Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Cultural Corridor Eastern Trans-Balkan Road / Eastern Trans-Balkan Road

Ruse, historic town

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Ruse, historic town

About the site

Corridor: Danube Road, Eastern Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Bulgaria, Ruse
Type: Historic Town
Epoch: 20th Century, Modern Times
World Heritage:
20th CenturyModern TimesHistoric Town

Ruse is an ancient Bulgarian city and a major port on the Danube River. People settled there in ancient times since the river provided a living. As seen on the prehistoric settlement hill, the people in that earliest period lived in a place with clearly distinguished residential and public buildings, streets and neighbourhoods. Clay idols worshiped as guardians of life that have been found during excavations are now kept in the museum.
The castle and the fleet station called Sexsaginta Prista were built under the Roman Emperor Vespasian (69 - 79 AD)
The castle was on the main road from where Belgrade is today to the delta of the Danube River. As the milestones that were once at the exits of Sexsaginta Prista indicate, that was the starting point of roads to the towns of
Written sources show three versions of the name of the castle: Sexsaginta Prista, Sexsanta Prista or just Prista. The root of the first part of the name is the Latin numeral sexsaginta, which translates as “sixty”. The second part comes from Greek (prista, pristis) and means a kind of an ancient speedy battle ship with oars. It is supposed that there were 60 berths in Prista, hence the name of the castle: the port town for sixty ships.
The town of Ruse is a standard for European architecture in Bulgaria being work of scores of architects, engineers, technicians and builders. In the city work many an artist which, in a brilliant way, create the townscape. Their work is a sample of the Neo-Classicism and the Secession, typical for Western Europe in the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The Viennese school and the Modern influence strongly the Ruse architecture with its ornaments: spirals, rosettes, flora and fauna motifs. Some of the significant landmarks of Ruse are the building of the Historical Museum (initially built for a Palace in 1882-1892), the Male High School building, the house of the factory-owner Andrea Turillo, the Library. However, it’s beyond any doubt that the most emblematic building of Ruse is the Profitable Building which is the first theatre building in Bulgaria. Finished in 1902, its imposing facade with the tranquil rhythm of the arcades and its sculptural decoration, create the unique European ambiance of the city centre.

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