Mound of Glory – The memorial complex of victory in Slabada

On August 18, 1966, the government of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic decided to construct a monument, to be named the Mound of Glory, in honor of the Soviet soldiers who fought in World War II and the liberation of Belarus.

Designed by architects Lev Mitskevich and Oleg Stakhovich and sculpted by Andrei Bembel and Anatoly Artimovich. Construction started in November 1967 and was finished in 1969, on the 25th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus during Operation Bagration (the codename for the 1944 Soviet Belorussian Strategic Offensive Operation). It was the biggest defeat in German military history and the fifth deadliest campaign in Europe, killing around 450,000 soldiers, while 300,000 others were cut off in Courland Pocket (historical area of the Courland Peninsula in western Latvia).

The memorial is a formalist structure, a reminder of a war where thousands of lives were lost / Image source

The height of the mound is 35 meters and two concrete stairs lead to the observation deck at the top. There are four titanium-lined bayonets-obelisks, each 35.6 meters high, symbolizing the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Belarusian and 1st Baltic fronts – participants in the liberation of Belarus.

At the bottom of them are mosaic images of the Orders of the Patriotic War and Glory. The base is surrounded by a wide circle, inside which is a mosaic inscription “Glory to the Soviet Army, the Liberation Army!” On the outer surface of the wheel are lined with gold smalt bas-relief images of soldiers.

 

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