Rostov, one of the ancient and most beautiful towns of the Russian land. The town stands on the bank of Nero lake with water of striking pearl, grey and blue shades. These colour shades are amazingly depicted by fine collection of ancient icons displayed in the local museum. The town was established much earlier than Moscow. The first written mention about Rostov dates by the year of 862 ad. In the 13th century the town was one of the centres of the new Russian state formed in the north-west part of ancient Rus. Up to the end of the 18th century Rostov remained one of the biggest and the richest towns of Russia. In 1589-1788 it was the residence of the Russian Metropolitan. The town has its own peculiar structure. The main streets meet at the historic centre, where, built in the 16th century, the Dormition Cathedral stands, with its bell tower erected in the 17th century. The bells of tower play one of the most fascinating chime or bell music. The local Kremlin had been called "Bishop's House" up to the 19th century. The architectural ensemble built in 1660-1680 by the order of Metropolitan Ivan Sysoyevich as a Metropolitan residence is in excellent condition. It includes 5 churches, palaces and estates. The inner walls have wonderful wall-paintings, which also remain bright and attractive. It looks like the whole ensemble rushes up into the skies, its walls bear the trait of the ancient times. There are so-called "trading line" structures (classical style, 1830) close to the Kremlin and the Church of Saviour with the golden stars on bright-blue domes. The Church of Ascension stands a bit away from the line. There are two convents located on the banks of Nero lake to the left and to the right of the Kremlin: the St. Abraham Convent to the north-east (16th-19th cent.) and Yakovlevsky Convent (17th-19th cent.) to the south-west.