|Nickname(s): Little Vienna
Малката Виена (Bulgarian)
Malkata Viena (transliteration)
|• Mayor||Plamen Stoilov|
|• Total||127.124 km2 (49.083 sq mi)|
|Elevation||45 m (148 ft)|
|Population (Census February 2014)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||+359 82|
Ruse (also transliterated as Rousse or Russe; Bulgarian: Русе, pronounced [ˈrusɛ]), and historically also known as Rustchuk, is the fifth largest city in Bulgaria. Ruse is located in the northeastern part of the country, on the right bank of the Danube, opposite the Romanian city of Giurgiu, approximately 75 km (47 mi) south of Bucharest, 200 km (124 mi) from the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and 300 km (186 mi) from the capital Sofia. It is the most significant Bulgarian river port, serving an important part of the international trade of the country.
Ruse is known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, which attracts many tourists. It is often called the Little Vienna. The Ruse-Giurgiu Friendship Bridge, until 14 June 2013 the only one in the shared Bulgarian-Romanian section of the Danube, crosses the river here.
The legend for the city claims, that the name Ruse comes from the name of a female founder of the city, whose name was Rusa, meaning "blond hair". In the 13th and 14th centuries, during the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire, a fortified settlement called Rusi, first mentioned in 1380, emerged near the ruins of the earlier Roman town. Scholars suggest that the city on the river bank derived its present name from the Cherven fortress, meaning red, through the root rous, which is present in many Slavic languages.
Ruse is located on the right bank of the Danube, which is the high bank, having two underwater terraces and three river terraces at 15 to 22 m (49.21–72.18 ft), 30 to 66 m (98.43–216.54 ft), and 54 to 65 m (177.17–213.25 ft). The average altitude is 45.5 m (149.28 ft) AMSL. The urban area is an approximately 11-km ellipse running along the river. The city extends from the land-connected Matey (Матей) island and the mouth of Rusenski Lom on the west to Srabcheto (Сръбчето) hill on the east. During the 20th century, the west end of the city was significantly modified by moving the mouth of Rusenski Lom to the west, as well as by moving the bank itself with its fairway considerably to the north. Sarabair (саръбаир) hill is to the south of the city and is 159 m (521.65 ft) high. The Rousse TV Tower is built there on the remains of Leventtabia, a former Turkish fortification.
Ruse has a continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with very hot summers and relatively cold winters. Owing to its position on the Danubian Plain, the city's winters can get windy. Winter temperatures often dip below 0 °C (32 °F), sometimes even to −20 °C (−4 °F). In summer, the average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F). Temperatures frequently reach 35 to 40 °C (95 to 104 °F) in mid-summer in the city centre and stay as low as 18 to 20 °C (64 to 68 °F) during the nights. During spring and autumn, daytime temperatures vary between 17 to 22 °C (63 to 72 °F), and precipitation during this time tends to be higher than in summer, with more frequent yet milder periods of rain. The highest temperature ever recorded was 44.0 C and the lowest was -22.8 C.
|Climate data for Ruse (1954-2011)|
|Average high °C (°F)||3.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.4
|Precipitation mm (inches)||47.6
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||80.6||117.6||173.6||207.0||285.2||306.0||328.6||306.9||207.0||173.6||105.0||71.3||2,362.4|
The city emerged as a Neolithic settlement from the 3rd to 2nd millennium BCE, when pottery, fishing, agriculture, and hunting developed. Excavations reveal several layers, suggesting that the place was attacked by neighbouring tribes and suffered a number of natural disasters. Ancient sanctuaries were found nearby, where idols of a pregnant woman, a fertility goddess, were prevalent.
The later Thracian settlement developed into a Roman military and naval centre during the reign of Vespasian (69-70 CE) as part of the fortification system along the northern boundary of Moesia. Its name, Sexaginta Prista, suggests a meaning of "a city of 60 ships" (from Latin: sexaginta — "60" and Greek: pristis — a special type of guard ship), based on the supposed 60 nearby berths.
The fortress was located on the main road between Singidunum (modern Belgrade) and the Danube Delta and was destroyed in the 6th century by Avar and Slavic raids. Hungarian historian Felix Philipp Kanitz was the first to identify Sexaginta Prista with Ruse, but the Škorpil brothers demonstrated the link later through studying inscriptions, coins, graves, and objects of daily life. An inscription from the reign of Diocletian proves that the city was rebuilt as a praesidium (a large fortification) after it was destroyed by the Goths in 250 CE.
During Ottoman rule, the invaders destroyed the town, reacting to a 1595 unsuccessful liberation attempt by a joint Vlach-Bulgarian army, led by Michael the Brave. After its rebuilding in the following years, Ruse was dubbed Rusçuk (Turkish for "little Ruse") and had again expanded into a large fortress by the 18th century. It later grew into one of the most important Ottoman towns on the Danube and an administrative centre of Tuna Vilayet, which extended from Varna and Tulcea to Sofia and Niš.
The "Dunav" newspaper appeared – it was the first printed in Bulgaria and ... in Bulgarian. Some Bulgarian schools were founded. The streets are renamed and numbered for the first time in Bulgarian lands. A post-office, hospital, home for the aged were founded. Three empires met here for trading: Austro-Hungary, Russia, British Empire, France and Italy opened consulates in Ruschuk. Imperceptibly, the modern city arose from the shades of the settlement. In 1865 the Obraztsov Chiflik was founded on the place where the English Consul's farm was and it was the first modern farm on the territory of the whole Ottoman Empire of that time.
After it became part of modern Bulgaria on 20 February 1878, Ruse was one of the key cultural and economic centres of the country. Intensive building during the period changed the city's architectural appearance to a typical Central European one. Ruse is famous for the many first innovations in Bulgaria, including:
In the newly liberated Bulgaria of the late 19th century, Ruse was a cosmopolitan city with a multiethnic population. According to the first census conducted in 1883, ethnic Bulgarians made up 43% of the population, Turks 39% and Jews 7%.
"All façades on main streets of Russe shall have rich decorations with plastic stone", postulate the Regulations for Constructions of Private Buildings of 1893, issued by the Municipality of Russe.
After knyaz Alexander Battenberg's 1886 abdication, and as a reaction to the regentship's course led by prime minister Stefan Stambolov, a group of Russophile (pro-Russian) military officers revolted in Ruse. The riot was violently crushed, and 13 of the leaders were quickly sentenced to death and executed near the city, which caused a lot of public discontent. Decades later, in 1934, local citizens raised funds and built a monument at the place where the Russophile officers were executed. The monument was blown up in 1940, but rebuilt in 1966 at approximately the same spot.
Between World War I and II, after Southern Dobruja was lost to Romania, the economic significance of the city decreased. So did the population, Ruse was no longer the second-largest city in Bulgaria (after former East Rumelian capital Plovdiv), being quickly surpassed by Sofia and Varna. All foreign consulates were closed, except for the Russian one, which has remained functional since. Only for the period between 1919-1920 the capital loss is estimated of around 40 million leva.
The return of Southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria in September 1940 fostered good conditions for restoration of the city's leading role. It became a provincial centre, and economic activity revived. Typical for the post-war architecture of the city was the wide usage of iron, concrete and glass as construction materials. Examples are the River port - 1931, the Freight station - 1935, Market Hall - 1939 and the Court house - 1940.
The construction of the Ruse-Giurgiu bridge in 1954 and the fast industrialization gave a new push to development. Ruse emerged again as an important economic, transport, cultural, and educational hub. Engineering, chemical, and light industries expanded; a large harbor was built; and the city became a university centre. At the 1985 census, a population of more than 186,000 was reported.
In the early 1980s, Ruse entered a dark period of its history. The Verachim factory was built in Giurgiu, which polluted the air between 1980 and 1987, impacting the city's development. Population decreased, and 15,000 people moved out between 1985 and 1992. Fortunately, in 1987, the Romanian factory ceased the pollution, under pressure from environmental organizations on both Bulgarian and Romanian communist leadership. Organizations, such as Ekoglasnost, provoked the first nationwide demonstrations and strongly influenced the change to democracy.
Like other post-socialist regimes in eastern Europe, Bulgaria found the transition to capitalism rather painful and not easy as expected. State-owned enterprises lost their former markets and could not adapt to the now free-market competition. This led to a massive unemployment in the city and emigration waves in 90s. Since 2000, Ruse has been continually regaining its former leading status. The urban economics was positively influenced by the 2007's accession of Bulgaria and Romania in the European Union, which allowed deeper cross-border cooperation. The flow of investments through EU funds restarted long-ago suspended projects which finally got completed.
After decades of construction the new corpus of the University of Ruse was inaugurated in 2010.
In 2011 city's centre was renovated through an EU project, worth 10 million leva. Included in the project, a Dry Deck Fountain was introduced in an urban environment for the first time in Bulgaria. The exterior of the Rousse State Opera was also reconditioned.
A Water treatment facility, an investment worth 57 million Euro, is now functional.
In 2012 the Rousse Regional Historical Museum completed a project, which allowed the rehabilitation and display of the remains of the Roman city Sexaginta Prista.
