Roman Fortress at Ruse

  • Roman ruins
  • Historic buildings
  • Borovo treasure & museum
  • River Danube cruise

One of our favourite places is Ruse (Rousse)  built on the banks of the beautiful Danube river which has been an important boundary since Roman times when a military fortress was built here to monitor the frontier of the Roman Empire. 

During the Roman period, the Danube marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.  Along the length of the Danube, there were about 8 Roman settlements and fortresses, one of which was at Ruse.  The fortified settlement, built in the 1st century AD,  was called ‘Sexaginta Prista’ meaning ‘Sixty Ships’.  The name derives from it having moorings for 60 ‘prista’, the high speed Roman war ships.  The settlement once housed 600 Roman soldiers.

Today there is an excellent archaeological reserve housing the archaeological remains of Sexaginta Prista.  It is strategically situated overlooking the beautiful Danube river.  The reserve includes the remains of the perimeter wall, a turret, barracks, a storage area and the Temple of Apollo.  borovo treasureWonderful artefacts from the site including mini statuettes of many Roman gods and the amazing Borovo Treasure are housed in the Regional Historical Museum.

The river has also brought trade as it links the Black Sea with the great cities of central Europe.  Many fine buildings from the nineteenth century survive in the town and have earned it the name of ‘Little Vienna’.

Today, the city is centred around a grand square with outdoor cafes.  It has beautiful architecture, lots of good restaurants, and a wonderful daily cruise on the Danube river.