The statue is part of a monument that was dedicated in 1985 on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the rebellion against Byzantine rule, which ended with the liberation of Bulgaria after which Tarnovo was proclaimed as a capital of the Second Bulgarian State (1185 – 1393). The monument is better known as the ‘Riders’ because it displays four warriors sitting on their horses, each of them looking in a different direction, with a huge sword rising to the skies in the middle. The composition represents the leaders of the revolt:  the brothers Ivan Asen I, Petar IV (Teodor Asen) and Kaloyan as well as one of their successors:  Ivan Asen II, son of Ivan Asen I. The Asen family founded a powerful dynasty, and ruled Bulgaria for a century. During their reigns Bulgaria achieved its greatest prosperity and mighty. A system of hereditary rule allowed the family to retain power and the seat of the Tsar was exchanged regularly between family members. As one may expect, however, it wasn’t always happy families. Ivan Asen II overthrew his own cousin Boril and then blinded him. Others died in attempts to expand the empire too. 
The monument Veliko Tarnovo looks down on to the Yantra river and the old town.

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