More than 260 buildings in Ruse are on the cultural heritage list. European Heritage Labels were recently put on the facades of about 20 of them. The European Heritage Labels initiative is a joint effort of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.
Svoboda Square in the city centre and Alexander Battenberg Square are the embodiment of Ruse’s magnificent European architectural heritage.
The building The Profitable House (1901) crowns one side of Svoboda Square. The Profitable House today is the home of the Ruse Theatre and a venue for cultural events.
Alexander Battenberg Square is surrounded by a couple of European heritage buildings. The Square was once at the heart of the city centre. One of the European heritage buildings overlooking Alexander Battenberg Square is the Regional Government House (1882) by architect Friedrich Gruenanger. It was the first public administrative building in Bulgaria. Today it houses the Regional Museum of History. Another European heritage building looking out on Alexander Battenberg Square is the Regional Library, formerly the first Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bulgaria constructed in 1911.
Yet another building of architectural and cultural significance is the Canetti Trade House on 12 Slavyanska Street. It is a venue for art events, performances and concerts organized by the International Elias Canetti Society. The Canetti Trade House used to be a commercial building used by Eliesar Canetti, the grandfather of Ruse-born Nobel Prize laureate in literature Elias Canetti.
Over the course of centuries, Ruse has been a place of vibrant cultural development, hence a major Bulgarian cultural centre. The major local cultural destinations were established as early as the late 19th and the early 20th century: the Regional Library, the Ruse Art Gallery, the Ruse Regional Museum of History, the Ruse Theatre, the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rousse State Opera and the Puppet Theatre.
Perhaps the most noteworthy event on the cultural calendar is the annual March Music Days International Festival which started in 1961.