Ermak Travel Guide


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Madara Rider (Мадарски Конник)


Madara Rider is one of the most famous symbols of Bulgaria depicting a cavalry man killing his prey. Madara Rider was carved in the cliff side of Madara Plateay East of Shumen. Since 1979 it was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Location: village of Madara, East of Shumen  Map

Phone: (05313) 55 487 (info)

Open: summer 8 am- 6:30 pm; winter 8 am- 5 pm

Entrance Fee: 4 lv

Transport: taxi (cheap, but most don’t speak English well) or take bus from Shumen to Madara (Мадара) than walk 1.2 mi (2 km)





Description of Madara Rider


The Madara plateau is located near village of Madara. This prominent natural geologic formation was recognized by the early people that settled here. Thracians that lived in these lands during antiquity considered Madara as a sacred land of their tribe. Later nations that settled the area seem to share the same degree of veneration towards Madara as a special place in their lives. Temples and shrines from 6 epochs were erected in the vicinity in honor of various pagan gods including Zeus, Heracles, Tangra, Heros, the three nymphs and other deities. Besides ruins of the early Christian church was build here as a new religion slowly took over the region.


However the most famous feature of Madara Plateau is the Madara Rider or Horseman that was carved on a face of a 100 meter cliff at a height of 23 meters. The horseman was created in 710 AD at the time of khan Tervel to commemorate his victory over Byzantine ruler Justinian II at the battle of Anchialus (or Ankhialo) in 708. Below the horseman is partially preserved text of the peace treaty that was signed between Bulgarian Kingdom and Byzantine Empire after the battle. Other inscriptions on the cliff side refer to the khans Krum (796-814 AD) and Omurtag (814-831 AD). Madara Rider is on UNESCO World Heritage List.











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