More than 1,000 km to the south of Moscow lies Rostov-on-Don, one of the largest cities in Russia. It is a multiethnic city. Rostov-on-Don known informally as “the gates to the Caucasus,” it is a city with links to five seas. The city boasts around 1,000 cultural heritage sites, and, incidentally, the local university is where the famous Soviet writer and Nobel Prize winner, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, once studied.
The city is built on the ruins of ancient settlements, some of which are 5,000 years old. Rostov-on-Don was founded in 1749 as a fortress to protect the Russian Empire’s southern borders from invasions by Crimean Tatars and Turks. In the 19th century, Rostov-on-Don became the largest trade city in the south of Russia.