Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BULGARIA - Madara Rider


Location of MADARA in BULGARIA

Madara (Bulgarian: Мадара) is a village in northeastern Bulgaria, part of Shumen municipality, Shumen Province. Madara lies 15 kilometres east of the city of Shumen, at the western foot of the Madara plateau.

Madara is famous for the Madara National Historical and Archaeological Reserve 1.5 km east of the village, one of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria. The reserve includes Neolithic and Eneolithic findings, a Thracian settlement, Ancient Roman villa and fortress from the 2nd–5th century, medieval Bulgarian palace, pagan sanctuaries, Christian churches and monasteries and fortresses from the First Bulgarian Empire. There is also a cave monastery from the 12th–14th century. Most importantly, Madara is the location of the famous Madara Rider, an early medieval (early 8th-century) large rock relief carved by the Bulgars and also featuring several epigraphs of historic importance written in Medieval Greek ; the relief most likely dates to the reign of Tervel of Bulgaria.

The archaeological reserve was first studied by the Hungarian archaeologist Géza Fehér and then by the Czech-Bulgarian Karel Škorpil and the Bulgarian Rafail Popov.

In medieval times, the village was a Bulgarian fortress named Matora. It was mentioned in Ottoman registers of 1481 as Matara. The modern village was founded by settlers from nearby Kyulevcha close to Kaspichan after the Liberation of Bulgaria ; in the 1940s and 1950s, settlers from the Pirin and Sofia regions arrived.

The truck building works in Shumen are named Madara after the archaeological reserve.


The Madara Rider or Madara Horseman (Bulgarian : Мадарски конник, Madarski konnik) is an early medieval large rock relief carved on the Madara Plateau east of Shumen in northeastern Bulgaria, near the village of Madara.

The Madara Rider is depicted on the obverse of smaller Bulgarian coins (1 to 50 stotinki) issued in 1999 and 2000. A June 29, 2008, official survey on the design of Bulgaria's future euro coins was won by the Madara Horseman with 25.44 percent of the votes.


Date of inscription : 1979

The Madara Rider, representing the figure of a knight triumphing over a lion, is carved into a 100-m-high cliff near the village of Madara in north-east Bulgaria. Madara was the principal sacred place of the First Bulgarian Empire before Bulgaria’s conversion to Christianity in the 9th century. The inscriptions beside the sculpture tell of events that occurred between AD 705 and 801.


Postcard sent by Roumyana, as "roni_r"
Private swap - Reference BG001

Madara : the Rock relief Madara Rider, VIII° c.


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