Located 250 mi/400 km east of Sofia, Pliska was one of the capitals of the first Bulgarian kingdom (AD 681-1018). If you're traveling between Sofia and Varna, plan to spend a few hours looking at Pliska's forts and historical museum.
Related sights are at nearby Preslav. Between Pliska and Shoumen is a turnoff for Madara: On the face of a rock wall is the Madara Horseman, a bas-relief cut into the rock in the eighth century—it's very eroded, so you'll need to use your imagination to see it.
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