The Madara rider

The Madara rider

A rock relief located in Northeast Bulgaria, probably carved at the end of the 7th century.

Visual Arts

Keywords

cavalryman, relief, rock relief, rock, Madara, World Heritage, Bulgaria, Middle Ages, medieval, Tengri, Mithra, Tervel, Justinian II, Krum, Omurtag, 7th-8th centuries, history of art, symbol, artistic work, history, ruler

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Scenes

  • - The rock relief is carved into a cliff near the village of Madara in Northeast Bulgaria. It is located at a height of 23 m (75.46 ft).

The Madara Rider is the only surviving early medieval rock relief in Europe. Located on the Madara Plateau in Northeast Bulgaria, it was carved into an approx. 100 m (328.1 ft) high cliff, at a height of 23 m (75.46 ft). It was probably created at the turn of the 7th and 8th centuries.

The relief is thought to depict a triumphant ruler defeating the enemy. According to some researchers, the composition symbolizes power and the first Bulgarian state.

In 1979, the site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This extraordinary rock relief has since become one of the symbols of Bulgaria. The Rider has been featured on Bulgarian Lev coins, and in 2008, Bulgarians chose it to be depicted on future Bulgarian Euro coins as well.

The Madara Peak on Livingston Island one of the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica was named after the historic site of Madara.

  • - It symbolizes the defeated enemy.

Narration

The Madara Rider is the only surviving early medieval rock relief in Europe. Located on the Madara Plateau in Northeastern Bulgaria, it was carved into an approx. 100 m (328.1 ft) high cliff, at a height of 23 m (75.46 ft). It was probably created at the turn of the 7th and 8th centuries.

The relief is thought to depict a triumphant ruler defeating the enemy. Several theories exist about this exceptional work of art. According to one, the horseman represents the Turkic chief deity Tengri, while others identify it with the Iranian deity Mithra. According to the most widely accepted view, however, the rider depicts Tervel, the Bulgar Khan.

In 1979, the rock relief was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This extraordinary rock relief has since become one of the symbols of Bulgaria.

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