Madara, 18 km east of Szumen, it is a very convenient place to stop between Varna and Ruse or Veliko Tarnovo. It is also a good base for exploring the nearby capitals of the First Bulgarian State, Presławia i Pliski. From the train station, towards the rocky bluffs, they lead two kilometers, stone stairs. There are many interesting objects in the town, so it's worth spending a few days here.


Archaeological remains can be seen just below the cliffs of Madara, dated from the eighth to the fourteenth century. There are a few arrowheads above. The bas-relief is very famous, depicting a figure on a horse, the piercing spear of the lion. It probably symbolizes the victory of Khan Teervel over his enemies, though it is supposed, that it may represent Khan Omurtag. It was carved in the early 8th century., on the face of the rock, 25 m above the ground, and the Greek inscriptions in its vicinity are dated to 705 i 831 r.

North of the bas-relief, stairs carved in the rock lead to the top of a hundred-meter cliff, and there you can see fortifications from the times of the First Bulgarian State. They were part of the defensive rampart, protecting Pliska and Preslaw. The fortress was built earlier by the Thracians (w V w).

Traces of man from the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras have been found in the cave, and also four temples: Sawmill, Protobułgarow, Romans (I w.) and a Christian basilica from the period of the First Bulgarian State. The lapidarium with architectural fragments of ancient buildings is also interesting, sculptures and statues. It is also lost there by the elegant lady in the 8th or 9th century. gold belt buckle.

Through narrow holes visible in the rocks, food was served on ropes to hermits walled up in their cells.

Accommodation and gastronomy

Kemping Madara (tel.2062), one of the most pleasant campsites in Bulgaria, it is located a few hundred meters from the aforementioned bas-relief. Open all year round, offers 15 rural chambers with shared bathrooms (6 $ for a double room) and campsites (2 $ from person). There is a small one in the campsite, good restaurant. The place is perfect for relaxation.

There is also a youth hostel in Madara, chyża Madarski Konnik (tel.2091). It stands near the ticket office selling entrance tickets, where you can see the bas-relief. The accommodation costs money 5 $ from person, it is not necessary to book individual nights. The hostel is open all year round.


Madara is located on the main railway line between Sofia and Varna via Pleven, but express trains don't stop here (you have to change in Kaspiczanie). Between Madara and Varna (91 km, 2 at) several trains run every day.

Buses depart from the archaeological site and the campsite. During the day, three afternoon buses depart to Szumen. Trains pass through the station in Madara almost every three hours; not wanting to spend the night in the town, a visit to it depends on the time between the departure of two trains. There is no left-luggage office here, but the train station staff may agree to store things that are inconvenient during sightseeing.

Between Madara and Kaspiczan (10 km) there are five buses a day; from there you can take direct trains to Ruse and Varna. Buses also run to Nowi Pazar and Pliski.