Ruse, ibland stavat Russe, tidigare Rustjuk, är en stad med cirka 169 000 invånare i norra Bulgarien. Staden, som ligger vid Donau, har en viktig flodhamn och är handelscentrum i ett jordbruksdistrikt. Ruse är Bulgariens femte största stad.
Ruse is known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, which attracts many tourists. It is often called the Little Vienna. The Ruse-Giurgiu Friendship Bridge, until 14 June 2013 the only one in the shared Bulgarian-Romanian section of the Danube, crosses the river here.
The city emerged as a Neolithic settlement from the 3rd to 2nd millennium BCE, when pottery, fishing, agriculture, and hunting developed. Excavations reveal several layers, suggesting that the place was attacked by neighbouring tribes and suffered a number of natural disasters. Ancient sanctuaries were found nearby, where idols of a pregnant woman, a fertility goddess, were prevalent.
The later Thracian settlement developed into a Roman military and naval centre during the reign of Vespasian (69-70 CE) as part of the fortification system along the northern boundary of Moesia. Its name, Sexaginta Prista, suggests a meaning of “a city of 60 ships” (from Latin: sexaginta — “60” and Greek: pristis — a special type of guard ship), based on the supposed 60 nearby berths.
The fortress was located on the main road between Singidunum (modern Belgrade) and the Danube Delta and was destroyed in the 6th century by Avar and Slavic raids. Hungarian historian Felix Philipp Kanitz was the first to identify Sexaginta Prista with Ruse, but the Škorpil brothers demonstrated the link later through studying inscriptions, coins, graves, and objects of daily life. An inscription from the reign of Diocletian proves that the city was rebuilt as a praesidium (a large fortification) after it was destroyed by the Goths in 250 CE.
The settlement was also mentioned as Golyamo Yorgovo in the Middle Ages, whose present successor is Giurgiu in Romania.
The “Dunav” newspaper appeared – it was the first printed in Bulgaria and … in Bulgarian. Some Bulgarian schools were founded. The streets are renamed and numbered for the first time in Bulgarian lands. A post-office, hospital, home for the aged were founded. Three empires met here for trading: Austro-Hungary, Russia, British Empire, France and Italy opened consulates in Ruschuk. Imperceptibly, the modern city arose from the shades of the settlement. In 1865 the Obraztsov Chiflik was founded on the place where the English Consul’s farm was and it was the first modern farm on the territory of the whole Ottoman Empire of that time.
Ruse developed into a centre of the Bulgarian National Revival and hosted the headquarters of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee.