Ruse is the largest port along the Bulgarian section of the Danube River and the fifth largest city in Bulgaria. According to the census in 2011 the population of Ruse is 149,642 citizens.
Ruse is known for its architecture from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century that gives it a unique atmosphere. The town attracts many tourists.
Most landmarks are concentrated in downtown Ruse (museums, architectural monuments, the theatre, the opera, hotels, restaurants and café, souvenir shops). Some of the local landmarks are a part of one hundred national tourist landmarks of the Bulgarian Tourist Union.
The Statue of Liberty in Ruse was built in the beginning of the 20th century by the Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi. The statue on top is a female figure, who is holding a sword in her left hand, while pointing with her right hand to the direction from where the national liberators arrived. One of the two bronze lions at the base is tearing the yoke chains with his mouth, whilst the other defends the Shield of Freedom. There are reliefs of Resistance scenes on the sides of the pedestal. Two cannons are placed at the rear.
Sava Ognyanov Drama Theatre (Dohodno zdanie) is an architectural landmark in the center of Ruse, built in the period between 1898-1902 to accommodating the theatre performances in the town.
It was designed by the Austrian architect Paul Brang. The name originates from the construction’s purpose: to provide the school board of trustees with funds by means of the theatre hall, library, casino and shop rents. Today, Dohodno Zdanie is a cultural monument and one of the symbols of the town, together with the Statue of Liberty.
The old city centre of Ruse
The old city centre is the square around Ruse Historical Museum. The area in front of it is a broad rectangular plaza. Later on around this plaza was built the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Today Regional Library Lyuben Karavelov is located in the square. The building is decorated with baroque ornaments – leaves, pearls and rosettes. The former bank of Simeonov brothers’ (today DSK bank) is situated where Aleksandrovska street begins. The building is richly ornamented in the typical for Ruse, Baroque style – embossed columns, bas-reliefs of women’s heads, heavy stone balconies, metal roof and decoratively integrated lightning rods.