Rostov the Great, located on the bank of Lake Nero, was first mentioned in Russian Primary Chronicle (“Tale of Bygone Years”) in 862. Originally the town of Rostov was one of the centres of the Rostov-Suzdal Principality and after the adoption of Christianity Rostov became the centre of a vast diocese. Stone construction was carried out in the town of Rostov, chronicles were recorded here and books were rewritten.
The 17th century witnessed the construction of the new majestic Bishop’s Residence, currently known as the Rostov Kremlin, which became a classic of world architecture. A unique belfry was constructed at the Assumption Cathedral of the Rostov Kremlin - huge bells were cast for it in the 17th century. Especially notable are “Sisoy” (32 tons), “Polyleiny” (16 tons) and “Swan” (8 tons). This is the only belfry where bells with unique chiming are preserved. Rostov bell ringing is recognized as the part of world culture.
Decorative hot enamel is one of the most ancient techniques of metal decoration. Miniature images are painted with transparent heat-resistant paint on copper articles covered with enamel. After thermal treatment a painting preserves its purity of colour, glossiness and transparency forever.
Centuries-old traditions of enamel painting were established in Rostov and as such,
Rostov enamel is considered to be the best in Russia. In the 18th century local craftsmen received orders for making enamel icons from Rostov churches, as well as from many Russian monasteries and Bishop’s Chambers. One skilled craftsman could paint between 500 to 800 plaques a day. The town of Rostov supplied icons to almost all the monasteries in Russia. Today Rostov enamel is among the best crafts of Russia. The local factory produces an assortment of around 400 unique products that include - brooches, ear-rings, pendants, bracelets and boxes.