The environs of Ruse abound in cultural and natural sights. If you have some time to spare and if you want to learn more about the Bulgarian history, traditions and peculiarities, you can do some sightseeing. We believe that you will be delighted.
• Ivanovo Rock Churches – a UNESCO landmark
22 km southwest of Ruse, close to the village of Ivanovo, is the Ivanovo Rock Churches Archaeological Reserve. High in the rocks, 4050 m above the ground, are the scenic caves that were inhabited by medieval monks who believed in the doctrine of isichasm. They lived there 700 years ago, in a period marked by active spiritual life in the last decades of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.
There was a monastic centre there in the 1214 century. The monks enlarged the natural caves and turned them into chapels, churches and cells. The murals of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin are still preserved. They are considered to be a supreme achievement of the medieval Bulgarian fine arts. The churches are in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage.
• Archaeological Reserve of the Medieval Town of Cherven
Cherven was the key town of Northeast Bulgaria in the 14th century. The town had a bishop and a boyar who ruled it. It was a centre of crafts and trade.
What has remained of it are the traces of the unfortified outer town and the ruins of the fortification walls of the inner town, of the boyar's palace, the Bishop's church and of some of the houses in the main street. There were 11 churches in the town, and many monasteries in the rocks around it. An imposing 12-meters high watchtower is almost fully preserved. The castle was ruined by the Ottoman raids, and the town declined afterwards.
• The Rock Monastery ofSt. Dimitar Basarbovski
It is 12 km from Ruse, in the rocks close to the village of Basarbovo. The functions of the monastery were resumed in 1937 by a monk called Hrisant, after it had been desolate for many years. The church high in the rocks has a wooden icon stand. It can give an idea of what the ancient rock monasteries and churches looked like. Steps up to the church are hewn in the rock, and a path leads to a grave cut in the cliff. According to historians, St. Dimitar Basarbovski's relics rested there.
• Rusenski LomNature Park
The valley in the canyon of the Rusenski Lom river has the status of a national Nature park. It is 20 km south of Ruse, spreading on 3408 ha in the picturesque meanders and rock formations along the river.
There is a wealth of flora there: about 60 species of trees and shrubs. Fauna diversity is not the least bit smaller. Experts say that this area is the habitat of birds that can hardly be seen anywhere else in the country: rock eagles, Egyptian vultures, black storks etc.
Rusenski Lom Nature Park is an area of numerous ancient sites. One of them – the rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo – is protected by UNSECO as a part of the world cultural heritage. Many interesting sights dated to different periods are hidden in the fantastic rocks. Close to the village of Pisanets is a site called Pobitiya kamik. That is a pit scooped in the rock, about 1 m wide and 142 cm deep. It was a place for heathen rites before the Bulgarians were converted to Christians. Remains of medieval monasteries can be seen in the canyon between the villages of Koshov and Cherven. Some of them existed until 150 years ago. The rock monastery in Basarbovo, the Orlova Chuka cave and the medieval fortress of Cherven are also in the valley of the Nature Park.
• Lipnik Forest Park
Greenery, serenity and fresh air attract Ruse's citizens to Lipnik Park in the city outskirts. This is a wonderful place for fishing, water sports and outing.
There are wonderful places to relax or do some weekend tourism along the Danube River – Lyulyaka Island, hotels, holiday homes, Prista Hut.