A must-see on any pilgrim tour is the rock-hewn Monastery of Saint Dimitar Basarbovski. Nestled in the valley of the Rusenski Lom river, some 10 kilometres from the city of Ruse, this is the only active cave monastery in Bulgaria. It can be reached via a narrow path, which leads into its beautifully decorated courtyard and a holy spring with healing water. Although it was established at the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire in the 12th-13th centuries, the monastery only became famous in the 17th century, after the death of Saint Dimitar Basarbovski, a shepherd leading a quiet life in the rocks of the monastery. It is believed that the saint appeared in the dream of a blind girl from the neighbouring village, telling her of his body lying in the river. When it was found, his relics turned out to be imperishable and fragrant, and the girl was able to see again. Near the monastery there is a well whose water is said to have healing properties. From the foot of the monastery walk the 48 steps to the rock landing that will lead you to the alcove where Saint Dimitar used to sleep. Right next is the cave church where a wood-carved iconostasis and a whole-length icon of the saint were discovered.
Departure to Velchevo village and visit to Kapinovo Monastery of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
Departure to Kilifarevo Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos and visit to the Monastery
Lunch in Veliko Tarnovo
Departure to the Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration – Preobrazhenie and visit to the Monastery
Free time in the city: visit to the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, ”Tsarevets” Fortress, Trapezhitsa hill and the old part of Veliko Tarnovo
Overnight accommodation in Veliko Tarnovo
Visit to the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo and Medieval Fortress of Cherven
Visit to the Orlova Chuka Cave
Lunch in Ruse
Departure to Caracal, Romania
Overnight accommodation in Caracal
Visit to the the Romanaţi Museum and the National Theatre Hall
Departure to Slatina
Lunch in Slatina area
Visit to the Clocociov Monastery
Visit to the Strehareți Monastery
Departure to Craiova
Dinner and overnight accommodation in Craiova
Lunch in Craiova
Visit to Madona Dudu Church and St. Demetrius Cathedral in Craiova
Visit to the Oltenia Museum, Craiova
Walk along the alleys of Nicolae Romanescu Park and free time in Craiova
Dinner and overnight accommodation in Craiova
GPS coordinates: 43.853023 / 43°51’10” N – 25.951217 / 25°57’4” E
Address: 22 Pridunavski Blvd., Ruse, Ruse District
Hotel-Restaurant „Dunav Platsa”
GPS coordinates: 43.849378 / 43°50’57” N – 25.954089 / 25°57’14” E
Address: Svoboda Square, in the centre of the town of Ruse, Ruse district
GPS координати: 43.854841 / 43°5’17” N – 25.952941 / 25°57’10” E
Address: On the riverbank of Danube, Ruse, Ruse District
La Strada restaurant
GPS coordinates: 43.850958 / 43°51’3” N – 25.955588 / 25°57’20” E
Address: 77 Aleksandrovska street, pedestrian zone, Ruse, Ruse District
Orlova Chuka Cave
GPS coordinates: 43.593430 / 43°35’36” N – 25.959808 / 25°57’35” E
Address: E85/D5, then D5001, then D501, deviation around 5 km, between the villages of Dve Mogili and Pepelina, Ruse District
Orlova Chuka cave is located on the right slope of the valley of the Cherni Lom River, at a distance of approximately 40 km from the city of Ruse, and has a total length of about 13.5 km, thus ranked second in Bulgaria after the Duhlata Cave. The cave was found in 1941 by a shepherd and was opened for visitors in 1957. It consists of several halls: Concert Hall; The Big screes; The Small Screes,, “Space Hall” and The Rest Hall. Bones of cave bears and traces of life of cavemen have been found here. At the same time, it is a habitat of 14 species of bats, three of them included in the Red Book.
N.b. the cave is closed for visitors from November to April.
Cherven Medieval Fortress
GPS coordinates: 43.622440 / 43 ° 37’20 “N – 26.025070 / 26 ° 1’30” E
Address: access from E85 / D5, then D501 and deviation of about 5 km., between Cherven village and Cherni Lom valley, Ruse district.
The Bulgarian city of Cherven was one of the most important military, cultural and spiritual centres of the Second Bulgarian State (1186-1393). It was built on the site of a Byzantine fortress from the 6th century, but archaeological findings reveal that this place was inhabited even before the Thracians. It turned into a significantly important centre after 1235 when the Metropolis of Cherven was established here. The fortress had been destroyed during the Mongol invasion and later conquered by the Byzantine Empire in 1278-1280. The city was known as a big trade and craft centre, located at the crossroads of several trade routes in the region. When the Turks conquered the city in 1388, it was almost destroyed. Archaeological excavations reveal the remains of a large feudal palace, fortress walls, and underground tunnels, remnants of many churches, public buildings, workshops, and streets. The fortress tower dating from the 14th century is almost fully preserved. The Fortress Cherven has been declared an archaeological reserve of national importance.
Regional Museum of History – Ruse
GPS coordinates: 43.844479 / 43 ° 50’40 “N – 25.947612 / 25 ° 56’51” E
Address: 3 “Knyaz Alexander Battenberg” squar, Ruse, Ruse District
The Regional Museum of History was founded in 1904. It is housed in a beautiful building, also known as the Battenberg Palace, which is of a great historical importance, because it was a residence of Alexander Battenberg. The museum features seven full-time exibitions, including Kaliopa house (which houses the City Art Museum); The Pantheon of the National Revival Heros; Baba Tonka house-museum; Zahariy Stoyanov house museum, and another three exibitions, being open-air: the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo; the Medieval city of Cherven and the Roman castle of Sexaginta Prista. The most interesting exhibits hold by the museum are the prehistoric pottery and idol plastic arts; the collection of bones of prehistoric mammals, including a unique lower jaw of a Mammuthus rumanus; the Borovo treasure of the 4th century BC; artefacts from the fortress Sexaginta Prista and the finds of excavations of the antieque Danube castles; a collection of medieval frescoes; objects found in the Medieval city of Cherven, personal belongings of notable Bulgarian revolutionaries (Georgi Rakovski, Stefan Karadzha, etc.), and many others.
Ancient Roman Fortress Sexaginta Prista, Ruse
GPS coordinates: 43.847016 / 43 ° 50’49 “N – 25.945471 / 25 ° 56’43” E
Address: 2A Tsar Kaloyan Str., Ruse, Ruse District
The castle Sexaginta Prista is located in the Nortwestern part of the town of Ruse, on the bank of the Danube river. The name of the Roman fortress Sexaginta Prista literally means “The port of the sixty ships”. The castel received this name in connection to the Dacian wars of emperor Dometian (85-89). At this time, a Roman legion, consisting of 6,000 soldiers, was transferred to the mouth of the Roussenski Lom River. Exactly 60 ships were necessary to complete this action. The latest research proves that the hill where the castle later was built, was first a spot used by the Thracians to conduct uknown rituals and cult practices. Many artifacts were also found here. There has been intense trading activity during Emperor Vespasian (69-79). The remains of a Roman military camp from the first half of the 4th century and during the first decade of the 5th century, coins and ceramics were found on the territory of the fortress; a tunnel built of stone and used during the Ottoman Empire, which can be reached with 30 steps. The fortress was destroyed during the attacks of the Avars and Slavs at the end of the 6th century and the beginning of the 7th century. In the 9-10th century, the medieval settlement Ruse was founded on its ruins. It played an important administrative and military role during the Middle Ages.