Ignat Kaneff, a Bulgarian-born Canadian business magnate endowed about half of the total amount necessary, for the construction of a modern conference complex named after him, the Kaneff Centre, at the University of Ruse. It was officially opened on the 10th October 2013.
A landmark event for the city was the opening of the new Museum of Natural History in 2014.
A safer and more efficient navigation in the inland waterways was accomplished with a new structure - the river information system BulRIS. A modern oncology centre is now operating.
Dohodno zdanie, an imposing Neoclassical edifice in the city centre convincingly won the National competition "Emblematic building of the year" in 2014. Ruse was also a host city of the first of its kind in Bulgaria - an International Ice Figures Festival.
On-going projects are the re-cultivation of the old landfill, worth 22,5 million leva and the reconstruction of the roundabout, worth 30 million leva. The objective is to facilitate the access of the urban public transport by improving the characteristics of the boulevard and the organisation of movement.
Ruse will be the first city in the country with a developed integrated bicycle network plan.
A new sports hall is being built.
Ruse is the fifth largest city in Bulgaria by population. It was the most populated city of Bulgaria in 1880 with 26,163 people. The number of the residents of the city (not the municipality) reached its peak around 1990, numbering almost 186 000. According to the 2011 census, the district of Ruse was inhabited by 201,966 people within the city limits, while the Ruse Municipality along with the legally affiliated adjacent villages had 167,585 inhabitants.
|Population*||26 163||27 194||36 255||41 447||57 509||83 453||128 888||159 578||183 746||170 038||161 453||157 540||156 761||149 642||148 350||147 817||147 001|
|Permanent address||190 798||177 104||175 374||173 205||170 639||170 043||168 954|
|Current address||179 666||170 208||168 116||165 208||161 480||161 097||160 352|
|Migration in and out of the city|
According to the first census in 1883, the ethnic composition was as follows:
The average number of employees under labour contract in 2013 is 70 612 people, while the average annual salary - 3 880 euro, 60% higher compared to the 2007's statistics. The employment rate for people from the age of 15 to 64 is 57.7%, whereas the unemployment is 12.5%. The relative share of the population aged between 25 and 64 years with higher education is 23.6%, 3% higher than in 2007. The relative share of the population aged between 25 and 64 years with secondary education is 57.5%, 3.2% higher than in 2007. 147 300 is the number of nights spent by tourists in 2013. The total number of enterprises is 10 830.
|Share of enterprises by structure from the total number of enterprises|
|Share of enterprises with up to 9 persons employed||88.8 %||90.0 %||90.1 %||90.9 %||90.8 %||91.0 %||91.2 %|
|Share of enterprises with 10-49 persons employed||8.7 %||7.9 %||7.7 %||7.2 %||7.3 %||7.2 %||7.0 %|
|Share of enterprises with 50-249 persons employed||2.1 %||1.9 %||1.8 %||1.6 %||1.7 %||1.6 %||1.6 %|
|Share of enterprises with more than 249 persons employed||0.3 %||0.3 %||0.3 %||0.3 %||0.3 %||0.2 %||0.2 %|
Foreign direct investment in non-financial enterprises for 2013 is 372 000 euro. The total economic output, manufactured in the city is assessed at about 1.84 million euro, while the revenue increases with 916 000 euro compared to 2007 - to 3.1 million euro for 2013.
Ruse is a large industrial centre. It has a duty-free zone and 2 industrial zones: East and West. Ruse Iztok Power Plant has an energy producing capacity of 400 MW and the Ruse West Power Plant has 41 MW. There are a logistics park and a business park in the city.
The city's economy is dominated by light industry — tailoring, textiles and food processing. Big manufactures are Fazan (the first factory for socks in Bulgaria), Fenix 94 (socks), Ariston S (women's fashion), Danini (lady's fashion), Top Man (men's fashion), Karina (lady's fashion) and Sirma Prista (dairy products). The petroleum industry and the chemical industry are represented by companies, producing paints and motor oils - Orgachim, Prista Oil, Lubrica, Megachim, EKON 91, Ninachim and Polysan.
