RUSE: A CITY TO LOVE

by Bozhidara Georgieva; photography by Anthony Georgieff

Ruse has everything to impress: appearance, history, spirit

ruse.jpg

When we talk about Bulgarian cities that stick in the mind, Ruse is inevitably among the first to pop up. This is well deserved. Bulgaria's biggest city on the Danube offers something you won't find anywhere else in this country. Located on the steep river bank, Ruse interweaves a network of elegant streets and squares, embracing buildings with the fine architecture typical for the transition between the 19th and the 20th centuries. The spirit of Central Europe is strong and recognisable in the elegant facades decorated with fine ornaments, beautiful caryatids, strong male sculptures. This unique atmosphere is combined with the leisurely pace of life in a city that hurries for nowhere, with the slow current of the Danube, with old stories and new events.

One can say that Ruse was born twice. Its beginning as a small fortification was in the 2nd century BC; under the Romans it swelled to become the strong Sexaginta Prista fortress. After the 6th century AD the fortress diminished in its turn as most of its inhabitants moved nearby inland, seeking security from invasion in the Cherven fortress. After the Ottoman invasion the reverse process slowly began. People started to creep back to the Danube bank lured by the comfortable river communications with the outside world with all the advantages that come with this. In the 18th century Ruse was already an important centre.

In the following century, however, the city had a historical good luck which, even today, defines its spirit and appearance. During the Crimean War, via the Danube from the West began to arrive not only troops, but also European innovations like classical music, theatre, newspapers and many more. Ruse was one of the centres where the influence of new culture over Bulgarian society was the strongest. It became even stronger due to the ambition of the reformist Ottoman governor Midhat Pasha who introduced in the city and the region a number of novelties, like water supply. By the date of Liberation in 1878 Ruse was already an important trade, culture and industrial centre.

This bloom continued in the following decades. Industry developed, the connections with Central Europe became stronger and on the city streets appeared its famed buildings in styles like Secession, neo-Baroque, Classicism.

Thankfully, Ruse doesn't look like a museum stuck in its past glory. It remains a living and interesting city with its own life, culture events, entertainment and business opportunities.

The care-free walk by the elegant facades from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century is only a part of the Ruse experience. The remains of the ancient Sexaginta Prista can still be visited, and the local Regional Museum of History is among the best in this country. On the bank of the Danube awaits Bulgaria's only museum of transport and communications, which has preserved interesting machines and even more interesting stories. Built in the 17th century, the atmospheric St Trinity Church is among the oldest buildings in the city. The 204-metre Ruse TV Tower is the highest in Bulgaria. The Pantheon of the Bulgarian Revival Period Activists and the Statue of Liberty are two places that should not be missed, too.

The city's environs also offer a lot. The Ivanovo rock churches are a picturesque combination of mediaeval frescoes and impressive nature, and are a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. The Cherven fortress still rises over the Cherni Lom river, a monument to the centuries when Ruse was far cry from what it is today.

  • COMMENTING RULES

    Commenting on www.vagabond.bg

    Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on www.vagabond.bg to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use www.vagabond.bg for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on www.vagabond.bg please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on www.vagabond.bg.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

JOIN TopMobility, THE FIRST SHARED E-BIKE SERVICE IN VARNA
The e-bikes will be located at many spots throughout Varna, easing access to anyone eager to use the service.Download TopMobility's app to use up to 5 minutes free every day.

CELEBRATE LOVE IN BULGARIA: TOP ROMANTIC SPOTS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY
And since visiting romantic spots in Europe like Rome or Paris can be costly around the 14th of February, you can have a look at Bulgaria.

ON A HUNT IN BULGARIA
Hunting provokes the most profound instincts embedded in our human nature. Today, people hunt not to survive, but for sport, to test their skills and to maintain populations of game and wildfowl in numbers that do not affect people's life and work.
ON A LUXURY HOLIDAY IN BULGARIA
Modern luxury is all about subtle comfort, elegant aesthetics and the feeling that all of our needs have been met and catered for even before we have realised their existence.

THE GIFTS OF THE NEW YEAR
When the year is still young, we have many reasons to give presents – from the name days in January that are celebrated by thousands of Bulgarians to St Valentine's Day. But do we really need a special occasion to make a gift? Of course not.
THE LAND OF HEALTH
Mineral waters are among Bulgaria's greatest natural resources. In the country have been registered 225 hot and cold springs with diverse chemical content beneficial for the treatment of cardiovascular, lung, joint, gastro-intestinal and other diseases.

TSAR SIMEON II AND TSARINA MARGARITA OPEN BEY HOUSE HOTEL IN BULGARIA
Bey House Hotel, Restaurant, Garden & Turkish Bath announced that His Majesty Tsar Simeon II of the Bulgarians and Her Majesty Tsarina Margarita, arrived at the Bey

TO CATCH A MOMENT
Few things can be such an intense and rich experience as hunting.
5-STAR BULGARIA
Higher quality: one of the effects of the pandemic, which is now ending, was the change in our attitudes when choosing where to spend our vacation.
FACE TO FACE WITH NATURE
Bulgaria is one of the European countries where hunting and hunting and photo safari tourism are a true pleasure. The country's diverse geography offers a variety of landscapes and habitats where numerous animals roam.
LET'S GO ON A LUXURY HOLIDAY!
When we crave to let ourselves in exclusive pleasures. When we seek a place of quiet seclusion among nature. When we want to indulge in exquisite spa experiences and amazing cuisine... we do not book airline tickets for some exotic destination anymore.
THE CALL OF THE WILD
Let's go back to nature! This is the motto of the modern urbanite in 2021, when the time for planning the summer vacation arrives.