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Rousse

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Rousse (Bulgarian: Русе) [1] is a city on the south bank of the Danube river, in Central Northern Bulgaria.

Understand

Present-day Rousse is the fifth largest Bulgarian city and is an important economic, financial and cultural hub.

Get in

Rousse is located on the South bank of the Danube, across from the Romanian city of Giurgiu. By road, the city is about 200 km from Varna and 300 km from Sofia. From Romania, a bridge connects Ruse to Giurgiu, serving as the westernmost land connection between the two countries (although ferries operate between other cities, and a new bridge is under construction at Vidin). If you intend to cross the border from Giurgiu, an 6 € (~12 Bulgarian Leva, ~24 Romanian Lei) crossing tax applies each way.

The closest international airport is 75 km north, in Bucharest, in neighboring Romania - a shuttle bus connects the airport to the city once a day. Alternative airports are Sofia and Varna.

The city is well served by railroads, with multiple connections to Sofia and Varna, but also to Bucharest (2x daily, but note that the train is rather expensive - 25 €, and very slow, taking about 3 hours for the journey), Budapest, Kyiv, Moscow, Athens and Istanbul. The train station is at the southern end of Borisova Avenue, south of the city centre.

Buses also link Rousse to the rest of Bulgaria (different frequencies daily), places in Greece (daily) and to Giurgiu (twice daily) and Bucharest (twice daily). The bus station is located next to the train station.

Danube cruises generally stop at Rousse harbour.

It is also possible to cross the border without paying the tax by walking the crossing. The border patrol will check passports and ID on both sides and it takes approx. 15 minutes to walk. However, the bridge itself is far from both the town of Rousse and Giurgiu and this can either require a taxi or hitching.

Get around

See

  • National Transport Museum. The Rousse Regional Historical Museum is one of the 11 regional museums of Bulgaria. It acts within the Rousse, Razgrad, and Silistra regions. The museum occuipies the building of the former Battenberg Palace, previously a local court, built 1879–1882 by Friedrich Grünanger. The Rousse Regional Historical Museum was established in 1904. Its basis are the archeological collections of Karel and Hermenguild Shkorpil, as well as of the naturalist Vasil Kovachev, which were gathered in the "Knyaz Boris" men's high school of Rousse. The museum holds approximately 140,000 items, including: * prehistoric pottery and idol plastic arts * the Borovo treasure of the 4th century BC (a ritual wine set, gold-plated silver) * the finds of excavations of the antique Danube castles Yatrus and Sexaginta Prista, and of the medieval Bulgarian city Cherven * a collection of medieval frescoes * a collection of exhibits of traditional lifestyle * a collection of urban clothing, china, glass, and silver from the end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th century * personal belongings of notable figures from the struggle for national liberation * a numismatic collection * a collection of bones from prehistoric mammals, including a unique lower jaw of a Mammuthus rumanus[1] * a bronze helmet from 4th–3rd century BC, suggestedly belonging to one of the soldiers of Alexander the Great. The helmet was contributed in August 2006 by the Bobokovi brothers, major shareholders of the Prista Oil company. The time and place where the helmet was found was not publicly revealed.[2] The museum features seven full-time exhibitions, three of them being open-air: * the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo * the Medieval city of Cherven * the Roman castle of Sexaginta Prista
  • Rousse Regional Historical Museum. The Rousse Regional Historical Museum is one of the 11 regional museums of Bulgaria. It acts within the Rousse, Razgrad, and Silistra regions. The museum occuipies the building of the former Battenberg Palace, previously a local court, built 1879–1882 by Friedrich Grünanger. The Rousse Regional Historical Museum was established in 1904. Its basis are the archeological collections of Karel and Hermenguild Shkorpil, as well as of the naturalist Vasil Kovachev, which were gathered in the "Knyaz Boris" men's high school of Rousse. The museum holds approximately 140,000 items, including: * prehistoric pottery and idol plastic arts * the Borovo treasure of the 4th century BC (a ritual wine set, gold-plated silver) * the finds of excavations of the antique Danube castles Yatrus and Sexaginta Prista, and of the medieval Bulgarian city Cherven * a collection of medieval frescoes * a collection of exhibits of traditional lifestyle * a collection of urban clothing, china, glass, and silver from the end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th century * personal belongings of notable figures from the struggle for national liberation * a numismatic collection * a collection of bones from prehistoric mammals, including a unique lower jaw of a Mammuthus rumanus[1] * a bronze helmet from 4th–3rd century BC, suggestedly belonging to one of the soldiers of Alexander the Great. The helmet was contributed in August 2006 by the Bobokovi brothers, major shareholders of the Prista Oil company. The time and place where the helmet was found was not publicly revealed.[2] The museum features seven full-time exhibitions, three of them being open-air: * the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo * the Medieval city of Cherven * the Roman castle of Sexaginta Prista
  • Pantheon of National Revival Heroes. The Pantheon of National Revival Heroes (Bulgarian: Пантеон на възрожденците) is a Bulgarian national monument and an ossuary, located in the city of Rousse. 39 famous Bulgarians are buried in it, including Lyuben Karavelov, Zahari Stoyanov, Stefan Karadzha, Panayot Hitov, Tonka Obretenova, Nikola Obretenov, Panayot Volov, Angel Kanchev, etc.; 453 more people—participants in Botev's detachment, the Chervena Voda detachment, in the April uprising, and other revolutionaries have been honoured by writing their names in the interior. An eternal fire burns in the middle under the gold-plated dome. The Pantheon is one of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria. In order to build the Pantheon in 1977, the "All Saints" church in the old Rousse cemetery was demolished. The new building was open for visitors on 28 February 1978. After a public discussion in 2001, the Patheon was "Christianised" by placing a cross on top of its dome. The "St Paisius of Hilendar" chapel, as well as a museum exposition, were founded then.
  • Kaliopa House, 39 Tzar Ferdinand St.. The Kaliopa House (Bulgarian: Къщата на Калиопа), a popular name for the Bulgarian "Urban lifestyle of Rousse" museum (Bulgarian: Къща-музей „Градския бит на Русе“), was built in 1864. According to a legend, the house was bestowed upon the beautiful Kaliopa (born Maria Kalish), the wife of the Prussian consul Kalish, by the governor of the Danubian Vilayet, Midhat Pasha, who was in love with her. The facade's design resembles the style of houses in Plovdiv. The frescoes at the upper floor were crafted in 1896. The exposition represents the role of Rousse as a gateway towards Europe, and the influx of European urban culture into Bulgaria at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Sample interior layouts are shown, of a drawing-room, a living-room, a music hall and a bedroom, with furniture from Vienna, as well as collections of urban clothing, of jewelry and other accessories, of silverware (cutlery) and china, which mark the changes present in the daily life of Rousse citizens. The first grand piano, imported into Bulgaria from Vienna, can be seen here.