The machinery industry and ships construction are well developed. Also, one of the world's leading companies in yacht design Vripack has an architecture and engineering studio in Ruse. Big metal-working companies are Zhiti — a leading producer of low-carbon steel wires, nails, fasteners, chain-link nettings, barbed wires; Precis Inter Holding produces electro-welded steel and aluminum tubes and profile; At Sparky welded parts, road construction machines, transportation and agricultural machines are being designed, engineered and built; Express Service LTD is the only locomotive producer in Bulgaria; Witte Automotive is a big producer of mechanical and mechatronic latches / locks for doors and hoods, hinges or door check arms, door handle modules and safety products for car seats. Keros is a major producer of ceramic floor wall tiles and porcelain tiles. Steiner Elektronik Technologie is specialized in the production of single-sided, double-sided and multi-layer PCBs; Naiden Kirov JSC manufactures low-voltage electrotechnical accessories for households. Dunarit is a big manufacturer of military and engineering products, founded in 1903. The main production of Zita is devices and appliances for control of temperature and passing of different fluids designed for automatics, pneumatics, hydraulics and everyday life technology. Woodworking and furniture production is represented by Ergodesign, Apex, Stefany Style, Gold Apolo and IRIM.
There are 65 hotels and 1,769 beds in Ruse. The income from accommodations for the fourth quarter of 2011 г. is 1,661,294 lv. .
The first private museum in Bulgaria will soon be opened in the Old High School of Music.
Ruse is a major road and railway hub in Northern Bulgaria. Railway transportation in the city dates back to 1867 when it became a station of first railway line in Bulgaria Ruse - Varna. There are railways to Southern Bulgaria, Sofia, Varna and Bucharest. Ruse has two railway stations for passenger services (Ruse Central and Ruse Razpredelitelna) and two for freight transport services. There are intercity buses that link Ruse with cities and towns all over the country and some European countries. They are based in two bus stations: South and East.
Ruse has an extensive public transport system with around 30 bus and trolleybus lines, including the Ruse trolleybus system. Most of the buses are operated under a concession by the Bulgarian subsidiary of the Israeli transport holding Egged Ruse. There are also several suburban bus lines, operated by various private Bulgarian transport companies.
Approximately 15 kilometres (9 miles) southeast of Ruse is the village of Shtraklevo, near which is the former military Ruse Airport with an international statute but currently closed. Plans exist to redevelop and reopen the airport for internal, charter, and cargo flights. The runway is long enough for Boeing 747s (Jumbo Jets). The Henri Coandă International Airport in Otopeni, Romania is 70 km north of Ruse.
Ruse is the biggest Bulgarian port towns on the bank of the Danube River. After the opening of the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal which covers 3,500 km (2,175 mi) and connects 13 European countries with Asia via the Black Sea, the river becomes the longest inland waterway on the planet. This key position has determined the 19th century-long co-existence of Ruschuk.
Ruse is one of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria. The city is famous for its preserved buildings from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. There are more than 260 monuments. Most of the sights of the city are located at the center of Ruse (museums, architectural landmarks, the theater, the opera, hotels, restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops). Among all the sights the following ones are outstanding:
|Monument of Liberty||The Monument of Liberty was built at the beginning of the 20th century by the Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi. As time went by, it gained significance as one of the city's symbols, and now forms a part of its coat of arms.|
|Dohodno Zdanie ("Sava Ognianov" theater)||Dohodno Zdanie is an imposing Neoclassical edifice in the city centre of Ruse, built in 1898–1902 to accommodate the local theatre performances. Along with the Monument of Liberty it is a symbol of the city.|
|"Aleksandrovska" street||The main street of the city is "Aleksandrovska". It is an architectural ensemble of buildings in Neo-Baroque, Neo-Rococo and other architectural styles.|
|The first private bank "Girdap" (The town's clock)||Girdap was the first privately owned Bulgarian bank. Established in Ruse in 1881, Girdap was among the six largest banks in Bulgaria, and during the wars its financial group was the most influential in the country. Today the main building houses the administration of Ruse's Chamber of Commerce and it's a favorite meeting point.|
|The old city centre of Ruse||The old city centre is the square around the Rousse Historical Museum. The regional library "Lyuben Karavelov" is located on the square. The building is decorated with baroque ornaments- leaves, pearles and rosettes. The former bank of Ivan and Stefan Simeonov is situated at the beginning of "Aleksandrovska" street. The building is in the typical for Ruse, baroque style.|
|The house of Elias Canetti, Nobel Prize laureate in Literature - 1981||The house is located on "Slavianska" street.|
|The house of Andrea Turio||The house of Andrea Turio is the most beautiful house in Ruse. It was completed in 1900. The input materials for the construction were carefully chosen from all over the world. The halls of the house are decorated in Pompeii art style.|
