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THE RUSSIAN EMPRESS CATHERINE II (1729 - 1796)

Catherine II, the All-Russian Empress, was also the founder of the town of Nakhichevan-on-Don, which has now been incorporated into the plan of the city of Rostov-on-Don.

On July 16, 1778, archimandrite Peter Markosov from Bakhchisarai on behalf of and on instruction from the Crimean Armenians addressed the Russian Empress Catherine II with a request.

This request was “on the riddance of all the Armenians from the threat of yoke and of the hardships by accepting them for eternal allegiance of the Russian Empire”.

In 1779, by Her Majesty Empress Catherine II of Russia’s edict, the town Nakhichevan-on-Don was founded in the area of the “Noon” Outer Settlement to the east of the St. Demetrius of Rostov Fortress. In addition to the establishment of the town, the Armenian re-settlers were granted plots of land in the area. One of the provisions of Her Majesty’s edict stated: “In the course of your resettlement to the Azov Province, We hereby order you to transfer from the Crimea all your belongings, which you are capable of transporting by yourselves, in Our dependence. In order to provide most comfortable settlement conditions, We hereby order to allocate a separate area by St. Demetrius of Rostov Fortress in the Azov Province, which would be clearly distinguished from all other similar settlements…” The same edict outlined special conditions and tax incentives for the Armenian re-settlers. This official document was concluded with the following words: “Granting all the above-mentioned preferences in witnesses of our whole community and the generations to come, for the eternity, in order to impart upmost strength and vigor, We signed it solemnly with Our own hand”.