Rostov (Russian: Ростов, IPA: [rɐˈstof]) is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, one of the oldest in the country and a tourist center of the Golden Ring. It is located on the shores of Lake Nero, 202 kilometers (126 mi) northeast of Moscow. Population: 31,792 (2010 Census); 34,141 (2002 Census); 35,707 (1989 Census).
While the official name of the town is Rostov, it is popularly known to Russians as Rostov Veliky (Russian: Ростов Великий, Rostov the Great) to distinguish it from the much larger city of Rostov-on-Don. The name of the town railway station is Rostov Yaroslavsky, due to its location in Yaroslavl Oblast.
Rostov was preceded by Sarskoye Gorodishche, which some scholars interpret as the capital of the Finnic Merya tribe. Others believe it was an important Viking trade enclave and fortress guarding the Volga trade route. Scythians also settled there. These different ethnicities, such as the Vikings, Scyths, Slavs and Finns, were likely the ancestors of many of today's people in that region. First mentioned in documents in the year 862 as an already important settlement, by the 10th century Rostov became the capital city of Vladimir-Suzdal, one of the most prominent Russian principalities. It was incorporated into Muscovy in 1474.
After losing its independent status, Rostov was still an ecclesiastic center (from 988 it was the see of the Diocese of Yaroslavl, one of the first Russian bishoprics. In the 14th century, the bishops of Rostov became archbishops, and late in the 16th century, metropolitans. One of those metropolitans, Iona (Jonah) Sysoyevich (ca. 1607–1690), commissioned the town's main landmark: the kremlin. This is regarded by some as the finest outside that of Moscow.
Ravaged by the Mongols in the 13th and 14th centuries (last sack by Edigu in 1408), and the Poles in 1608, Rostov survived as a medium-sized town. Late in the 18th century, the metropolitan see was transferred to Yaroslavl.
Rostov is renowned for manufacturing enamels.
Administrative and municipal status
Within the framework of administrative divisions, Rostov serves as the administrative center of Rostovsky District, even though it is not a part of it. As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the town of oblast significance of Rostov—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the town of oblast significance of Rostov is incorporated within Rostovsky Municipal District as Rostov Urban Settlement.
Definitive stamp of Russia showing Rostov Kremlin.
The architecture of the city shows many examples of early Russian Orthodox architecture. The central square of Rostov is occupied by the Assumption Cathedral. It is unknown when the present building was erected, the mid-16th century being the most likely date. Lower parts of the cathedral walls are dated to the 12th century. The ponderous bell-tower was constructed mostly in the 17th century. Its bells are among the largest and most famous in Russia - each has its own name. The largest bell, cast in 1688, weighs 32,000 kilograms (71,000 lb). It is named Sysoy to honor the city's founding father. The church is home to the incorrupt body of Saint Leontius of Rostov.
An area situated between the cathedral square and the lake was chosen by Iona Sysoevich as a place for his fairy-tale residence. All the construction works were carried out between 1667 and 1694. Major buildings include the ornate Savior Church-na-Senyakh (1675), the sombre Church of St. Gregory (1670), and the barbican churches of St. John the Apostle (1683) and of the Resurrection of Christ (1670). The residence, often erroneously called kremlin, also includes eleven ornate tower bells, numerous palaces, several small belfries, and the diminutive baroque Church of Our Lady of Smolensk (1693). All the churches are elaborately painted and decorated.
The cathedral and four tall kremlin churches with their silver "blind" domes were imitated throughout the city. This is particularly evident in the Savior-on-the-Market church and the cathedral church of the Nativity convent, both dating from the 17th century and situated near the kremlin walls. The oldest church within the town center was consecrated to St. Isidore the Blessed in 1565. They say that Ivan the Terrible had the architect executed, because his church was so much smaller than its predecessor.
The kremlin is flanked by two monasteries, both facing the Lake Nero. To the right from the kremlin stands the Abraham monastery, founded in the 11th century and one of the oldest in Russia. Its cathedral, commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1553 to commemorate the conquest of Kazan, inspired numerous churches in the region, particularly in Yaroslavl.
Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery, situated to the left from the Kremlin on the town's outskirts, has been venerated as the shrine of St. Dmitry of Rostov. Most of the monastery structures were built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the fine neoclassical style. There are also two 17th-century churches: the Conception of St. Anna, and the Transfiguration of Our Savior. Unlike most other churches in the town, the monastery belongs to the Russian Orthodoxy and houses a theological seminary.
Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokos
The citadel of Rostov seen from Lake Nero
Rostov Kremlin in summer (1911)
The courtyard in the kremlin
The vicinity of Rostov is rich in old architecture. For example, an old wooden church (1687–1689) may be seen in Ishnya. One of the best preserved monasteries in Russia, named after the saints Boris and Gleb, is situated in Borisoglebsky, about 20 kilometers (12 mi) west of the town. The monastery was favored by Ivan the Terrible, who personally supervised the construction of towered walls and bell-tower around an even more ancient cathedral. The only addition made to the monastery after Ivan's death is a barbican church, commissioned by the metropolitan Iona Sysoyevich.
Twin towns/sister cities
Rostov in films
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- Государственная Дума Ярославской области. Закон №12-з от 7 февраля 2002 г «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Ярославской области и порядке его изменения», в ред. Закона №67-з от 21 декабря 2012 г. «О внесении изменений в отдельные законодательные акты Ярославской области и признании утратившими силу отдельных законодательных актов (положений законодательных актов) Ярославской области». Вступил в силу через шесть месяцев со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Губернские вести", №11, 15 февраля 2002 г. (State Duma of Yaroslavl Oblast. Law #12-z of February 7, 2002 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Yaroslavl Oblast and on the Procedures of Its Change, as amended by the Law #67-z of December 21, 2012 On Amending Various Legislative Acts of Yaroslavl Oblast and on Abrogation of Various Legislative Acts (Clauses of Legislative Acts) of Yaroslavl Oblast. Effective as of the day six months from the day of the official publication.).
- Государственная Дума Ярославской области. Закон №65-з от 21 декабря 2004 г. «О наименованиях, границах и статусе муниципальных образований Ярославской области», в ред. Закона №59-з от 28 декабря 2011 г «Об изменении статуса рабочего посёлка Песочное Рыбинского района и о внесении изменений в отдельные законодательные акты Ярославской области». Вступил в силу через 10 дней со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Губернские вести", №70, 23 декабря 2004 г. (State Duma of Yaroslavl Oblast. Law #65-z of December 21, 2004 On the Names, Borders, and Status of the Municipal Formations of Yaroslavl Oblast, as amended by the Law #59-z of December 28, 2011 On Changing the Status of the Work Settlement of Pesochnoye of Rybinsky District and on Amending Various Legislative Acts of Yaroslavl Oblast. Effective as of after 10 days from the day of the official publication.).