Russian (city)

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Russian (Русе)
Coat of arms of Russian Map of Bulgaria, position of Russian highlighted
Basic data
State : BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria
Oblast : Russian
Residents : 144,936  (December 31, 2016)
Coordinates : 43 ° 51 '  N , 25 ° 58'  E Coordinates: 43 ° 51 '23 "  N , 25 ° 58' 14"  E
Height : 45 m
Postal code : 7000
Telephone code : (+359) 082
License plate : P
Mayor : Plamen Stoilow
Website :
Russe - Bulgaria - neighboring towns: Giurgiu, Byala , Swishtov , Levski , Gorna Orjachowiza , Targovishte , Popowo , Razgrad , Oltenia , Bucharest
Aerial view of Ruse with the Danube in the background

Russe , also Rousse or Ruse [ ˈrusɛ ] ( Bulgarian Русе , German  (outdated): Rustschuk , Turkish Rusçuk ) is the fifth largest city in Bulgaria with 144,936 inhabitants . After Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas (as of 2020.) The industrial city on the Danube is also the cultural center of Northern Bulgaria with a theater and an opera house, an art gallery, a television tower as well as several schools and the well-known Russian University.

Ruse is the capital of the Ruse Oblast , seat of the municipality of the same name, as well as a border town with Romania . The city center has been awarded the European Heritage Seal by the Bulgarian state because of the historical significance and the special architectural design of the ensemble .


The port city of Ruse is located in the Danube Plain, an average of 29 meters above sea ​​level, near the mouth of the Russensky Lom River . The Romanian border town on the opposite bank of the Danube is Giurgiu , with which Russian is connected via the Giurgiu-Russe Friendship Bridge. The distance from Ruse to Bucharest is 80 kilometers, to Sofia it is 310 kilometers.


Ancient and Middle Ages

The earliest traces of settlement date back to the 5th millennium BC. The Romans founded the port city of Sexaginta Prista (city of 60 ships) there at the beginning of the 2nd century AD . It was the base of the Danube fleet of the Romans, which had the task of protecting the northern border of the Roman Empire against attacks by peoples north of the Danube.

The city is mentioned until the 5th century, when the Roman name was changed to Pristis and later Pristapolis . It can be assumed that the fall of the Roman city is related to the invasions of the Avars and Slavs in 586 (see Maurikios' Balkan campaigns ).

In the Middle Ages, Durostorum and the inland city of Tscherwen gained strategic importance.

Ottoman time

Cherven, which emerged south of the present-day city of Russe on the Russenski Lom, was largely destroyed during the conquest of the Ottomans at the end of the 16th century, especially by campaigns under Mihai Viteazul .

Even before the conquest of the region, there was a fortified village called Russe on the banks of the Danube . This was expanded by the Ottomans after the destruction of Cherven and its name was changed to Rustschuk . The Rustschuk, which was converted into an Ottoman fortress, also gained economic importance due to its strategic location.

View over the Danube to Russe,
illustration from 1824

In order to carry out reforms in the Ottoman Empire, the greater province of Tuna was established in 1864 from the amalgamation of the Ottoman provinces of Silistria , Niš and Vidin, with Russian as the center and residence of the administrator Midhat Pasha . Rustschuk developed into a trading center with a strong fortress. Many European consulates were opened; hotels, schools and a library were built.

The development of the city was supported by shipping on the Danube and by the country's first railway line, Russe - Varna , which opened on November 7, 1866, and was the first terminus of the Orient Express . As early as 1878, the year when Ottoman rule came to an end, Russians had over 26,000 inhabitants; this made it the largest city in what was then the Principality of Bulgaria.

In independent Bulgaria

After the First World War , the territory of southern Dobruja was lost to Romania and the economic strength of the city of Ruse was weakened. It lost many inhabitants and was only the third largest city after Sofia and Varna . Large producers left the place, foreign consulates except for the Russian one were closed.

