people in orbit.
All the attractions are situated nearby; therefore it is easy to get there. Rostov's transportation system is a well-developed bus network (72 routes) and trams (5 routes). In addition, the city has a developed network of minibuses, which can take you to any important sight in Rostov.
The most desirable plan would be, of course, to mix business with pleasure, combining the educational aspect of your trip with entertainment. It is truly remarkable that in this city anyone can find something that suits them and meets the goals of their trip, and, just as importantly, that it is all available at a low price.