ROUSSE – A CITY THAT STAYS IN THE HEART FOREVER
If you have not yet visited one of the most beautiful Bulgarian cities – Rousse you should do that. We, a group of journalist from Bulgarian and Romanian media, assured ourselves of that once again during one of our tours through Rousse and the region.
Invited by the State Tourism Agency we found ourselves in the city for the forth tourism exhibition and the first tourism entertainment and animation festival, organized recently under the patronage of the mayor of the municipality – Bozhidar Iotov.
Rousse is one of the largest cultural centers in the country and attracts a lot of tourists and guests with its matchless atmosphere.
Situated along the current of the river Danube (11 km. long) the city is Bulgaria’s north gate to Central and West Europe. The bridge across Danube was built in 1954 and is 2.8 km. long. It connects Rousse and the Romanian town of Gyurgevo and is the shortest way to the Romanian capital Bucurest.
The central part of Rousse is impressive with its unique architecture dating back to the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The beautiful buildings from that time combine elements from the Renaissance – Baroque, Gothic, Secession, Rococo, Eclectics. The richly ornamented houses and buildings, the balconies with their rough iron knotworks, the oriel facades have preserved their never fading beauty. The emblematic buildings are an evidence of the past bloom and high culture of the local people. About 200 of them are considered part of the architectural – cultural heritage fund and 12 are especially valuable.
On top of the list is Dohodnoto zdanie – the Profitable house (the old theatre), built in 1902 which together with the Monument of Liberty (1908) are the symbols of Rousse. Other remarkable culture – historical monuments are the High School of Music, the Catholic church, the buildings of the Savings bank, the Commerce and Industry Chamber (today – Lyuben Karavelov Library), the Regional Administration (granted for a museum), The house of the sailor and many others.
The cultural life in Rousse is very intense today. The city is proud to have an Opera house, a Philharmonic Orchestra, a Theatre of Drama and a Puppet Theatre, a higher educational institution – The Rousse university. The International festival “March Days of Music” is annually held in the city.
Besides the city’s rich cultural – historical heritage there are historical landmarks to be found around it that are by no means less valuable. Among the most famous are “Ivanovskite skalni tsarkvi” (The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo) included in the UNESCO protected world cultural monuments list, as well as the “Srednovekovnia grad Cherven” (The Medieval town of Cherven). The road to them passes through “Besarabovsia skalen manastir” (The Besarabovo rock monastery) which is connected to the complex in the village of Ivanono. The indisputable qualities of the wall-paintings led the historians to the belief that one of the biggest cultural and spiritual centers from the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom was situated here.
A unique natural phenomenon which should most certainly be visited – the cave “Orlova chuka” is situated at a distance of 35 km. from Rousse down the valley of the river Cerni Lom. According to the research its formation dates back to millions of years. Traces of the paleolith – the last ice period as well as remains of prehistoric people and animals are found in it. Accidently discovered by a young shepherd in 1941 the cave is nowadays well laid out and is declared an archeological monument of culture of national significance. It is partially studied and the galleries that are mapped so far are 13.5 km. long. The cave’s overall length however probably exceeds 20 km. and there are over 40 halls and galleries. The cave is the second longest cave in the country after “Duhlata” situated near the town of Perink.
If a man finds himself in the area around Rousse he will definitely be forever captured and charmed. Not only by the chance to examine and see so many landmarks! The “plunge” in the one of a kind canyon of the river Roussenski Lom, carved by nature over 120 mln. years ago, creates the feeling of unexplainable happiness. The endless pinnacles reach tenths of meters down in the earth’s womb and unite with the meandering around them river.
The view is simply stunning and one may feast his eyes with it for hours, sinking into oblivion and timelessness……..
After all that has been said so far I will probably not be able to impress you by telling you about all the interesting and non – standard entertainments that are offered to the guests and the tourists in the region.
For instance we took a canoe ride down the river current in the company of experienced guides and tasted the wonderful wines in the Horst Valley wine – cellar in the village of Nisovo – situated at a distance of 25 km. from Rousse.
We did not have enough time to ride a horse along the river or to go bungee jumping but we will probably enjoy these extreme experiences some other time…..
One ting can be said for sure – we will continue coming back to that incredible city again and again… You should do that too – you will not regret it!