In September 1940, after negotiations, South Dobruja came back to Bulgaria, Russe became the administrative center and renewed economic growth began. After the end of the Second World War , ownership changed and numerous previous private companies became state-owned factories. Chemical companies were established, lamp production was introduced and a large trading port was built. The new Giurgiu-Russe Friendship Bridge between Russe and the Romanian city of Giurgiu , inaugurated in 1954, was the only connection between Romania and Bulgaria across the Danube until the beginning of the 1990s , which greatly improved transport routes. In the 1970s, Russe again became an important transport, trade, cultural and educational center.

In the early 1980s, the construction of a large chemical combine in Giurgiu on Romanian territory resulted in permanent air pollution in Ruse, which is why 15,000 people left the city by 1992. The economic crisis in all countries of the CMEA had an especially strong in Russian from; Industrial products could no longer be sold, specialists migrated, the number of workers steadily declined.


The 18 m high Freedom Monument by the Florentine sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi was erected in 1906 and commemorates the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule

The political changes in the Soviet Union , Poland and the GDR ultimately brought about a democratic change in Bulgaria and thus also in Russia.

Since the fall of communism, Russian has regained its importance. The environmental pollution could be removed, some industrial plants are producing again, the population stabilized at around 165,000 by the year 2000. Gradually, Russian regained its importance as a fundamental cultural and economic center in northern Bulgaria. Membership in the EU led to investment and the establishment of international trading companies. Since Romania joined the EU in 2007, Russe has become a popular weekend destination for Bucharest . In return, many taxi drivers offer flat-rate trips for 100 BGN (EUR 50) to the nearest international airport in Bucharest. The European route E85 between the two cities is in good condition and partly multi-lane and with surrounding roads.

The city has given its name to Ruse Peak , a mountain on Livingston Island in Antarctica , since 2002 . Since 2013, this also applies indirectly to the Sexaginta Prista Bay on the Oskar II coast of Graham Land on the Antarctic Peninsula .


Number of inhabitants
year 1878 1959 1985 2000 2005 2008 2009
Residents 26,000 91,700 186,000 approx. 165,000 169,000 166.991 167.043


Agricultural products are processed in the industrial city of Ruse; other branches of industry are mechanical engineering, river shipbuilding, and textile and leather production. Sugar beets and grapes are grown in the vicinity of the city. Since the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, Romanian citizens have taken advantage of the price difference for consumer goods and services on the Bulgarian side.

In May 2010, the German automotive supplier Witte Automotive started production in Russe. Components for vehicle access systems are manufactured in the plant and supplied to many European vehicle manufacturers. Due to the positive development, Witte acquired a plot of land in early 2013 to expand production capacities. On October 11, 2013 the foundation stone was laid for the new production plant in the presence of the Bulgarian President Rossen Plevnelev .


The city has the largest Danube port in Bulgaria. It is also a railway junction and a road junction . The first Bulgarian railway line was opened between Ruse and Varna .

About 6 kilometers north of the city center, the Bridge of Friendship crosses the Danube, at 2.8 kilometers the longest steel bridge in Europe. It consists of two floors - cars drive upstairs, the railroad below. It was opened in 1954 and was refurbished in 2003 with funds from the European Union . A large part of Bulgaria's export and import goods are transported over this bridge. The bridge was built with the help of the Soviet Union mainly for strategic military reasons.

The city is on the Danube Cycle Path , an international long-distance cycle route .


All types of schools in Bulgaria exist in Russe, plus a Turkish high school Rusçuk İlahiyat Lisesi for the Turkish minority . The city is home to a university as well as German, English and European-speaking high schools. The large district library Lyuben Karawelow and the music school are also part of the educational offer. The Austria Library on the first floor of the theater is the seat of the International Elias Canetti Society.


Consulates and representations

The city has diplomatic missions from the following countries:

Town twinning

Culture and sights

Theaters, museums and other buildings

The Sawa Ognianow Theater

Russe owns a theater , a state opera house, a puppet theater and a philharmonic orchestra for the municipal symphony orchestra. The Russian State Opera is directed by Ivan Kjurktschiew , who used to be a singer himself and was trained by Giuseppe Di Stefano . He is the winner of the Caruso competition. The Sava Ognjanow People's Theater (Dochodno Building) and the Picture Gallery are also of national importance . The city is home to a history museum, a natural science museum, a transport museum (in a former station building) and the city art gallery.

