One may quite consider this city in the south of Russia as one of the most picturesque one. Special energy is given to it by the people of various nationalities who lived there since the time of the foundation of Rostov-on-Don, as well as the other towns merged with it.
Rostov-on-Don is quite justifiably called the southern capital of Russia. The city was founded in 1749 in the time of the Russian Empire strengthening its positions in the Black Sea region. The Empress Catherine II had the Temernitskaya Customs House built there, which made this city the key outpost of Russia in the south.
Although Rostov-on-Don is only 260 years old it became the only city with the population of over a million people in the Southern Federal Region, even though in the immediate vicinity of the city there are much older cities. For example, nearby Azov was founded in 1067 (it is already over 945 years). In the course of several centuries the now small quiet town city was the place of bloody wars between the Russian and Turks. And the city of Nakhichevan, founded by the Armenian a century earlier than Rostov-on-Don, was swallowed by the city at all.
Among the interesting landmarks, you can name the Tractor Theater. In 1930-35 Gorky Drama Theater was built in Rostov. And it was built in shape of a giant crawler tractor. The building was mentioned in many books for the history of architecture (and even was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records), as a bright example of Soviet architectural constructivism.
If you don’t want to see the masterpiece of Soviet constructivism, you can go directly to the Don Embankment. Probably, this is the main place where everyone can in full feel the atmosphere of Rostov-on-Don.