Madara National Historical and Archaeological Reserve
The village of Madara has always been mainly associated with the Madara Horseman bas-relief, though there are lots of other impressive architectural, religious and historical landmarks in the Reserve of the same name. The late antiquity fortress (4th century A.D) here was used consecutively by the Roman, Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. The fortress underwent multiple reconstructions but existed completely functional till the Ottoman invasion in the 14th century. During the first Bulgarian empire, the fortress played an important role in the defense of the Old Bulgarian capitals Pliska and Preslav. It has an irregular triangle shape with a gate on the north side. The high walls were constructed in ashlar masonry; there are remnants of church foundations inside and 386 stone steps leading up to the fortress, situated at the Madara Plateau. It is believed that Khan Krum himself deserted his capital Pliska and took shelter at the fortress, as he realized he would not be able to prevail over the numerous Byzantine armies of Emperor Nikiforos.
At the Reserve, the interesting sites are certainly not limited to historical and architectural landmarks. Madara Complex is the starting point of a very nice eco trail, while the village itself offers great opportunities to enjoy rural tourism.