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Madara Horseman - Bulgarian UNESCO Protected Site Information - Invest Bulgaria
The Madara Horseman - Bulgarian UNESCO Protected Site Information
Madara Horseman - Bulgarian UNESCO Protected Site Information - Invest Bulgaria

Early 7th century AD. An expressive bas-relief, carved high out of the sheer rock, and depicting a horseman spearing a lion. It symbolizes greatness of the ruler and the power of his state. Europe's only rock relief dating from the early Middle Ages. Located 20 km from the town of Shumen, NE Bulgaria.

An unusual place - a plateau rises in the middle of a plain which, when viewed from the west, resembles a petrified waterfall. At a height of 23 meters the figure of a horseman has been hewn into the sheer rock, piercing a lion with his spear, and flanked on both sides by inscriptions reflecting the military and political power of the First Bulgarian Empire.

This symbol of Bulgarian statesmanship is the only one of its kind in the whole of Europe. Monumental in design and execution, the Madara Horseman is a magnificent message from the early Middle Ages.


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Rila Monastery was founded in 10 century by St. Ivan of Rila. It is the greatest Bulgarian monastery - unique architecture, exquisite wall paintings, brilliant iconostasis, a rich collection of icons and old manuscripts - a true masterpiece of the National Revival Period. Under UNESCO's protection, Rila Monastery is one of Bulgaria's biggest sanctuaries.

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