“Obelisk” monument to World War II

On the list of the tallest monuments in the world, the Victory Monument ranks second, after the Washington Monument. The height of the monument to the first president of the United States, George Washington, reaches 169 meters, and before the construction of the Eiffel Tower (324 m.), It was the tallest building on Earth.

It is noteworthy that the completion of the construction of the two tallest structures on the planet (until recently) took place at the end of the 19th century. The Americans erected the monument for just over 40 years and in 1885 the majestic giant was finally completed. The French entrepreneur, in the construction of its main attractions, took a little more than 2 years, and in the spring of 1889 the beautiful iron tower began to generate fabulous profits for its investors.

You cannot fail to mention another gigantic monument, which was also erected at the same time. In 1886, on Liberty Island, about 3 km southwest of the southern tip of the island of Manhattan, the “torch” of the Statue of Liberty was lit, with a height of 93 meters. It is noteworthy that the frame and the pedestal of this monument was designed by the brilliant engineer Gustave Eiffel.

The word monument itself came from Latin (monumentum “remembrance; monument”, from cap. Monere “to remember”). Building monuments or monuments (which is essentially the same) in honor of some great man or significant event has been accepted since ancient times. But most of the monuments or monuments on the planet are strangely related to peace and war, to life and death. The Statue of Liberty was designed by design for the centenary of American independence. Eiffel Tower in the centenary of the French Revolution.

By the way, did you know that instead of the main French attraction in the Field of Mars, the project of a “giant guillotine” was considered, which was supposed to remind the Great French Revolution? As is known from the history textbooks, during the years of the revolution, a giant guillotine was installed in the Place de la Concorde, replacing the statue of the king, and King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, later Danton and Robespierre, were beheaded under the joy of the crowd in the square.

In Russia, the highest monument, symbolizing life and death, the terrible years of war and unconditional victory, the courage and heroism of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and the entire Soviet people, is the Monument to the Victory on Poklonnaya Hill. The tallest monument in Russia, included in the “Russian record book” was erected only in 1995, and not in the planned postwar period …

The monument and the Victory Park began to be designed before the end of the war. But in peace after the war, the priority was to restore the destroyed country as soon as possible. In addition, the USSR faced a new threat against the United States armed with nuclear weapons. In addition, a strong struggle developed between the two powers in the space industry. In addition to external threats, there were problems within the country: the death of Stalin, who did not leave a successor, and the struggle for power in the party did not disappear for many years …

Finally, in 1957, the place for the future monument was finally determined: Poklonnaya Gora. Why on Poklonnaya Hill?

For centuries, Poklonnaya Hill was the main route from Europe to the ancient capital of Russia. The Orthodox stayed in this place and traditionally “bowed” to the churches and monasteries of Moscow. In this place, M.I. Kutuzov decided the fate of the city. Here, in vain, Napoleon was waiting for the keys to Moscow. From here, in 1941, Soviet troops moved west along the Mozhaisk road.
In 1958, an open competition of the entire Union was held for the best monument project, but its results were not implemented. However, on February 23, 1958, a granite commemorative sign was installed on Poklonnaya Hill with the inscription:

“A MONUMENT WILL BE EARNED HERE TO THE VICTORY OF THE SOVIET PEOPLE IN THE GREAT HOMELAND WAR OF 1941-1945”.

In 1961, trees were planted around a stone with the inscription; A park named Victoria was placed. For many years, the park served its natural purpose: here Muscovites played sports and walked with children. Only at the beginning of the 1980s, earthworks, communications and roads were started. The construction was called “Shock Komsomol” for some time, according to the number of volunteers and students announced.

In modern sources, the construction of the Victory Monument is attributed solely to the office of the mayor of Moscow and then mayor Y. Luzhkov, and a very curious fact is mentioned very rarely and not everywhere: in the 1970s -1980, a monumental monument of subbotniks and personal contributions of citizens was collected. 194 million rubles. And naturally, such an impressive amount was not enough. The project was frozen for more than 10 years.

In 1992, the Moscow government began talking about long-term construction, and 3 years later, on May 9, 1995, the year of the 50th anniversary of the Great Victory, the Memorial complex was officially inaugurated. Since then, it continues its development and the monument to the Heroes of the First World War, opened in 2014, became the most recent memorial object.

Originally, the obelisk was supposed to look like a monument, where soldiers stood on a high pedestal under the victorious Red Flag with the image of Lenin. But in relation to the death of the author of the project, the architect A.T. Polyansky, this creatively complex idea remained only on paper. And over time, the image of Lenin stopped embodying the history of the winners. And this can only rejoice. Fortunately, the sober minds of modern architects and sculptors perpetuated the victory of the Soviet people, and not of revolutionary leaders and figures …

Then, the project was led by the famous sculptor-muralist, at that time the vice president of the Russian Academy of Arts Zurab Tsereteli. He is the author of the main Victory Monument.

The height of the Obelisk is 141.8 meters, according to the number of days of the war (1418).

Its shape is in the form of a trihedral bayonet. The wake “Bayonet” with a weight of 1000 tons is made of especially durable steel and lined with stone. It was built in record time, in just 9 months!

Most of the monument is covered with bronze bas-reliefs, with the most important battles: the Battle of Stalingrad and Kursk, as well as the Belarusian operation, and all the cities where there were fierce battles to Berlin.
At a height of 104 meters, a 25-ton bronze sculptural group is attached to the wake, which includes the goddess of victory Nick, who wears a crown and two cupids announcing the victory.

The statue of the goddess Nika increased the instability of the monument, its wind, therefore, during the construction of the foundations, it was also required to pour an additional 2,000 cubic meters of concrete. An elevator was installed to serve the wake (it was ordered in Sweden), which rises 87 meters.

Within the hill where the Monument is located, there are service rooms in which there is a station to monitor the state of the structure, control rooms, lighting and ventilation equipment, signaling devices, etc.

At the foot of the obelisk there is a statue of George the Victorious, the protector of Moscow, hitting with his spear a snake, which is a symbol of evil. In this case, fascism.

Today Poklonnaya Gora is included in all the guides of the city of Moscow. And the Obelisk of Victory, located in the center of the memorial complex, delights in its size.

It is true that it always seemed to me that the Homeland of Volgograd in Mamaev Kurgan is much higher, but this is a visual hoax. Its height is 85 meters.

By the way, at one time it was included in the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest sculpture statue in the world (in 60-70 years). In Russia, the Motherland only occupies the fourth place in the list of the highest monuments, after the monument of Moscow to Peter I (98 m, by the way, also Zurab Tsereteli), the obelisk of the Conquerors of Space in VDNKh ( 107 m) and our hero. Victory Monument!

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