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, Rostov-on-Don
a port in S Russia, on the River Don 48 km (30 miles) from the Sea of Azov: industrial centre. Pop.: 1 081 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and administrative center of Rostov Oblast, RSFSR. River port, major railroad junction, and center for a network of highways and air routes. Situated on the right bank of the Don River, 46 km from the river’s entrance into the Sea of Azov. Population, 888,000 (1975; 120,000 in 1897, 510,000 in 1939, 600,000 in 1959, 789,000 in 1970). Area, 372 sq km. The city is divided into seven raions.

The Temernitskaia Customs House and port were established on the site of the present city in 1749. The fortress Ros-tovskii, named in honor of Metropolitan Dmitrii Rostovskii, was built in 1761. The settlement that developed around the fortress became a city in 1796 and was called Rostov-on-Don. In 1797 the city became a district capital of Novorossiisk Province, and in 1802 of Ekaterinoslav Province. Industrialization accelerated in the mid-19th century. In 1853 a tobacco factory was opened, in 1857 a large iron foundry, and in 1870 a paper mill. In the 1870’s the city was connected by rail with Kharkov, Voronezh, and Vladikavkaz. In 1888 it was made part of the Oblast of the Don Host. In 1875 a division of the Union of Workers of South Russia was founded in the city, and in 1895 the Social Democratic Committee, later called the Don Committee, was formed. At the beginning of the 20th century Rostov-on-Don had about 30,000 workers employed at the port and at 140 industrial enterprises. The city was the site of the Rostov Strike of 1902 and one of the sites of the December Armed Uprisings of 1905. Soviet power was established on Oct. 26 (Nov. 8), 1917. During the Civil War the city was captured by German occupiers, and it was taken several times by White Guards. Final liberation came on Jan. 10, 1920. In 1924 the city became the administrative center of Northern Caucasus Krai, and in 1934 of Azov-Black Sea Krai. In 1937 the city was made the administrative center of Rostov Oblast. During the Great Patriotic War, Rostov-on-Don was twice occupied by fascist German troops (from Nov. 21 to Nov. 29, 1941 and from July 27, 1942 to Feb. 14, 1943). On Dec. 4, 1970, the city was awarded the order of Lenin.

Rostov-on-Don is a major industrial center, with machine building (especially agricultural machinery), food processing, light industries, and the production of chemicals predominating. In 1974 industrial production was 157 times as great as in 1913. With more than 50 plants, the city is the major machine-building center in the Northern Caucasus and one of the largest in the country. Machine building accounts for 40 percent of the city’s industrial output and produces 70 percent of the USSR’s combine-harvesters. Farm tractors are also produced (Krasnyi Aksai Plant). The instrument-making industry includes the Elektroinstrument Plant as well as plants producing experimental items, specialized instruments, and technical equipment. Other enterprises, among them the Elevatormontazhgetal’ Plant, produce mechanical and experimental equipment for the food-processing and mixed-feed industries. Bearings, pistons, and sanitation equipment are also produced. The Proletarskii Molot Plant makes home refrigerators, and the Legmash Plant produces technical equipment for light industry. The chemical industry is represented by the October Revolution Plant. There is also a furniture industry. Tobacco and confectionery factories figure prominently in the city’s food-processing industry. There are also meat-packing combines, wineries, and canneries, as well as the Donvino associations (associations producing wine from the region of the Don River). Light industry is developed, with clothing and footwear factories, a leatherware production association, and a knitwear association.

Rostov’s port handles timber, ore, mineral construction materials, industrial goods, foodstuffs, and agricultural products. The freight turnover constitutes more than 25 percent of the volume carried by steamships on the Volga and Don rivers. The port’s freight-handling areas have siding tracks leading to Ros-tov-Kiziterinka stations on the Northern Caucasus railroad. At the wharves, industrial enterprises ship and receive petroleum products, grain, timber, and mineral construction materials.

