Rostov is one of the greatest Russian cities with a history that goes back over a century. It was even mentioned in the Tale of Bygone Years as one of the cities that belonged to Rurik. Before the city was established on this land, the Finno-Ugric tribes lived here. Then, they completely assimilated with people from Novgorod. In the 10th century, Rostov was quite a big city that belonged to Yaroslav the Wise and then to his son Vsevolod.
In 991, the first wooden Orthodox cathedral, Holy Assumption Cathedral Church, was built in Rostov Veliky. It had been working for several centuries. Then, the stone cathedral was built at its site by Andrew the Pious. Rostov had also been the capital of the Grand Duchy of Vladimir. When it stopped being an administrative center, he still remained one of the biggest cities of Rus. The territory of the city expanded to Novgorod. The dukes governing here even minted their own money.
In the 18th-19th centuries, Rostov became a notable city governed by merchant families, the names of which are famous all over Russia. Rostov was the city of so-called “commercial apartment building”, two-storied apartments rented out to merchants visiting the city. Catherine the Great even presented the city with an emblem. The deer in the black background is still relevant. In the 18th century, the city was actively being built. The master plan was presented. The streets were built up with stone buildings. The old aisle of the Kremlin that had been almost destroyed was restored.
The Revolution in Rostov was almost bloodless and the city didn’t see the horrors of the Civil War. If taking into account the fact that the city represented only the merchant class, towards which the Soviet authorities had a negative attitude, Rostov was very lucky. After the Revolution, many families left the city and it stopped developing. The new authorities’ attempts to find a way out of this situation were not successful. The economic level of the city was restored only in the middle of the 20th century when it became one of the key cities of the Russian Golden Ring.
The most famous historic monument of the city is the Rostov Kremlin. It differs from typical defensive constructions in the usual sense. The large architectural complex was built in the 17th century. At that time, it had not already had strategic significance. That is why the Kremlin has a lot of unusual decorative elements. After hundreds of years, the Kremlin has been preserved almost in its original form. Nowadays, there are several towers, churches, and different civil constructions on its territory.
There is also the Cathedral of the Assumption. It was built even before the Kremlin had been constructed, in the 16th century. According to the historical data, the first wooden church at its site was built in the 11th century. The present cathedral was finished in 1512 and is notable for its original frescoes. In the cathedral, there are shrines of city metropolitans and princes.
As for civilian buildings, the most remarkable one is the Red Chamber. In the 17th century, there were living quarters and a refectory. The exterior of the chamber is quite modest but it houses valuable pieces of art inside. Some indoor rooms are tiled and you can see old frescoes in the others.
Among multiple museums of Rostov, the most interesting one is the House of Crafts. It was opened not so long ago, in 2007. Now, the museum tells its visitors about the most interesting regional crafts. Here, you can see incredibly beautiful laces, hand-made elm and reed items, ceramics, and pieces of art. You can buy most of the exhibits presented in the museum. Also, master classes are regularly held for visitors.
Art connoisseurs should certainly visit the Museum of Rostov Merchantry that presents the collection of paintings, antique furniture, and other old accessories. The museum is located in the beautiful mansion of the 18th century and was opened only in 2008. The core of the exposure is historic exhibits dedicated to the famous merchant dynasty of Kekin.