Sexaginta Prista (Port of Sixty Ships) is the most important archaeological site in Ruse. It’s a Roman naval base along the Danube River that was built in 69 AD during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. About 600 Roman soldiers were stationed there. The castle was attacked many times throughout its history until it was finally destroyed at the end of the 6th century. The last fortress built on the site was from Ottoman times.
I walked up to the gates of the ruins only to find that the site was closed. Suddenly, an English speaking man walked out of the office and up to the gates to ask if I would like to see the ruins. He was the head archaeologist in charge of excavations and research and was very enthusiastic about the site. The man didn’t charge me the admission fee but I offered it anyway as a donation to the site.
Although not much is left other than a few walls and foundations, the man gave me a tour of the site with lots of interesting information. There were also some great views of the Danube.
The most amazing part of the tour was an unexpected one. During World War II, the Nazis were in control of the region and used the site as a bunker. I was able to walk through the bunker to recreation of a Roman funeral vault.
Outside of the site at Ploshtad Sveti Nikola is the Maritime Trade House, built in 1898.
Down ulitsa Konstantin Irechek are more of Ruse’s signature colorful buildings along with a monument to Bulgarian revolutionary Angel Kanchev. It was placed near the location of his death in 1872. Kanchev committed suicide to avoid capture by the Ottomans during a failed attempt to cross the Danube into Romania. He was only 22.
Not far away is the Toma Kurdzhiev House. It’s a museum dedicated to the life of the Bulgarian revolutionary. I didn’t visit.