Some 23 centuries ago, an antique port of the ancient Thracians marked the beginning of what would later become the modern city of Ruse. At the end of the 1st century, the Roman fortress of Sexaginta Prista ("Port of 60 ships") became part of the Roman Danube Limes - the northern border of the empire. Today, the ruins of Sexaginta Prista are an outdoor exhibition.
During the Middle Ages the town existed as a settlement together with the present-day Romanian town of Giurgiu. Since the beginning of the 17th century Ruse has been developing as a trade center, its port is especially important for trade between Central Europe and the Balkans. Evidence of this is that the city is marked in all maps of this period.
In the 60s of the 19th century the city became the capital of the Danube province in the Ottoman Empire, with a territory as large as that of modern-day Bulgaria. The first industrial enterprises, including a railway line, were built during that time.
In the second half of the 19th century, the city was home to 11 European diplomatic missions. The influences of modern Europe become tangible, and this changed the daily life of its inhabitants.
The history of Ruse is connected with the names of the national heroes from the epoch of the Bulgarian Revival. A large number of Bulgaria’s leading politicians came from Ruse, ranking the city among the most important cultural and historical centers in the country.
Ruse welcomes its guests with a rich architectural heritage - the fruit of the enterprising and European spirit of Ruse, attracted prominent European architects and builders in the late 19th and early 20th century to build the urban architectural environment. Dozens of cultural monuments today bear the European Cultural Heritage label.
In the 50s of the 20th century, the largest and until recently the only bridge along the Bulgarian Danube was built, which opened new opportunities for the development of the city.