Peter the Great founded the fortress and port city of Taganrog in 1698. Its rise and development are closely connected with the great and dramatic history of the Russian Empire, with its century-long struggle for the access to southern seas. Here for the first time, fireworks in honor of Azov Russian Navy's victories took place, that Navy being created by Peter the Great. And as "The Birthplace of Anton Chekhov", Taganrog offers remarkable sites dedicated to childhood and youth of the Russian playwright and short-story writer.
Taganrog does not resemble other seaside towns by the very fact that its location is not in a quiet harbor, but on a hill. The town is open to every wind - both from steppe or sea. In the wide, beam-like streets running down from the former fortress straight to the steppe distances, and in green shadowy boulevard alleys accompanying them, in the architectural image of the houses which unite the classical strictness with the baroque magnificence, in all this something new, wayward, southern and peculiar can be witnessed. In spite of the fact that the city has already celebrated its 317th anniversary and went through the industrial construction epoch, it has preserved its unique layout and monuments of history and architecture. To a large extent it is due to the great Russian writer Anton Pavlovich Chekhov who was born and lived here. Everything is sanctified by the reminder of him in the city: the small house where he was born, the high school where he studied, his father's shop where he had to serve, and, of course, those quiet streets, mansions which today are associated with the past.
Now Taganrog is an important research, cultural and industrial center in Southern Russia. It has a vast network of educational establishments, ranging from Radio Engineering University and Teachers Training College to technical and vocational lyceums and high schools. Apart from that, it is a city situated in a resort area as to its climate, which allows one to take a splendid rest here. Taganrog is situated on the shore of the Azov Sea about 45 miles from Rostov-on-Don, SW Rostov Oblast.
History can be found around almost every bend in Taganrog. The memorial theater, Chekhov library, several museums, such as Chekhov House, Literary Museum, Durov Museum, Art Museum and other stand as hallmarks of the Russian culture. Taganrog is the native city of Anton Chekhov, Faina Ranevskaya and Dmitri Sinodi-Popov; names of Alexander Pushkin, Alexander I, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Konstantin Paustovsky, Ivan Vasilenko, Victor Bregeda, Nestor Kukolnik, Achilles Alferaki, Arkhip Kuindzhi, Konstantin Savitsky and many other famous people are brought in mind when Taganrog is named.