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Azov (Russia)

The town of Azov is located in the delta of the river Don, seven kilometres from the Sea of Azov, and it is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in south-west of Russia. It is part of the Rostov Region, or the Southern Federal District, around thirty kilometres from the district capital Rostov-on-Don. There are around 83,000 inhabitants in Azov.
 
Cooperation agreement (at the level of twinning agreement) between Azov and the City of Bijeljina was signed in 2018.
 
HISTORY
 
The mouth of the Don River has always been an important commercial centre. At the beginning of the 3rd century B.C., the Greeks from the Bosporan Kingdom founded a colony here, which they called Tanais (after the Greek name of the river). Several centuries later, the colony was destroyed, and the Goths practically annihilated it in the 3rd century. Until the 10th century, when Slavs took control of this area, many peoples from western Asia, including the Khazar, ruled in this area. In 1607, the Kipchaks took over and name this area Azaq (lowlands), from which the current name of Azov was derived. After them, Azaq and large parts of today’s European part of Russia fell under the control of the Mongolian state called the Golden Horde, which lasted during the 13th and 14th century. During this period, the Venetian and Genoese merchants were granted permission to establish their colony called Tanu in the area.
 
In 1471, the Turks became the new rulers and they built a mighty fortress of Azov.
 
In summer of 1637, the Don Cossacks took over the fortress from much stronger Turkish enemies and ruled in Azov for five years. In summer 1651, they repelled a long Turkish siege. When the Turks retreated in 1642, the emperor decided to surrender the fortress in order to avoid the further conflict. During the war with Turkey, Peter the Great regained control of Azov in 1696, but he had to surrender it to the Turks again in 1711.
 
Azov finally came under Russian rule under the terms of Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji in 1774.
 
ECONOMY
 
Azov is part of the Rostov agglomeration and it is an important transport, industrial and tourist centre. It has an excellent strategic position on the Don riverbank, and it has a key role for the transportation on this river, and it has a developed motorways and railways network.
 
The backbone of the economy is light industry, food production and conservation, manufacture of machinery and construction material, including the prestressed concrete elements.
 
CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL SIGHTS
 
Azov is a compact town where the 20th century architecture merges with unique cultural and historical monuments of earlier times.
 
Historical-archaeological and paleontological museum in Azov is one of the largest in southern Russia and it has the largest paleontological collection in the south of the country, including a unique skeleton in the world of trogontherion elephant. The museum has an important collection which testifies about the period from the 15th to 17th century, the gold of the Scythians and Sarmatians, pottery and copper exhibits...
 
The remains of the walls, trenches and earth walls of the fortress built in the 17th century are well preserved, and the Powder Cellar houses the museum dedicated to the liberation of Azov.
 
Mecenat gallery is popular with tourists and the people of Azov, and also the monuments of Peter the Great, cossacs who died in the battles of the First World War, numerous churches...
 
CULTURAL EVENTS
 
The most famous event gathering tens of thousands of guests is the Festival “The Siege of Azov”, which is organised in August.
 
On that occasion Azov dives into the great historical event of the 17th century, when the Cossacs defended the Azov land from the Ottomans. Simulations of battles, animations, historical and fun interactive activities are organised as part of the festival.
 
All-Russian festival of sign songs “One world – one imagination” gathers participants with hearing and speaking impairments. The performer “sings” using a phonogram, quietly saying the text, but each word is signed, and its meaning matches the words. Signs are not always standard, improvisation is welcome, and each song is unique and unrepeatable.
 
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
 
In addition to Bijeljina, Azov is a sister city / twin town of seven more partner cities/towns: Aglandjia, Chillicothe, Antalya, Pylos, Sečanj, Courbevoie, and Feodosia.