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Madara Rider, Shumen

4.6
#1 of 6 in Things to do in Shumen Province
Monument Tourist Spot
The Madara Raider or Madara Horseman is an early medieval large rock relief carved on the Madara Plateau east of Shumen in northeastern Bulgaria, near the village of Madara. The monument is dated in the very late 7th, or more often very early 8th century, during the reign of Bulgar Khan Tervel. In 1979 became enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage List.DescriptionThe relief depicts a majestic horseman 23m above ground level in an almost vertical 100m-high cliff. It is of almost natural size. The horseman, facing right, is thrusting a spear into a lion lying at his horse's feet, and on the left a dog is running after the horseman. The carving of the horseman halo, garments, as well the bird in front of the horseman face, are barely recognizable due to the erosion and bad condition of the monument. The relief is similar to the carbon images found in Saltovo, Soulek, Pliska and Veliki Preslav.Origin traditionThe meaning and symbolism of the depiction is uncertain, as well its actual masonry tradition and cultural source.In the scholarship the origin of the relief is connected with the Bulgars ethnogenesis – the semi-nomadic equestrian warrior culture from the Eurasian Steppe. Others saw in the relief resemblance to the Sasanian rock relief tradition. The hero-horseman is a common character of Turko-Altaic and Alanic mythology. It is sometime considered that the horseman represents or is related to the Bulgar deity Tangra, while Vladimir Toporov related it to the Iranian deity Mithra.
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4.8
  • It's interesting, but we didn't have a guide and so we didn't get all the information about it. The site doesn't offer much insight about this mysterious carving in the mountain.  more »
  • Madara Rider is one from 9th places in Bulgaria which are inlisted in UNESKO's world heritage list. But it is the main I think because the its age is equal of Bulgarian's age and its history is as lon...  more »
  • It is such old as nobody knows its ages. A horse-rider caved on the rocks, old forest around, many old temples of three different religions, some caves and crying rocks. If you are fit you can clime o...  more »
Google
  • You should climb all the way to the top. Great views on a sunny clear day!
  • Horseman looks surprisingly small. I'd wanted him to be 10 times larger.
  • Amezing art carved in the cliffs
  • This is one of the Bulgarians' first king. He is carved into the rock more then 1000 years ago!
  • Nice place to visit.