Founded in 1593, flood-prone Starocherkasskaya was the Don Cossack capital until the early 18th century. Once a fortified town of 20,000, it’s now a farming village with a main street restored to near-19th-century appearance. There are a few historic sights of note, including one fantastic church. But mostly it's a quiet town with an old-Russia atmosphere that offers a real contrast to the hustle and bustle of the modern cities.
That said, it's not so quiet on the last Sunday of the month (May to September), when the village hosts boisterous Cossack fairs, with much singing, dancing, horse riding and merrymaking. There are also annual Maslenitsa celebrations here, with pancakes and traditional games galore, when village residents prepare for the Great Lent fast and to greet the coming spring.