Do

Buy

Eat

Drink

  • PublixCafe, Dondukov-Korsakov 19 Str., [2]. Well known cafe in Ruse. Starbucks style drinks served.

Sleep

  • The English guest house, 34 Rayko Daskalov street (refer to http://www.the-english-guest-house.com/directionsmap.htm for directions), 00359-828-75577 from outside Bulgaria, 0828-75577 from within Bulgaria (), [3]. From 35 Leva for a single person per night with shared bathroom up to 80 Leva for 5 people sharing one room per night.

Get out

  • The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo (Bulgarian: Ивановски скални църкви, Ivanovski skalni tsarkvi) are a group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries hewn out of solid rock and completely different from other monastery complexes in Bulgaria, located near the village of Ivanovo, 20 km south of Rousse, on the high rocky banks of the Rusenski Lom, 32 m above the river. The complex is noted for its beautiful and well-preserved medieval frescoes.

Ivanovo rocks near the church complex

The caves in the region had been inhabited by monks from the 1220s, when it was founded by the future Patriarch of Bulgaria Joachim, to the 17th century, where they hewed cells, churches and chapels out of solid rock. At the peak of the monastery complex, the number of churches was about 40, while the other premises were around 300, most of which are not preserved today.

Second Bulgarian Empire rulers such as Ivan Alexander and Ivan Asen II frequently made donations to the complex, as evidenced by donor portraits in some of the churches. Other patrons included nobles from the capital Tarnovo and nearest big medieval town Cherven, with which the monastery complex had strong ties in the 13-th and 14-th century. It was a centre of hesychasm in the Bulgarian lands in the 14th century and continued to exist in the early centuries of the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria, but gradually decayed.

The monastery complex owes much of its fame to 13th- and 14th-century frescoes, preserved in 5 of the churches, which are thought of as wonderful examples of Bulgarian mediaeval art. The rock premises used by the monks include the St Archangel Michael Chapel ("The Buried Church"), the Baptistery, the Gospodev Dol Chapel, the St Theodore Church ("The Demolished Church") and the main Church, with the 14th-century murals in the latter one being arguably the most famous of all in Ivanovo and noted as some of the most representative examples of Palaeologan art. Many century-old inscriptions have also been preserved in the monastical premises, including the famous indented inscription of the monk Ivo Gramatik from 1308–1309.

The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.



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