Novocherkassk, Russia

Travel to Novocherkassk

Novocherkassk (Russian: Новочерка́сск, lit. New Cherkassk) is a city in Rostov Oblast, Russia, located near the confluence of the Tuzlov and Aksay Rivers, the latter a distributary of the Don River. Novocherkassk is best known as the cultural capital of the Cossacks, and as the official capital of the Don Cossacks. Population: 168,746 (2010 Census); 170,822 (2002 Census); 187,973 (1989 Census); 178,000 (1974); 123,000 (1959); 81,000 (1939); 52,000 (1897).

Novocherkassk was founded in 1805 by Lieutenant-general Matvei Platov, the Ataman of the Don Cossacks, as the administrative center of the Don Host Oblast. It was established in reaction to the original administrative center, the stanitsa of Cherkassk, being deemed unsuitable as the capital for the Don Cossacks for several reasons. Cherkassk was repeatedly flooded for long periods of time due to its low-lying location on the banks of the Don River, and attempts at constructing levees to protect the town were found to be too costly and ineffective. Additionally, Cherkassk was prone to destructive fires due to its chaotic layout and wooden buildings, and was located far away from any major roads. Despite the fact that ten of the eleven representatives of the villages that were part of the Cherkassk refused to move the capital, Platov still made a presentation to Tsar Alexander I asking him to allow the capital of the Don Cossacks to be moved to another location, and was granted permission in a decree from the Tsar on August 23, 1804.

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