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    Horseman of Madara

    Madara is the first historical symbol taught to Bulgarian children from a very young age. The public knows Madara mainly through the world-famous and the only rock relief in Europe - the Madara Horseman - a symbol of the young Bulgarian state.


    The Madara Horseman

    The Madara Horseman relief, carved on the rock 23 m from its base, is a single composition with a center horseman, a running dog, a lion and three groups of inscriptions. The rider, in full size, is turned to the right, his posture is solemn. He pierces the lion with his spear at the horse's feet. The scene is majestic, without unnecessary drama or disturbing detail. It reflects important historical events and gives a complete picture of the state of the early medieval Bulgarian plastic art. The composition of the Madara relief is supplemented by three groups of chronicles. One is on the top and is on Khan Tervel (8th c.), And two are on the lower left of khan Kormisshiy (8th c.), The right of khan Omurtag (ninth c.). Weather and erosion have severely damaged the inscriptions, but what is left of the text gives a clear idea of the content of the relief composition. The text above indicates that the rider is Khan Tervel, but researchers believe that it is associated with the depiction of a generalized image of a Bulgarian ruler from 701 to 831. Bulgarian state, permanently settled on the Balkan Peninsula. Self-esteem and security reflect the power of the Bulgarian state. In addition, the relief and inscriptions testify to the penetrating Byzantine influence among the Bulgarian top. The Madara Rider is one of our five monuments under the protection of the World Organization for Culture and Education.
    The Madara archeological reserve is rightly called the "cradle of ancient culture". The reserve is littered with remarkable evidence of organized human activity in these lands from the earliest age (4000 BC - 15th century). Geographic conditions have been one of the reasons why Madara has been cultivated since ancient times. High and inaccessible rocks enclose a small and easily guarded plateau on two sides. Small and large caves, rocky canopies and formations, streams, lush vegetation - all this attracts people. The first explorations of the reserve began in 1892 and justified the travelers' assumptions about the continuity of life since the Stone Age and the Copper Age, the Thracian, Roman, Byzantine, Old Bulgarian and Ottoman times. community.
    In the Little Cave, stone, flint and bone tools, pieces of clay vessels made by hand and wheel, open-baked, mill weights, spindles were found. The large cave is protected by three zones of outer walls. Walls of partition walls, column bases, sockets for wooden beams and other materials and objects imported from foreign countries were found inside, indicating not only long occupation but also lively commercial activity. At the northern end of the cave is a Thracian sanctuary dedicated to the three nymphs. Thracian tombstones and necropolises were found at the top of the plateau and at the bottom of the rocks. From the Roman era a large farm was opened, which existed until the 6th c. From that time a large grain warehouse dates. Part of the plateau above the Grand Cave is fortified to the north and east by fortification walls, and to the south and west by sheer cliffs. A number of buildings and an early Christian church were found in the fortress, related to its needs.
    The fortress existed from the 4th to the 15th centuries and is closely connected with life at the foot of the rock. There is a vertical gap between the Little and the Great Caves in the rock, which the ancient inhabitants used to travel. According to him, during the hard times the fortress was provided with food and water, and the inhabitants at the foot found shelter in the fortress. The importance of Madara increased greatly with the arrival of Proto-Bulgarians in these lands. They skillfully use the material culture created by their predecessors and leave deep traces on their own. The Madara rider is eloquent proof of this. Numerous uncovered remains indicate that Madara has long been a cult abode of the Proto-Bulgarians. The cult of the rocks of the Proto-Bulgarians is famous. The availability of such comfortable rock formations creates a favorable precondition for the development of this place as a spiritual center. It is a pagan rock sanctuary, and later a Christian basilica and medieval monasteries developed here. Madara did not lose its importance as a cult center in the late Middle Ages. It became a haven for the spiritual seclusion of the passively protesting heavy feudal oppression. During the Second Bulgarian State a large monastic colony was formed around the existing monastery complex. Some of the monks live in cells, chisels, churches, tombs (over 150) carved into the rocks, thus creating one of the largest rock medieval monasteries.
    With the fall of Bulgaria under the Ottoman yoke, Madara lost its importance and life gradually faded. The building of a museum exhibit is to be adapted, which, with its rich archaeological material, will reflect the long history of this region.

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