|Insurance company "Bulgaria"||Insurance company "Bulgaria" was the first one in Bulgaria. It was created in 1891. The building is located on the main street "Aleksandrovska" and it was constructed in the neoclassicism architectural style.|
|Old High School of Music||The "Old High School of Music" is an abandoned historic building, built in 1900-1901. The architectural style is eclectic, combining neoclassical and gothic revival elements and Northern European influences. The building is currently being reconstructed to become the first private museum in Bulgaria.|
|The flower vase||The flower vase is located at the city's park. Its height is 3.40 metres and its width is 7 metres.|
|"Saint Trinity" Church||The orthodox church "Saint Trinity" is the oldest building in the city and dates back to 1632. Being constructed during the Ottoman yoke it had to be built underground, so visitors entering the temple now have to go down stairs four and a half meters instead of going up as it is in most churches.|
|Kunt Kapu||Kunt Kapu was the southern gate of the Rousse fortress built in 1820, during the Ottoman Rule of Bulgaria. It is the only thing left from the fortification.|
Other landmarks are:
|Rusenski lom (park)||Nature Park of Rusenski Lom is one of the ten nature parks of Bulgaria. It is situated along the canyon type valley of Rusenski Lom River - the last right feeder of the Danube. The park has been announced as a protected area in 1970 and embraces a territory of 3408 hectares. The park is recognized as an interesting and precious site of high aesthetic value preserving beautiful riverside terraces, meanders, high vertical rocks, areas of rich variety of species, caves, rock formations, historical monuments of national and international significance.|
|Lipnik park||It is situated near the village of Nikolovo, 10 km (6 mi) away from Rusе. The park's size is around 2000 hectares and the main flora consists of linden trees.|
|Orlova Chuka (Eagle rock)||This cave is an archaeological reserve, located 8 km (5 mi) near Dve Mogili. The remains of prehistoric people and a cave bear were found there. The cave is the habitat of more than 10 types of bats, thousands of them living there in the winter. This is the longest cave in North Bulgaria (13 km) and the second cave by length in Bulgaria (has about 15 km (9 mi) of tunnels at 7 levels).|
There is also a subsidiary of the College of Agriculture - Plovdiv in the city.
In 1978, the "All Saints" Church was destroyed and the Pantheon of National Revival Heroes was built thereupon.
|Rousse Historical Museum||The Rousse Regional Historical Museum was established in 1904. It holds approximately 140,000 items, including the Borovo treasure; the finds of excavations of the antique Danube castles Yatrus and Sexaginta Prista, and of the medieval Bulgarian city - Cherven; a collection of urban clothing, china, glass, and silver from the end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th century.|
|Roman fortress "Sexaginta Prista"||Sexaginta Prista is located at the city of Ruse. The name means "the port town of the sixty ships".|
|Museum of Natural History||The museum's collection includes species from the Danube valley. Visitors can see a rich exposition of fossils, prehistoric mammals and dioramas, three-dimensional replicas of nature landscapes. Exhibited in the museum are the biggest freshwater aquarium in Bulgaria and a scale model of Woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius).|
|Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo||The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo are a group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries hewn out of solid rock, located near the village of Ivanovo, 20 km (12 mi) south of Ruse, on the high rocky banks of the park Rusenski Lom. The complex is noted for its beautiful and well-preserved medieval frescoes. The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979.|
|National Transport Museum||The National Transport Museum is situated on the bank of the Danube, in the country's first railway station, built in 1866.|
|"Urban lifestyle of Rousse" museum||The exposition represents the role of Ruse 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 Ruse citizens. The first grand piano, imported into Bulgaria from Vienna, can be seen here.|
|Pantheon of National Revival Heroes||The Pantheon of National Revival Heroes is a national monument and an ossuary, located in the city of Ruse. 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.|
|The stronghold of Cherven||The stronghold of Cherven was one of the Second Bulgarian Empire's primary military, administrative, economic and cultural centres between the 12th and the 14th century. The ruins of the fortress are located near the village of the same name 30 to 35 km (19 to 22 mi) south of Rousse, northeastern Bulgaria.|
|"Zahari Stoyanov" museum||Zahari Stoyanov was a Bulgarian revolutionary, writer, and historian. The museum shows expositions from the Bulgarian Revival period and about the life and struggles of Zahari Stoyanov.|
|„Tonka Obretenova“ museum||Baba Tonka house museum is dedicated to the Bulgarian National Revival and the life path of Tonka Obretenova. The Revolutionary Committee of Rousse was established here in 1872 and later became central for the whole country.|
|Toma Kardzhiev House Museum||The museum is dedicated to the life path of the Bulgarian revolutionary and one of the combatants for the liberation of Bulgaria - Toma Kardzhiev.|
… Ruse’s image as The Little Vienna: a name given to the Bulgarian city for its wonderful architecture.
Rousse's architecture inspires locals to call it the "Little Vienna".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rousse.|