Of the around 200 architecturally significant buildings, the following are particularly worth mentioning: the town hall in a modern design language made of concrete parts with a more than 20 meter long frieze, the savings bank complex, the house of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the house of seafaring and the club of cultural workers . A fortress gate from the Turkish era is worth seeing at the new train station. The 204 meter high television tower with a viewing platform is the tallest structure in Bulgaria. The many historicist residential and commercial buildings from around 1900, which were often designed by Austrian architects, are striking in the city center. The city is therefore often called "Little Vienna". The courthouse is also worth mentioning. The Hotel Riga is located on the banks of the Danube , a 22-storey high hotel that offers a wide view of the city, the Danube and the port as far as Romania.

Religious sites

  • Holy Trinity Church; Inaugurated in 1632; is considered the oldest church in the city
  • St. Peter Church
  • Roman Catholic St. Paul of the Cross Cathedral; Inaugurated in 1892. Construction plans by the Italian architect Valentino, who also designed a church building in Varna. The oldest surviving organ in Bulgaria is located here, installed in 1907.
  • St. Nikolai Chudotvorets Church
  • St. George Orthodox Church
  • Vasily the Great Church
  • Assumption Church
  • Archangel Michael Church
  • Catholic eparchy
  • Armenian Church
  • Methodist Church
  • Evangelical Baptist Church
  • synagogue
  • Seid Pasha Mosque

Monuments and memorials

  • Statue of Liberty with Bulgarian lions in front of the pedestal, opposite the town hall. It comes from the workshop of the Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi and is based on the New York original.
  • Monument to the Red Army (Alyosha Monument)
  • Memorial for those of the 5th Danube Infantry Regiment who died in the Serbian-Bulgarian War in 1885 on Alexander-Battenberg-Platz
  • Monument to Stefan Karadscha , a military leader of the liberation struggle in the 19th century
  • Monument to Angel Kanchev
  • Monument to Ivan Vedar
  • The largest memorial in Russia is the Pantheon of Fighters of Rebirth , inaugurated on February 28, 1978 , whose large gold-plated dome can be seen from afar when the weather is clear. 453 well-known freedom fighters are buried in the monument. It was built on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish rule. The building stands in a park that was created on the former Russian cemetery.

Regular events

  • International Classical Music Festival (in March; since 1961)
  • Folklore Festival Golden Violin ; Folk music of the region; first half of June
  • International Festival of Alternative Cinema "Danube - the River of Europe" (since 2005)
  • BG MediaMarket media festival (in October)
  • Skater Festival Collision Course (in May; since 2007)
  • Literary Spring Salon (in April / May; since 2008)

Parks in the area

Eleven kilometers east of the city is the Lipnik Forest Park with a hotel, restaurant, numerous holiday homes, sports facilities and a campsite.

Not far from the city of Ruse, near Ivanovo , lies Nature Park Rusenski Lom with the UNESCO - World Heritage counting Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo . In Bassarbowo is the Bassarbowski-Pechersk Lavra .

sons and daughters of the town

Web links

Commons : Russian  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. GRAO
  2. Национален Статистически Институт [1]
  3. a b c d Information on Zone Bulgaria ; Retrieved February 23, 2010
  4. Николай Мичев, Петър Коледаров: Речник на селищата и селищните имена в България 1878–1987. Sofia 1989.
  5. ^ Meyer's New Lexicon. Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig 1964, Volume 7.
  6. Bulgarian President lays the foundation stone for the new WITTE plant in Ruse
  7. Turkish high school on
  8. ^ Homepage of the International Elias Canetti Society
  9. a b Sightseeing on Zone Bulgaria; Retrieved February 23, 2010
  10. Holy Trinity church on ; the year given here is probably wrong, as there is a contradiction between 1962 and "oldest".
  11. St.-Paul-vom-Kreuz-Kirche on
  12. Pantheon Russe on
  13. March Music Days
  14. unoccupied; the source from 2006 only mentions a project proposal for a second festival for 2007 ( memento of the original from February 22, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. ^ Bulgarian Europe
  16. Collision Course on ( Memento of the original from May 2, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. Spring Salon on