The Madara Rider is an emblematic rock relief found in Bulgaria’s Shoumen region. The relief dates back to the beginning of the 8th century and marks the beginning of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. It depicts a rider piercing his spear through a lion and accompanied by a dog and an eagle. The relief was carved into the vertical rock at a height of 23 meters (75 ft). It symbolizes victory over the enemy and is thought to represent the might of the Ancient Bulgarian khans from the days when we were a nomadic tribe of warriors. Some historians think that the image represents Khan Tervel who saved Europe from Arabic Invasion during the Siege of Constantinople in 718 AD (read about it in my blog).

Also known as the Madara Horseman, it was declared a Monument of World Heritage by UNESCO. It will become Bulgaria’s symbol on our first Euro coin.