Victory ParkRussian: Park Pobedy or Парк Победы, located in Moscow’s West at Poklonnaya GoraRussian: Poklonnaya gora or Поклонная гора, is a memorial complex dedicated to the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. It features many monuments and three memorial temples, an Orthodox church, a mosque and a synagogue, representing Russia’s three major religions. At the heart of the complex is the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, which opened in 1995, a solemn memorial museum honouring the heroes and the main events of those tragic war years. It also features a small open-air collection of military hardware.
The museum has three memorial halls. The Hall of CommandersRussian: Зал полководцев is dedicated to the recipients of the Order of Victory, the highest military order awarded by the Soviet Union. Several busts by the well-known sculptor Zurab Tsereteli and a decorative ‘Sword and Shield of VictoryRussian: Меч и щит Победы’ are on display here. The Hall of Remembrance and SorrowRussian: Зал скорби honors the Soviet people who died in the war. In this elongated hall covered with soundproof dark material, you will hear Mozart’s Requiem and see strings of glass beads hanging from the ceiling, symbolizing tears shed for the dead. The sculpture of a mother mourning her dead son stands further away. The showcases display memory books from all over Russia, which attempt to record millions of soldiers who died or went missed in action during World War II.
The Hall of GloryRussian: Зал славы lists the names of the recipients of the Hero of the Soviet Union distinction for feats accomplished on the battlefield. Another museum housing the exhibition entitled Feat and Victory of the Great PeopleRussian: Подвиг и Победа Великого народа is adjacent to the Hall of Glory from the outside. Exhibits show the chronology and history of the prewar period and of every year of the Great Patriotic War featuring photographs, documents, weapons, munitions and uniforms.
At the heart of the exhibition are six dioramas devoted to the decisive episodes of the war. These are: The Counteroffensive of the Soviet army near Moscow in December 1941, the Battle of Stalingrad and The Meeting of the Fronts, The Siege of Leningrad, The Battle of Kursk, The Battle of the Dnieper and The Battle in Berlin. Personal belongings of Soviet commanders, such as the accordion of the Marshal of the Soviet Union Aleksandr Vasilevsky, are some of the fascinating items on display.
Next to the museum is an open-air collection of military hardware. It is not particularly extensive but includes some interesting exhibits and installations, including a collection of captured Japanese hardware, the reproduction of a war road fragment featuring the frameworks of a destroyed railway bridge and the remnants of a fallen German airplane. An artificial pond is nearby, with several boats and their fragments on display. Of special interest is TK-131Russian: ТК-131, the Soviet torpedo motorboat dating back to WWII. Other exhibit items include the con of the SHCH-307Russian: Щ-307 submarine and the ShmelRussian: Шмель gunboat made between 1967 and 1972. Unfortunately, the reconstruction of some of the exhibits has been carried out with errors and does not always render all the details in a historically faithful way.
Overall, the collection of military hardware at the Museum of Great Patriotic War is inferior to those in the Tank MuseumRussian: Tankovyi muzey or Танковый музей in KubinkaRussian: Кубинка (Moscow OblastRussian: Moskovskaya oblast' or Московская область) and of the Central Armed Forces MuseumRussian: Muzey Rossiyskoy armii or Музей Российской армии. This museum was created as a stately memorial complex, after all, rather than as a collection of military items.
The Museum of Great Patriotic War hosts regular themed exhibits and tours featuring sound and light installations. One of major military events – the oath-taking ceremony of soldiers from the Moscow Military District – takes place here, at Poklonnaya Gora.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com