The rider of Madara is a wide rock sculptured on the cliff of Madara, east of Sumen, in the northeast of Bulgaria. In Antiquity, Thracian tribes lived in the plain of Madara, where they had fitted out a former sanctuary in the vast cave opened under the cliff, known today under the name of cave of the Nymph. A fortress and a big farm (villa rustica) which prospered at the foot of the hill during more than three centuries, during Roman period, were left at the time of the decline of Roman Empire. At the end of the VIIth century, the “old Bulgarians”, a tribe of nomadic warriors, settled down in the northeast of the country; having mixed with the local Slavs, they seem that they gave birth to the modern Bulgarians. This tribe settled down on the top of the cliff of Madara, and built a new citadel. Ruins are always accessible, in the stemming from a staircase counting several hundred steps. This tribue is also at the origin of the relief sculptured on the cliff 100 meters high, which represents a magnificent rider, in 23 meters above ground level. The rider pushes a lance in a lion being at the foot of his horse. A dog runs after the rider. This monument is dated 710, under the reign of the khan Tervel and the inscriptions appearing nearby tell events arisen between 705 and 831. The rider of Madara is registered on the UNESCO world heritage list since 1979. Become symbol of Bulgaria, the image of the rider is engraved on the face of the Bulgarian coins and is also the name of one of the Bulgarian, said national decorations order of ” Madarski konnik ” (rider of Madara). Let’s go climbing !
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