Ruse is the largest Bulgarian city on the Danube and is the birthplace of Elias Canetti, the 1981 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature. It is described as the ‘Pearl of the Danube’ and is considered to be amongst the most beautiful cities in Bulgaria.
It is a crossroads on the international route between Bucharest and Istanbul, over the only bridge between Bulgaria and Romania, and is one of the most important water corridors on the Lower Danube. The distance to the Romanian capital Bucharest is just 72 km.
Ruse – The Little Vienna
Ruse occupies a signifi cant role in the Bulgarian national history. The city was founded in the 1st century as a Roman military fortifi cation with a river port, and was named Sexaginta Prista – the port of 60 vessels. Under Ottoman rule, Ruse was the administrative centre of a large region. After the Russian–Turkish war of liberation in 1877-1878, it became the biggest city in independent Bulgaria.
As a result of the wide range of economic and cultural contacts with the countries along the Danube, Ruse grew into a modern city, with a predominantly European appearance and traditions. Numerous elegant buildings were designed by Italian, Austrian, German and Bulgarian architects.
Things to do in Ruse
The greatest and the most important town on the Danube River, it is also known as “The Little Vienna”, because of its ancient architecture which dates back from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. There are 19 museums worth visiting, number of hotels and restaurants, cafes and clubs.
Ruse is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities that this Balkan country has to offer. Despite this status, don’t set your expectations that high and take the comparison with Vienna too literally, because you might be a bit disappointed by the outcome.
Sure, Ruse is a pleasant city for a day trip, with a charming city center and many fine examples of the Baroque architecture, but it is far from being a small scale copy of Vienna.
1. Regional historical museum
he museum was opened on January 1, 1904 as a museum collection to male high school “Knyaz Boris I”. The collection grew into a city museum in 1937. The museum became a state in 1949. In 1952 was named the county museum and in July 2000 a regional. The fund of the museum contains 130,000 units. cultural values.
2. Ecomuseum with aquarium
The Ecomuseum presents the diversity of animal species and the protected areas along the Danube river, as well as the cohabitation of Man with Nature.
The museum is accommodated within four floors, where a rich collection of fossils can be found, as well as dioramas that present different animal species within real environment. This is also the site with the largest freshwater aquarium in Bulgaria with fish from Danube and its tributaries.
3. Museum of Urban Lifestyle
The building, which houses the exhibitions of the Museum of Urban Lifestyle, was built in the 60’s of the 19th century. It has housed the Consulate of Prussia. After the Liberation (1878) the house became a property of the rich trader from Rousse Stefan Kamburov – a notable citizen, a participant of the committee for the approval of the Bulgarian Exarchate in Constantinople (1870).
4. National Museum of Transport
National Transport Museum is located in Ruse, on the Danube River, and is the only of its kind in the country. It situated in the building of the first railway station in the country, built in 1866, designed by brothers Barkley.
The exhibition is in two parts in the station building and outdoor – several steam locomotives, various models wagons here keep personal coach of King Ferdinand I, wagon, which the Turkish sultan undertaken any tours and many interesting exhibits.
5. House – museum “Baba Tonka”
Museum “Baba Tonka” is a key to understanding exposure and presentation of the Bulgarian National Revival and the role of Rousse in the process of national maturation. Its realization presents the contribution of Obretenovs and Baba Tonka in the tasks of the Renaissance – a movement for an independent church, education and revolutionary struggle.
In its original form it was opened on the initiative of the Regional Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party in Rousse on June 2, 1958 in honor of the VII Congress of the Communist Party in the house of Nicolas Obretenov.
Architecture of Ruse
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry was built in 1911 by Architect Nikola Lazarov. Today the building is a home of Lyuben Karavelov Regional Library.
Canetti’s House, connected with the life of Ruse-born Elias Canetti – a Nobel prize winner in literature. In the beginning of 20th century his grandfather’s shop was located in the house, also described in his book “The Tongue Set Free”
The building of the Old music school was constructed in 1900-1901 for the needs of a protestant school, a boarding school, a kindergarten and an orphanage. The architect’s name is Udo Ribau.
Battenberg Palace was built in 1879-1882 under the project of the Viennese architect Friedrich Grünanger. According to the plan it should have been a palace of Knyaz Battenberg but it never happened. Today the building hosts a Historical museum.