The Great Patriotic War left many terrible reminders, some of which people have turned into memorials to keep the memory alive and prevent a repeat of the tragic events. The history of the war mentions several dozen major battles, one of which was the brilliantly conducted Operation Bagration. Another name, “Minsk Cauldron,” points to its location. Now the Mound of Glory has grown here. It symbolizes human memory, the desire to preserve the names of defenders and honor the memory of heroes.
History of the Mound of Glory Memorial Complex
It was opened in 1969. Literally by the handfuls, the earth was collected for its construction. People brought it from places of battles, battles, regions of the guerrilla movement. For a year and a half, people from the vast country came, bringing with them the earth, piling it in one place, where gradually grew a hill, reaching 35 meters. Then huge dump trucks brought the missing volume and formed a man-made cone-shaped embankment. This unique monument of human memory and gratitude has become the largest memorial to the Barrow of Glory in Belarus.
Sculptors A. Bembel and A. Artimovich were commissioned to design the monument, they proposed an abstract version that would be one with the landscape. The hill is covered with slabs of turf with a particularly strong root system that keeps its slopes from deforming.
The history of the creation of the Kurgan of Glory in Belarus is deeply symbolic. It is known that every third family lost relatives and loved ones during the war, so the attitude to the memorial is very personal among residents of Minsk. The monument plays an important role in the patriotic education of young people, school trips are organized to it, foreign delegations come, military oaths are taken.
Historical information is perceived in a completely different way when there is a visible evidence of the past war in front of our eyes.
Description of the memorial
The total height of the monument is 70.6 m, of which 35 – the mound’s earthen base. The basis of the composition are 4 bayonets, pointing to the sky and surrounded by a ring, which are placed bas-reliefs. They depict soldiers of different branches of the army. Inside the ring is an engraved inscription glorifying the conquering army.
The square at the foot is an open-air museum of military equipment, where you can examine in detail the T-34, cannons of various calibers, a field kitchen. A few years ago, the memorial was equipped with lighting, and now it is visible even from the planes landing at Minsk airport. Knowing what the Mound of Glory is made of, one comes to understand that people will do their best to preserve the memory, passing it on to posterity.
The location of the hill is well known to residents of the capital, for tourists the place where the Memorial Complex Kurgan of Glory is located is marked on the city map, in tourist brochures. It is located at 21 kilometers on the highway Minsk-Moscow. Field trips are organized to it, and the memorial is included in the city tour.
Mound of Glory on the map of Belarus
Interesting facts about the Kurgan of Glory
The monument is unique in the history of its creation. It’s interesting to know that:
- The embankment is practically created by hand from earth brought from all over the country;
- To stabilize the structure, a 30-meter pillar foundation was laid;
- The turf coating has a protective function, not allowing the mound to lose its shape;
- inside is a hidden self-contained irrigation system;
- The observation deck is accessed by stairs with 241 steps;
- The four bayonets symbolize the unity of the fronts involved in the military operation “Minsk Cauldron”.
The monument is part of the “Khatyn” complex, representing a thematic unity.