ROSTOV VELIKIY, a town of Russia, in the government of Yaroslavl, 35 m. by rail S.W. of the town of Yaroslavl, near Lake Rostov or Nero. Pop. (1897) 14,342. It has numerous cotton and linen mills. The great fair for which it was formerly famous has lost its importance, but the town remains the centre of a variety of domestic trades tailoring, the manufacture of leather, and the making of boots and small enamelled ikons (sacred images) ; it is also famous for its kitchen gardening and the export of pickled and dried vegetables and medical herbs. Fishing is carried on. The restoration of the buildings (royal palace, archiepiscopal palace, and five churches) of the kreml or citadel was begun in 1901. The other public buildings include six 17th-century churches, a museum and a cathedral, consecrated in 1231 and having its interior walls covered with paintings.
Rostov was founded by Slavs in or before 862, and played so prominent a r61e in the history of that part of Russia that it used to be known as Rostov the Great. From the beginning of the 11th century to the 13th it was the chief town of a territory which included large parts of the present governments of Yaroslavl, Vladimir and Novgorod. After the Mongol invasion of 1239-42 it rapidly declined, and in 1474 it was purchased by Ivan III. and annexed to Moscow. It was repeatedly plundered by Tatars, Lithuanians and Poles in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)