Rousse is the fifth largest city in Bulgaria with a population of around 180 000. On the map Rousse is found in the northern part of Bulgaria, on the southern bank of the Danube at 320 km from Sofia, and is the most significant Bulgarian river port.
The city emerged as a Thracian settlement that developed into the Roman military and naval centre.
Avar and Slavic raids destroyed Rousse in the 6th century. In the 13th-14th century, at the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, the Romans established a fortified settlement that later strengthened its place as an important trade centre until the Ottomans concurred it in 1388.
The Ottoman rulers gave Rousse name Ruschuk and turned it into a large fortress and into important administrative centre.
After the liberation as a result of the wide range of economic and cultural contacts with the countries along the Danube river Rousse grew into the biggest and the most beautiful town in Bulgaria, with a main European appearance and traditions. Many elegant buildings designed by Italian and Austrian architects with remarkable decorations were built in this period. In Rousse was established the first private bank, the first insurance company, the first professional theater. The first movie projection in Bulgaria was here.
Rousse is the birthplace of the world-famous novelist Elias Canetti, winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize for Literature, and of the chess player Veselin Topalov.
Places to visit in Rousse:
Regional Historical Museum. Founded in 1904 it houses around 140 000 exponents including prehistoric ceramics and worship plastics, Thracian silver treasures and other archaeological finds, medieval frescoes, ethnographic exhibits, numismatic collection.
Zahari Stoyanov House-Museum. Several expositions from the Bulgarian Revival about the famous family Obretenovi and their participation in the struggle for national independence as well as about the life and cause of Zahari Stoyanov – the chronicler of the April Uprising.
Situated in the building of the first railway station in Bulgaria you should not miss the National Museum of Transport and Communication. There are some very interesting exhibits like the locomotive of the first train composition in Bulgaria in 1866, the personal saloon-carriage of tsar Ferdinand and those one of sultan Abdul Azis.
Museum “Ruse Style of Life”. Popular as The House of Kaliopa it is a very beautiful building from 1864. The exposition represents the significant role of Rousse as a gate to the European culture and style of life in Bulgaria. Example interiors with furniture and utensils from Vienna, collections of typical town clothes, jewelry and accessories are there for you to see.