The First Source of Drinking Water in Rostov-on-Don Destroyed

The First Source of Drinking Water

Recently, it became known that during the construction of a residential complex on the territory of the former factory Krasny Aksai in Rostov, the first drinking water source of the former Armenian city of Nor Nakhichevan was destroyed. This source that used to exist in the territory of present-day Rostov was a living reminder of the resettlement of Armenians from the Crimea to the Don by the order of Catherine the Great in 1779.

In the “Encyclopedia of the Old Rostov and Nakhichevan-on-Don” of V. Sidorov, one can find out about the person who built the first drinking water source in Nakhichevan. It was one Nikoghos Barakian.

In the southeastern outskirts of Nakhichevan, there were many springs. They flowed into the Don and Kiziterinka Rivers. To collect this water, Barakian built a tunnel up to half a meter high and a meter wide. He covered the tunnel with stone and made a sump at the end. The water was supplied out through several pipes.

A stone was placed near the source, on which a touching inscription was written in Armenian: “This spring, the water of which flows like Jordan, is a monument to the daughter and sons of Barakian Nikoghos – Dzhugary, Stepanos, and Manuela – the first spring of the newly-built city of Nakhichevan. June 15, 1785” (“Encyclopedia of the Old Rostov and Nakhichevan-on-Don”, V.S. Sidorov, Volume 1, p. 170.).

It is no secret that the resettlement of Armenians from the Crimea to the Don was difficult, with many people dying on the road. Barakian also lost his children. He decided to perpetuate their memory by building the first source of drinking water in Nakhichevan so that when the citizens took the water from the spring, they would also commemorate his children with a kind word. And back then, water was valued very highly as well!

With the advent of an aqueduct in Nakhichevan, the source of Barakian lost importance for the city. In the 1920s, it ended up in the territory of the Krasny Aksai plant. Its water was used by factory workers for technical needs. And the plate with the inscription of Barakian ended up in the Museum of History in Yerevan.

It’s amazing how our businessmen-builders are indifferent to their history and aren’t thinking about anything in the pursuit of profit. This spring in Nakhichevan was a living story, after all. It is not clear to me why the builders refused such a wonderful “touch” in a new neighborhood as a green corner with spring water. After all, they could have left the spring, plant trees around it. It could have become a recreation area with the unique history for Rostovites.

This place could have become a tourist attraction, and the guests of our city could have been told the history of Rostov and Nakhichevan. But the spring was destroyed, driven into a pipe. Above the former spring, everything will be covered in asphalt, or a beautiful masonry will be laid out. And it will become “a beautiful concrete asphalt kingdom.”

It’s a pity. After all, the housing complex of Krasny Aksai could have become a green oasis that has preserved the ancient history of Rostov and Nakhichevan. But it hasn’t done so. I think that this housing complex did not become such an oasis because people in our city do not value their history.

Georgy Bagdykov,

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