Taganrog (Russian: Таганрог; IPA: [təɡɐnˈrok]) is a port city in Rostov Oblast, Russia, located on the north shore of the Taganrog Bay (Sea of Azov), several kilometers west of the mouth of the Don River. Population: 257,681 (2010 Census); 281,947 (2002 Census); 291,622 (1989 Census).
The history of the city goes back to late Bronze Age–early Iron Age (between the 20th and 10th centuries BCE). It was the earliest Greek settlement in the Northern-Western Black Sea Region, and was mentioned by the Greek historian Herodotus as Emporion Kremnoi.
The first Russian Navy base, Taganrog was officially founded by Peter the Great on September 12, 1698 and hosted the Azov Flotilla of Catherine the Great (1770–1783). This flotilla subsequently became the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
By the end of the 18th century, Taganrog lost its primacy as a military base after the Crimea and the Sea of Azov were absorbed into the Russian Empire. In 1802, Alexander I granted the city a special status, which lasted until 1887. In 1825, the Alexander I Palace in Taganrog was used as the Tsar’s summer residence, where he died in November 1825.
Taganrog was important as a commercial port. By the end of 19th century-early 20th century it was used for imports and exports of grain. Belgian and German investors founded a boiler factory, an iron and steel foundry, a leather factory and an oil press factory. By 1911, fifteen foreign consulates had opened in the city.
During May–August 1918, the city was occupied by the German troops of the Kaiser. In 1919, General Anton Denikin kept his headquarters at the Avgerino mansion in Taganrog. When Soviet power was established on December 25, 1919, Denikin’s remaining troops and the British Consulate were evacuated by HMS Montrose.
During World War II, Taganrog was occupied by Germans between 1941–1943. Two SS divisions entered the city in October 1941 followed by other military divisions and the city suffered extensive damage. The local government system was replaced by Bürgermeisteramt or «New Russian local government.» Taganrog was liberated on August 30, 1943.