Ploshtad Knyaz Aleksandûr Battenberg is a small square named after modern Bulgaria’s first prince. A nephew of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, he was only 22 years old when he took the throne in 1879. He was forced to abdicate in 1886 and died in Graz, Austria, at the age of 36 in 1893. A war memorial sits in the center of the square.
Prince Aleksandûr’s former palace sits on the western end of the square and now houses the Regional Historical Museum. The palace was built in 1882 and is one of the most impressive buildings in Ruse.
The museum was founded in 1902. It has over 140,000 items in its collection, which covers prehistoric to modern Ruse.
Two other notable buildings stand on Ploshtad Knyaz Aleksandûr Battenberg. They are the Lyuben Karavelov Library and the Hristo Botev School.
Just south of the square is a small mosque, the Said Paşa Camii. It’s a remnant of the city’s Ottoman past, but was unfortunately covered in nationalist graffiti.
A couple blocks to the east of the square is Ploshtad Doctor Mustakov. Along with a small produce market, this square displays more of the religious diversity of Ruse. The Catholic Archbishop’s Palace and a small defunct synagogue are on opposite ends. There are only about 100 Jews left in Ruse, so this synagogue is now being used as a Jewish community center. Ruse’s first synagogue was built in 1797 but burned down in 1810. Two more synagogues were later built, in 1826 and 1852.
Finally, a pleasant walk up ulitsa Aleksandrovska will take you to Ploshtad Svoboda. There are a few nice buildings to admire, although many are in need of renovation. One of the buildings is the Bulgaria Insurance Company, built in 1891. This section of Aleksandrovska isn’t nearly as nice as the one to the northeast of Ploshtad Svoboda.