The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin is a metropolitan church of Rostov eparchy. It was built in 1860 by the project К. Thon and from outside it looks much like the other cathedrals of this architect, such as the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
Rostov-on-Don appeared in 1749 when Temernitsky customs was founded by the decree of Elizabeth Petrovna. The first wooden church was built on the Trading Square in 1761 at the same time as the fortress of St. Dimitry of Rostov. In 1791 it was hit by a lightning stroke and burnt. After that it was rebuilt in stone.
However, in the second half of 19 century the population of the city grew very quickly for account of migrants from the other regions of the country. Rostov-on-Don became bigger than the nearby older cities such as Taganrog and Azov. As a result, it was decided to build a very large metropolitan Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. It was built in the period between 1854 and 1860.
The cathedral was built in Russian-Byzantine style. Its height is 49 meters. In 1887 it was added a five-tier bell tower of 75 meters, which became the centerpiece of the city.
In 1999 the monument of St. Dimitry of Rostov was placed in front of the cathedral. Some believe him to be the founder of the city, but that is not so. He was a monk and died in 1709. Dimitry of Rostov was canonized by the Synod in 1752. He was especially respected in the south of Russia. In 1762 the fortress named in honor of St. Dimitry of Rostov was made the base of the future city and he became the patron of Rostov.