The Republic of Belarus is a land of military and partisan glory. It was this republic of the Soviet Union in 1941 that took the first blow from the enemy. According to official data, during the war every third citizen of Belarus died or was missing. Even after the occupation, citizens continued to fight for freedom and independence: they organized sabotage, helped scouts and organized in partisan units.
It would be strange if this country did not have a large number of monuments and memorials related to that era.
The historical and cultural complex “Stalin Line” in Minsk is one of the largest such complexes on the territory of the former Soviet Union. The open-air museum was built for the 60th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. One of the initiators of building the memorial was the Society of Afghans. Many public organizations, public and private enterprises, and volunteers responded to their call for help. The President of the Republic also made a significant contribution to the project.
The memorial was unveiled on June 30, 2005 and immediately aroused interest among people of all generations. Every year it is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world. The museum has practically become a business card of the Republic of Belarus.
“Stalin Line in Belarus on the map – how to get there
The memorial complex “Stalin Line” is located 20 kilometers from the capital of the Republic of Belarus. To get to the “Stalin Line” from Minsk, you need to drive about 15 kilometers north from the Moscow Ring Road on highway R-28. After you pass the town of Zaslavl, you should turn in the direction of Molodechno. Then, following the signs, you will be at the place within 10 minutes.
You can also take a shuttle bus to the station “Molodechno” at the station “Druzhnaya”. According to the route, the bus will take you directly to the complex.
Location of the museum complex on the map
Opening hours, ticket prices, parking
The museum “Stalin Line” near Minsk is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00. But on the territory of the complex there are many different expositions and attractions: holo-shooting, riding machinery and so on. Each section has its own schedule, which can be clarified on the official website of the museum.
The price of tickets is very democratic: admission for adults costs almost 450 rubles, and for children – 220 rubles. There are two parking lots on the territory of the museum. They are paid. Visitors have to pay about 100 rubles for a car and minibus, and 125 rubles for a tourist bus.
Due to the fact that on the territory of the Historical Museum are often held reconstructions of battles, the price of tickets may vary. For more information, tourists can check out the Stalin Line online poster.
Official website of the complex: stalin-line.by
Schematic diagram of the museum complex in Minsk
The museum staff offers to purchase the Stalin Line map. Don’t say no. The museum complex occupies more than 26 hectares. There are about 40 exhibitions, each of which is unique in its own way. So it will be very difficult without a map. If you do not want to spend extra money, you can download a diagram from the official site of the memorial.
Map of the Stalin Line
History of Stalin’s defense line
Construction of the grandiose structure began in 1928 by personal order of Joseph Vissarionovich. The need for such a powerful fortification of the area became necessary after the end of the Civil War. At that time there was still the threat of attack from the south by the British, from the East by the Chinese, and from the West by the Poles. While the former and the latter behaved more modestly, the Poles spoke openly about the annexation of new areas of Belarus and Ukraine to their country.
Hundreds of military engineers worked on the creation of the defense complex. The experience of World War I showed that the popular forts and fortresses had outlived their usefulness and were simply ineffective. For example, the fortress of Novogergievsk, numbering more than 90,000 soldiers and officers of the garrison, lasted only two weeks before the assault of the German army.
Enemy troops simply bypassed such structures and took them under siege. Next came artillery and aviation.
Soviet scientists took an absolutely unprecedented decision: to put all the fort’s defenses in one line. The idea was ingenious: to position the fortifications in such a way that they were flanked by natural obstacles that prevented the enemy from getting close to the Soviet soldiers from behind (swamps, forests, rivers).
But the defensive complex did not last long. In 1939, the Soviet Union and Germany signed a non-aggression pact and the Soviet Union annexed the Baltics and Western Ukraine. The Soviet Union’s border shifted, and the need for this powerful structure was no longer necessary. They disarmed him and began to build a new similar fortification in the place where, according to the non-aggression pact, the new USSR border lay.
The Germans took advantage of the fact that the new line was not ready and the old one was completely disarmed, and in 1941 inflicted a crushing defeat on the Soviet forces. In just a few months the enemy managed to capture the Baltic States, Moldova, Ukraine and part of the RSFSR. And only in December 1941, the Soviet troops were able to stop the Wehrmacht army.
Feedback on a visit to the Stalin Line
Visiting the Stalin Defense Line in Belarus, residents and guests of the Republic have extremely positive impressions. They speak well of the atmosphere of the museum, noted the high professionalism of the guides, who tell the story of the place in detail and answer all the questions tourists are interested. The fact that all exhibits and attractions announced in the program are accessible to the public is also admirable.
The guests of the complex also like the cuisine, which is offered in the cafe, located near the parking lot.
Everyone can buy a souvenir as a memento. Souvenir products are presented to tourists in a great variety.
The only thing many visitors asked the organizers to pay attention to was the number of toilets. There aren’t enough of them for all visitors.
Stalin Line Museum in the Pskov Region
Stalin’s line exists not only in Belarus, but also in the Russian Federation, in the Pskov region. This memorial is somewhat smaller than the one in Belarus, but has the same rich history. The Stalin Line Museum in the town of Ostrov in the Pskov region was opened in 2009. The complex is located on a territory of 18.5 hectares. Museum visitors can see DOTs of the 1930s, dugouts, and trenches, anti-tank and anti-personnel barriers, and passageways-messages were also recreated by museum workers and volunteers. On the map Stalin Line in the Pskov region is located 5 kilometers from the village of Zakharkino, near the village of Kholmatka.
Visitors note that the museum is staffed by experienced and knowledgeable guides, who tell in detail about the military events in the area, answering in detail the many questions of tourists.
Films about the Stalin Line
In 2014, a 4-part documentary about the defensive complex was released on television. The film shows documents with the stamp of “secret”, which tells where Stalin’s line actually passed. Also, the authors tell who the creator of this grand structure, what caused the need for construction, and how came the idea to design everything exactly this way.