RUSTCHUK (Bulg. Russe), the capital of the department of Rustchuk, Bulgaria, on the right bank of the Danube, where it receives the E. Lom. Pop. (1906) 33,552. Rustichuk is the headquarters of a military division and of a naval flotilla stationed on the Danube. As a river-port and the terminus of railways from Varna and from Sofia via Trnovo, it has much commercial importance; and it possesses tobacco and cigarette factories, soap-works, breweries, aerated water factories, dyeworks, tanneries, sawmills, brick and tile works and a celebrated pottery.
In the time of the Romans Rustchuk was one of the fortified points along the line of the Danube. In the Tabula Peutingeriana it appears as Prisca, in the Antonine Itinerary as Serantaprista, in the Notitia as Seragintaprista and in Ptolemy as Priste Polis. Destroyed by barbarian invaders in the 7th century the town recovered its importance only in comparatively modern times. In 1810 it was captured by the Russians, who destroyed the fortifications. It played an important part in the Russo-Turkish Wars of 1828-29, 1853-54 and 1877-78. In 1877 it was nearly destroyed by the Russian artillery stationed in the Rumanian town of Giurgevo, on the opposite bank of the Danube.
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