The Madara Horseman

One of the most difficult artistic tasks is to synthesize a great idea, a message to contemporary and future generations. Such was the task of the sculptor who created the rock relief known as the Madara Horseman. He performed his work splendidly. The sculptor carved a relief of a majestic horseman 23 m above ground level in an almost vertical hundred-metre high cliff. The horseman is thrusting a spear into a lion lying at his horse’s feet. A dog runs after the horseman.

The Madara Horseman was carved at the very beginning of the 8 th Century, about three decades after the foundation of the Bulgarian State (681). The sculpture marks a triumph – the Byzantine Empire had recognized the new state. Furthermore, the Madara horseman marks a new epoch, the beginning of the new European world. Even today the horseman remains unique – nothing like it has ever been made.

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