TAGANROG, a seaport of southern Russia, on the N. shore of the Sea of Azov, in the Don Cossacks territory, some 170 m. S.E. of the town of Ekaterinoslav. It is built principally of wood, stands on a low cape, and has the aspect of an important commercial city. The imperial palace, where Alexander I. died in 1825, and the Greek monastery (under the patriarch of Jerusalem) are worthy of notice. Statues of Alexander I. (1830) and Peter the Great (1903) adorn the town. In the 13th century Pisan merchants founded there a colony, Portus Pisanus, which, however, soon disappeared during the migrations of the Mongols and Turks. An attempt to obtain possession of the promontory was made by Peter the Great, but it was not definitely annexed by the Russians until seventy years afterwards (1769). The commercial importance of the town dates from the second half of the 19th century; in 1870 its population had risen to 38,000, and after it was brought into railway connexion with Kharkov and Voronezh, and thus with the fertile provinces of south and south-east Russia, the increase was still more rapid, the number reaching 56,047 in 1885, and 58,928 in 1900 Greeks, Jews, Armenians and West-Europeans being important elements. The town was bombarded and in part destroyed by an Anglo-French fleet in May 1855. Taganrog is an episcopal see of the Orthodox Greek Church, and has tanneries, tallow works and tobacco manufactures. The roadstead is very shallow, and exposed to winds which cause great variations in the height of the water; it is, moreover, rapidly silting up. At the quay the depth of water is only 8 to 9 feet, and large ships have to lie 5 to 13 miles from the town. Moreover, the port is closed by ice three to four months in the year. Notwithstanding the disadvantages of its open roadstead, the foreign trade has rapidly expanded, the annual value of the exports having increased from 6J millions sterling in 1899 to over 10 millions sterling in 1904. The chief article of export being corn, the trade of the city is subject to great fluctuations. Linseed and other oil-bearing grains are also important articles of commerce, as well as wool and butter. The imports, which consist chiefly of machinery, fruits (dried and fresh), wine, oil and textiles, do not much exceed half a million sterling annually.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)