The city of Rousse (also spelled Ruse) in Bulgaria dates back to Roman times. It has been an important port city on the Danube River for centuries. While relaxing in your discount hotel in Rousse, read Elias Canetti’s autobiographical Tongue Set Free, and you will find the statement, "Everything I experienced later in life, had already happened in Ruse." Rousse has many beautiful 19th century buildings and Art Noveau villas. It owes much of its charm to Midhat Pasha, a Turkish administrator who was governor here in the 1860's. He transformed it from a garrison town into a modern European city.
You can easily tour the city center, which has most of the interesting attractions. In the center is the Ploshtad Svoboda (Liberation Square), which is the site of the 1909 Liberation Monument. Here you can also see the Drama Theater, with its landmark figure of Mercury on the roof. The 18th century Church of Sveta Troitsa is an unusual blend of Baroque and Muscovite styles. Its nave is 13 feet below street level because churches could not be taller than mosques. The Regional History Museum is housed in the former palace of Aleksandar Batenberg. The Sexaginta Prista was once a Roman naval base, and traces of ancient fortifications can still be seen.
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