After driving mostly through the rain during part of the afternoon, the sun is spreading its bright light over Ruse when we enter this border city. After installing ourselves in a hotel, the day is almost over, and we see the sun sink behind the horizon from the first floor of a riverfront restaurant. That river is the Danube, the second-longest river of Europe, and the country on the other side is big neighbour Romania, making Ruse a border town. We are up early the next day, and decide to do a big loop of the city centre. We quickly come across the first neo-baroque and neo-rococo buildings, and other, more bland ones. Not one building seems to be the same style, or the same colour. We reach a small square, see a statue of Elias Canetti, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature back in 1981. I realise I have always thought he was Italian, but he is a son of Ruse.
A little further on, we come to a bigger square, with the Regional historic museum behind a fountain, and a small park. Around the corner, the beautiful building of the Lyuben Karavelov Regional library. At times the architecture reminds me even of Buenos Aires, or even much closer Bucharest, with their metallic roofs, windows protruding, small details like sculptures and decorations on the walls. A feast for the eyes! And we are not finished yet, as we are now starting to walk Aleksansrovska street. Fortunately, the street is pedestrian, so we can freely walk from one side to the other. It has the highest concentration of remarkable buildings of the city. Locals are walking the street as part of their daily routine, but we have our heads in our necks to observe the details of all those beauties of buildings lining this famous street.
When we reach big Freedom Square, we notice the building on the corner of the street, embellished with tens of sculptures, heads of men and women, all set in carved frames in the facade of the house. We find the Liberty monument in the middle of the square, surrounded by a well-kept park, and finally sit down for breakfast at one of the bars. it is time to people-watch, and we mostly realise how quiet it is, how easily people walk around in their beautiful town, with some of the elegance of the city reflected in their character. Walking further on, we find statues, a pantheon of national revival heroes, more parks, and end up walking the banks Danube. We are slightly disappointed that this lovely city does not have a riverfront to speak of, but we then see that work is in progress to make this happen. Thousands of years after the first people settled here, Ruse is still getting more beautiful.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Ruse (Bulgaria). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Ruse. Read more about this site.