Ruse has a rich and millennial history. It was set up in the 1st century B.C. as a Roman military fort and port under the name of “Sexsaginta Prista” (“Port of sixty ships”).
In the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, due to the wide range of economic and spiritual contacts with the countries along the Danube, Ruse turned into the biggest and most beautiful city in Bulgaria, with a distinct European aspect and traditions. A number of stylish Secession style buildings with unique interior and exterior decoration were erected – designed and built by Italian, Austrian, German and Bulgarian architects. Here the first railroad from Ruse to Varna was built.
The architectural aspect of Ruse is of greatest importance to the cultural tourism. There you can find the “National museum of transport and communications”, the Regional museum of history – Ruse, comprised of eight expositions, some of which being the Pantheon, etc., the museum in the town of Byala.
In addition to the rich cultural and historical heritage of the city of Ruse, there are two historical areas in its vicinity – Architectural Reserve “Rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo” (inscribed in the world heritage list of UNESCO) and “Medieval town of Cherven” (a national monument). The road to them passes by the “Basarbovo rock monastery” in the village of Basarbovo, which is connected with the complex in the village of Ivanovo. The incontestable qualities of the murals found in the rock churches make the historians believe that this was one of the biggest cultural and spiritual centres during the Second Bulgarian kingdom. The Medieval town of Cherven, located some 14 km from the Rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo, is the largest authentically preserved fortress from the time of the Second Bulgarian kingdom.