Top World War II memorable places in Russia

Moscow is full of World War II memories: the mobilization in June 1941, almost continuous air strikes and evacuation, but also the memory of the enemy withdrawal and the return of soldiers. One of the the most impressive memories is the first Victory Parade held on June 1945.

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In May 2015 Moscow Red Square will be a host to military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of  Victory Day over Fascism. However, parade isn’t the only remembrance of World War II. In Moscow, there are a couple of memorable places which make great travel destinations. We represent to you some of them.

Belorussky Station

This station sends trains from Sheremetyevo Airport to center of Moscow via the Aeroexpress train. A station building was built in 1912 during Imperial Russia. During WWII echelons moved to the front from that station. On June 26th 1941, four days after Germany attacked USSR, the song “Holy war” (“Священная война”) had been performed: The song became unofficial war anthem of the Soviets.

In memory of this event, the memorial plaque was placed on the Station.

In 1945, the first train on the line Berlin-Moscow arrived at this station. It was the most expected train because it was transporting winner soldiers.

Mayakovskaya metro station

In order to arrive to Mayakovskaya metro station from the Belorrusky Station, enter the metro station on Belorrusky and get off at the second stop.

Mayakovskaya was opened in 1938, before WWII. That same year, a project of this station was awarded the main prize at the International Exhibition in New York. During the war, Mayakovskaya, like any other Moscow metro station, served as a shelter during the bombing of the city. It was here that on November 6th 1941, Stalin uttered the famous sentence: “Moscow did not fall, the people of the Soviet Union were not defeated!” The radio broadcast Stalin’s promise all over the country.

During the war in the Moscow metro citizens could get food and medical attention, and even watch a movie. They even temporarily opened Lenin Library Reading Room (the famous Leninka, now Russian State Library) at Kursk station (blue line). Moscow metro sheltered over 15 million people during the intense bombing of the city, and 150 babies had been born during air raids.

The Marshal Georgi Zhukov monument in Manezhnaya Square

The monument is located on Manezhnaya Square, near the entrance to the Red Square.

Georgi Zhukov came from peasant family and didn’t have high education, but he got his rank of marshal thanks to war accomplishments, and after the war people named him The Marshal of Vicory. It was Zhukov who stopped the German offensive near Moscow at the beginning of Word War II, and by that spoiled Hitler’s plan. According to that plan, after the wildfire of German troops, USSR was to fall in two weeks. “When they ask me what I remember most from the last war, I always say: the battle for Moscow,” said Zhukov.

Eternal Flame in Aleksandrovsk park 

If you move from The Marshal Georgi Zhukov monument toward Manezhnaya Square, you will see a guard post no. 1, to the left of the entrance to the Aleksandrovsk park.

Guard post no. 1 is located near the Tomb of the Unknown hero. Russians simply call it Eternal Flame. After World War II this kind of Memorial complexes were built in every city as a memory of  fallen soldiers. At the Guard post no. 1, every day from 8 AM to 8 PM, stands an elite honorable guard, no matter the weather conditions. The guards alternate each hour, standing there motionlessly even with all the camera flashes and people effort to distract them.

The Memorial Complex on Poklonnaya Mountain

You can get there using Metro. Take one at Arbatsk station (blue line), drive through 3 stations and get off at Victory Park. Prepare yourself for the long walk.

The Memorial complex was opened in 1995, at 50th anniversary of Victory. The main avenue, called The War Years, is located in front of the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War. It is decorated with numerous fountains. Five years of war, are symbolized by five cascades with 225 fountains, because for Soviet people, the war lasted that many weeks.

The unique exhibition of military technology and engineering-fortified buildings from the World War II is set in the Victory park. Here you can find over 300 items of military technology of the USSR and its allies, but also of Germany and its allies. Besides, Victory Park is a recreational center and a perfect place for an evening stroll in fine weather.

Source: Russia Beyond The Headlines

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