Rousse (Russe), Bulgaria Cruise Port
On the right bank of the lovely Danube River lies the cruise port of Rousse (also spelled as Ruse or Russe), Bulgaria. Both historical and lovely, Rousse is right across the river from the city of Giurgiu in Romania and fewer than 50 miles of Bucharest; it's Bulgaria's most important river port, as it help facilitate international trade. Because of its stunning Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, the city has earned the designation as a "Little Vienna" and is popular with travelers. Rousse has its roots in the Neolithic period (from around 10,200 B.C. to 2000 B.C.) as evidenced by archaeological discoveries of buildings and pottery. Later, other settlements were founded by neighboring Europeans, namely the Romans and Ottomans. Rousse became part of modern Bulgaria in 1878, and soon became a vital economic and cultural center within the country. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Rousse, Bulgaria:
A big tourist attraction to people-watch and see the Monument of Liberty is Freedom Square. Surrounded by well-kept gardens, the monument was created by Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi in the early 20th century, and is now seen as the symbol of the city.
Not far from Freedom Square is the oldest church in the city, Sveta Troitsa (Holy Trinity); it was built underground in 1632 during Ottoman rule, which determined that churches need to be unobtrusive. Not only is it atmospheric, but the incredible art covering the walls might make you feel more in a museum than a church.
Rusenski Lom Nature Park, a popular attraction for biological diversity is about half an hour south of the city. The nearby Orlova Chuka is the longest cave in North Bulgaria and has been a national landmark since 1963. It was used by settlers thousands of years ago (along with bears); today, you can walk among its smooth walls and commune with its current residents: Bats.
The Roman fortress known as Sexaginta Prista is a fascinating piece of Bulgaria’s past; the Rousse Historical Museum houses thousands of artefacts uncovered from its walls (along with relics from many other area settlements).