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HER MAJESTY THE RUSSIAN EMPRESS ELIZABETH PETROVNA (1709 - 1761)

Empress Elizabeth of Russia founded Temernitskaya customs house (which eventually gave rise to the city of Rostov-on-Don), and the St. Demetrius Fortress, which lies in the historical center of the city today.

By the Empress’s edict of December 15, 1749, Temernitskaya customs house was established at the mouth of the Temernik River, where later Rostov-on-Don grew and developed. The above-mentioned edict was addressed “To the Don, to the campuses of our Upper and Lower Don Cossacks and Atamans (Cossack military leaders). To the Don Army Ataman Danila Efremov and to our whole Don Army”. Indeed, it was Danila Efremov, the elected Don Ataman, who had earlier submitted a request regarding this area at the mouth of Temernik River called Bogatyi Kolodez (“Plentiful Well”), pointing out that it was a favorable location to establish a customs house.

The fact is, the Russian Empress Elizabeth initially issued an edict on August 18, 1749, establishing the customs house in the town of Cherkassk. As it turned out, though, the Cossacks believed the town was not suitable for their commercial activities, because of certain tax incentives they were enjoying, which would become invalid if the customs house were built in Cherkassk.

After studying Danila Efremov’s request, which she received on November 23, 1749, the Russian Empress complied with the Don Cossacks’ wish, and in her edict dated December 15, 1949, approved the location at the mouth of the Temernik River as the site for construction of the customs house, from which the city of Rostov-on-Don originated.

On May 5, 1761, Empress Elizabeth of Russia issued an edict on transferring the effective garrison from St. Anna fortress to the construction site of the new fortress, located in the Bogatyi Kolodez (“Plentiful Well”) area.

On September 23, 1761, construction of the fortress named after St. Demetrius of Rostov began. The fortress became the historical center of the future city of Rostov-on-Don.