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victory-park-moscow-image-1001.jpg

Moscow's Poklonnaya Mountain
 
There lies in Moscow a place called a mountian that is actually a
flat top hill. It is famous for several reasons.

This hill is situated in the western part of Moscow, between the
Setun & Filka rivers . At one time the Poklonnaya Mountain was far
outside the city of Moscow. From the top of the hill one could see
the cit's panorama. Travelers as well as merchants often climbed the
hill to get a view of this city and to bow to Mosocw. "Bow"
or "poklon" in Russian, is how the hill got its name, Poklonnaya.

Poklonnaya Mountain was first chronicled in historical documents in
the 16th century. Then it was called, "...the Poklonnaya Mountain on
Smolenskaya Road." Napoleon waited in vain for the keys to Moscow
from the top of this hill. During WW-2 Russian solders passed
Poklonnaya Mountain as they left for the front in their defense of
Russia.

In 1942 it was decided thatt a memorial should be raised on top of
Poklonnaya Mountain. Also during that time it was completely
impossible because of the war. On February 23, 1958, Poklonnaya
Mountain was awarded with a sign stating that "Here the Monument to
Victory of Soviet people in World War II 1941-1945 will be
constructed" .

Many years passed as the project & construction of the memorial
complex was actuallly made to become a reality in Moscow. A solemn
opening was slated for the 50th. ww-2 Victory Anniversary
celebrationto be held on the 9th of May 1995, VE Day.

This wonderful memorial complex covers some 135 hectares. It
includes the Central Museum of Great Patriotic war, the Victory
Monument & 3 temples of 3 religions constructed in memory of those
who died during the war. St. George temple opened in 1995, the
Memorial Mosque was completed in 1997 & the Memorial Synagogue was
completed in 1998.

The Central Museum of Great Patriotic War is located in the round
Winners' Square. The central alley of the Victory Park connects it
with Kutuzovsky Prospect. The museum founded in 1986 contains about
50,000 exhibits of military history. The 385 volumes of Memory Books
containing the names of those who died during the Patriotic War are
displayed in special showcases. Among other items, the museum
contains the red Victory Flag that was raised over the Reichstag in
Berlin on the 30th of April, 1945. Near the museum the permanent
exhibition of defense technology is situated.

At the center of Winners' Square there is an obelisk, 141,8 meters
high, that symbolizes 1,418 days and nights of the Great Patriotic
War (WW-2). Upon the 100-meter mark a bronze figure of the Victory
Goddess, Nike,
is situated. At the bottom of the obelisk is the statue of St.
George is placed. St. George is shown killing the
snakelike dragon that symbolizes evil. Both sculptures are the work
by Z. Tsereteli. In 2003 a chapel was built to commemorate the
memory of Spanish volunteers who died during WW-2.

Around the Hall of Memory are 6 dioramas that depict the biggest
battles fought during WW-2; "The Counteroffensive of the Soviet
Troops Near Moscow in December 1941", "The Joining of Fronts,
Stalingrad", "The Siege of Leningrad", "The Battle of Kursk
Bulge", "The Crossing of the Dnieper, 1943" & "The Storming of
Berlin". These dioramas, executed by masters from the Grekov Art
Studio of Battle Painting, covers a surface area of 1,500 square
meters. Anyone who has an interest in the WW-2 on the east front is
sure to find a visit to the museum very worthwhile.

Sources:
http://www.moscow- hotels-russia. com/poklon_ gora.htm
http://www.threewha les.ru/t27. html
http://www.infohub. com/attractions/ poklonnaya_ mountain_ 26771.html
http://www.moscowti mes.ru/stories/ 1995/05/05/ 006.html

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