The city was in essence established in 1749, as a customs house was built on the Don, and soon a large fortress that developed into a settlement. The Don River that the city is named for is a major shipping lane connecting southwestern Russia with regions to the north, and Rostov-on-Don is an important river port in both passenger-oriented and industrial shipping.
Rostov-on-Don has experienced considerable economic growth in recent years, as the Russian economy recovers nationwide. Numerous start-up companies have established headquarters in the city, the median income is increasing, and the city is being transformed from a place thrown back in time by the collapse of communism into a modern, industrial and technology-rich hub.
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