Founded as a customs post on the border of the country by Queen Elizabeth in 1749, Rostov is commonly referred to as the "Gates to the Caucasus". Rostov is the largest city of the region, in terms of population and area, with over a million residents. Rostov is the transportation hub of southern Russia, and in order to reach Caucasus by one of the major railway or bus lines, one must pass through Rostov.
Rostov is located on three hills on the right bank of the Don River. The region has a very rich history that begins with the northernmost colony the Greeks ever founded. The city has many important features, such as one of Europe’s biggest theaters, headquarters of large companies, and even Europe’s most extensive cemetery. Rostov’s skyline is very distinct and memorable, topped by the golden domes of the Central Cathedral and its bell tower, the slanted roof of Rostov Opera Theater, the Stella that reaches over 60 meters in height, the 120-meter TV Mast, and a number of residential highrise buildings.
At 250 years old, Rostov is relatively young (Compare it to its neighbor, Azov, which is over 1,000 years old.), and an influx of developments ranging from upscale condominium towers to mega malls continues to change the face of the city.