The City of Ruse is situated on the highest right bank of the Danube river, at a distance of 320 km from the Capital of Bulgaria – Sofia. The population of the city is about 180 000 people. Ruse is one of the largest cities in Bulgaria – an important cultural, commercial and industrial center.
The close proximity to the river Danube had a great significance for the development of the city from the antiquity to the present days. A Roman military camp and fortress, known by the name Sexsaginta Prista – Port of the Sixty Ships, were established here in the 1st century AD. Since the 16th century the city had been known under its Ottoman name – Ruschuk. During the Ottoman dominion, Ruse was one of the main cities of the Ottoman Empire, which reflected on its economical and cultural development. Ruse is known also as “The City of the first things”, due to the many economical, social and scientific innovations, which were presented for the first time in Ruse. Some of the most notable are the first railway line, the first telegraph line, the first manually operated elevator, the first cinematographic film projection, the first brewery and many, many more.
After 1878, Ruse was the largest city in Bulgaria. The economical progress of the city was significant, which reflected on its appearance. The connection, which the city was having with Europe through the Danube river, was favorable for the development of Ruse as well. Due to the beautiful architecture of many of the buildings in the city center, which were constructed by Italian, Austrian, German and Bulgarian architects, Ruse became known as “The Little Vienna”.
You can read more about Ruse here: http://bulgariatravel.org/en/object/88/Ruse