June 19 -- Ruse, Bulgaria

Ruse, Bulgaria

The city of Ruse, Bulgaria is situated on the highest right bank of the Danube river, at a distance of 320 km from Sofia, 200 km from Varna and about 300 km from Plovdiv. The population of the city is about 180 000 people. This is one of the largest cities in the country – an important cultural, commercial and industrial center.
The close proximity of the river Danube had always had a great significance for the development of the city from antiquity to the present day. The Roman military camp and fortress were established here in the 1st century AD. It had the name of Seksaginta Pristis –Port of the Sixty Boats. Since the 16th century the city had been known under its Ottoman name - Ruschuk. During the Ottoman dominion, Ruse was one of the main cities of the Ottoman Empire, which reflected on its economical and cultural development. The Regional Historical Museum. More than 130 000 monuments of culture are stored in it. Among them is the Borovsko Thracian Treasure – a set of up to five silver ritual vessels dating back to the 4th century BC.
Another interesting landmark is the Museum of the City Style of Life, also called The Kaliopa House. Its exposition represents the interior of a rich Ruse home from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, and the beautiful wall-paintings on the second floor were made by the Austrian painter Charles Schausberg.
The museum house of Zahari Stoyanov is situated in close proximity to the Museum of the City Style of Life. Two expositions are presented inside it – the first one is dedicated to the revolutionary and writer Zahari Stoyanov (1850 – 1889), and the second one traces the history of Obretenov family from Ruse and their activity for the national movement for liberation of Ottoman dominion.
The mortal remains of Zahari Stoyanov, as well as those of many other renowned Bulgarians, are stored in the Pantheon of the Leaders of the Bulgarian National Revival in Ruse. Tribute is paid to more than 450 leaders of the Bulgarian National Revival in the ossuary temple.

One of Bulgaria's most elegant cities, Ruse (roo-seh), sometimes written 'Rousse', has more than a touch of mitteleuropa grandness not seen elsewhere in the country. It's a city of imposing belle époque architecture and neatly trimmed leafy squares, as if a little chunk of Vienna had broken off and floated down the Danube. Its past is abundantly displayed in several museums and in its ruined Roman fortress, standing guard high over the Danube.
The heart of Ruse is the grand pl Svoboda, dominated by the huge Monument to Freedom. Some 18 streets radiate out from the square, which is bisected by Ruse’s main pedestrian street, ul Aleksandrovska. To the west lies the broad Danube. The train station and neighbouring Yug bus station are around 2.5km south of the city centre.

Ruse is also a base for visiting the nearby rock monasteries and other attractions at Rusenski Lom Nature Park.

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