Madara Rider

A unique relief from the 8th century

The Rider of Madara is located next to the village of Madara, near Shumen, about 370 km east of Sofia and 70 km from Varna. There you will see something unique in the territory of Europe. An excavation in the rock dating from the early eighth century. The sculpture of Madara’s Horse is 23m above the ground level and is 3.1 meters wide and 2.6 meters high. The monument consists of three figures in real size, a horsemen, a lion lying in front of him, behind a running dog and inscriptions in Greek language that refer to the events of Bulgarian history in the period from the early eighth century to the ninth century.

It is believed that the composition of the rock with the rider with a solemn movement to the right is an image of a Bulgarian ruler and symbolizes the power of the First Bulgarian State. Unfortunately, erosion cannot be neutralized, and some of the figures are in poor condition, and their importance cannot be unequivocally determined. Even so, a snake and an eagle can be found in the rock reliefs. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. For centuries The Madara Knight near Shumen has attracted the attention of tourists and explorers, because it is the only rock relief in Europe, the legacy of our ancestors and of their greatness.

The places you can visit are the Pliska National Historical and Archaeological Reserve, the Veliki Preslav Historical Reserve, the Shumen Fortress Reserve, the Cave of the Nymph and the Fortress of Madara, as well as the 386 stone steps to the left of the Madara Horseman. The view from the top is really lovely and worth the climb.

The Madara Rider is one of the 9 Bulgarian sites under the protection of UNESCO. 

If you are looking for more Sites check out our UNESCO list


April to Octubre: 8:30 AM – 8 PM

Noviembre to March: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM


Adult: 5 lev Student: 2 lev

Guide: 15 lev