The gridiron layout of streets in the central part of the city dates from comprehensive city plans that were implemented in Rostov-on-Don and Nakhichevan’ (both 1811). A cathedral from the 1780’s has been preserved (probable architect, I. E. Starov). By the beginning of the 20th century, Rostov-on-Don had become a large city with no access to the river; the architectural style was eclectic and there was no guiding plan. Reconstruction was begun during the period of Soviet power. The city was severely damaged during the Great Patriotic War and has been rebuilt (general plan 1944–45, reconstruction of the central part of the city; architect, V. N. Semenov). The reconstructed main thoroughfare—Engels Street—has a monument to V. I. Lenin (bronze and granite, 1929; sculptor, G. V. Nero-da; architect, P. N. Andreev), House of Soviets Square (House of Soviets, 1929–34; architect, I. A. Golosov), and Theater Square (M. Gorky Theater, 1930–35; architects, V. A. Shchuko and V. G. Gel’freikh; restored and partially rebuilt in 1962–63). The downtown area now has a broad road leading to the river, and an esplanade, parks, and small public gardens have been created. A new city plan has been worked out (1971; architects, N. N. Nerses’iants and L. V. Kuznetsov). There is large-scale housing construction. The new residential areas include the Western District (1962–75; architects, L. P. Adamkovich, B. G. Bel’chenko) and the area of Lenin Prospect. The Northern Residential District is presently under construction (since 1972; architects, G. V. Ivanov and N. N. Nerses’iants). Other new buildings include the Rossiia Movie Theater (1960; architect, L. L. Eberg), the Intourist Hotel (1973; architects, V. I. Simono-vich, and L. P. Pushkova; engineer, B. N. Sidel’kovskii), and the Palace of Culture of the Rostsel’mash Plant (1960; architect, A. T. Mulik). The city has monuments to S. M. Kirov (1939; bronze and granite; sculptors, Z. M. Vilen’skii and V. V. Bari-nov), K. Marx (1959; bronze and granite; architect, M. A. Min-kus; sculptor, M. S. Al’tshuler), and A. S. Pushkin (1959; bronze and granite; architect, M. A. Minkus; sculptor, G. A. Shul’ts). There is also a monument to the liberation of the city from the White Guards in 1920 (1972; sculptor, E. V. Vuche-tich; architects, I. I. Loveiko, la. A. Rebain, and L. L. Eberg).

Rostov-on-Don is a major cultural center. Its nine institutions of higher learning are the University of Rostov, a factory branch of a technical institute, and institutes of economics, agricultural machine building, railroad transportation engineering, civil engineering, medicine, pedagogy, and music pedagogy. There are 23 specialized secondary schools, 38 planning institutes, and 18 scientific research institutes, five of which were created as part of the Northern Caucasus Scientific Center for Advanced Study (physical and organic chemistry, neurocybernetics, physics, mechanics and applied mathematics, and molecular biology). The city has the oblast museums of fine arts and local lore. Other cultural institutions include the M. Gorky Rostov-on-Don Theater, the Young People’s Theater, the Musical Comedy Theater, and the Oblast Puppet Theater; the city also has a circus and a philharmonic society. Directors N. N. Si-nel’nikov, N. I. Sobol’shchikov-Samarin, and Iu. A. Zavadskii worked in Rostov-on-Don.

In 1914 the city had five hospitals, with a total of 849 beds (3.4 beds per 1,000 inhabitants); in 1913 there were 254 physicians (one physician per 1,400 inhabitants). By 1974 there were 39 hospitals, with 9,900 beds (11.4 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), compared with 23 hospitals with 4,300 beds (8.3 beds per 1,000 inhabitants) in 1940. In 1974 there were 5,700 physicians (one physician per 152 inhabitants), compared with 1,900 physicians (one physician per 304 inhabitants) in 1940. Rostov-on-Don has four sanatoriums. The city’s medical institute was founded in 1930 to replace Don University’s department of medicine. The institute has departments of therapy, pediatrics, and public health. There are medical research institutes for epidemiology, microbiology and hygiene, obstetrics and pediatrics, malaria and parasitology, roentgenology, radiology, and oncology.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.