Years and decades will pass, new generations will replace us. But here, to the foot of the majestic Victory Monument, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the heroes will come. They will bring flowers and bring children here. Here, thinking about the past and dreaming about the future, people will remember those who died defending the eternal fire of life (the inscription on the stove at the entrance to Mamaev Kurgan)
The main height of Russia, where the fate of Russian civilization was decided. The place where a continuous battle was fought for 200 days. Eight times the enemy managed to break into the mound, and eight times the Red Army beat back a strategically important position. The height of "102,0" on the right bank of the Volga was a turning point in stories World War II. Here the greatest of battles in the history of humanity took place. Soviet soldiers stood to death here. It defined the future of this world. Here in mass graves lie the remains of over 34 thousands of soldiers and officers of the Red Army.
I suggest that readers take a sightseeing tour of Mamayev Kurgan, where half a century ago, under the direction of E. Vuchetich, a grand monument was erected to the “Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad”, better known by the people as “Motherland is calling!”. Signed place that has become one of the symbols of the Great Victory.
The review will present a compilation from photographic materials of several visits to Mamayev Kurgan - the reader will be able to see how this place looks like day and night, on holidays and weekdays. Even in the most usual cloudy morning, crowds of people visit the complex - it is quite difficult to choose the right angle so that no stranger is in the frame.
The historical memorial complex is located directly in the city, in the central part of Stalingrad. The popularity of the Motherland is extremely high - the parking lot of Mamayev Kurgan surprises with the variety of numbers in all regions of Russia. Indeed, there is something to see here - the main sculpture “The Motherland Calls!” Is twice the height of the American “Statue of Liberty” (85 vs. 46 meters).
Entrance area. We stand with our backs to the Volga, facing Kurgan - the enemy was advancing from this direction. On the way to the main monument you need to overcome the 200 granite steps - according to the number of days of the Battle of Stalingrad (not counting the inclined ramps and soaring alleys). Climbing the first group of steps, we get to Alley of pyramidal poplars.
Under the alley, at the foot of the mound, a railway line was laid - every Uralets or Siberian on the way to the Black Sea certainly passes by the Motherland. For May 9, dozens of red flags adorn the monument, which gives the place a special solemnity.
From the Alley of pyramidal poplars, climbing up to 6 meters on the three-mid-flight ladder, we get to the legendary Square "Those who stood to death!". The face of a soldier figure with a grenade brought over his head belongs to Marshal V.I. Chuikov, commander of the 62 Army, a man who directly led the defense of Stalingrad. One of the most photogenic places on Mamayev Kurgan, an essential attribute of all sets of postcards with a view of the city.
Our path lies upward - along the steep granite steps we rise closer to the sky. On both sides of the staircase, giant ruin walls with bas-reliefs depicting the defenders of the city rose up. Here, day and night, in the heat and blizzard, powerful loudspeakers broadcast the chronicle of the war years: messages from the Soviet Information Bureau, interrupted by the crackle of machine-gun bursts and howling aviation motors. Songs of the war years are played periodically.
... There are fierce battles at Stalingrad, our army reflects the numerous attacks of the enemy ...
New "location". Heroes' Square with six sculptural groups.
Most of the area is occupied by a rectangular pool in the granite shores. Due to the increasing incidence of blasphemous behavior of visitors, do not even think about defiling the monument, crawling up to the knees in water, and picking up numerous coins from the bottom - an immediate punishment will come from law enforcement officers. Never disturb the peace of fallen soldiers. Behave yourself with dignity - on Mamaev Kurgan, surveillance cameras are installed at every step.
On the right side of the pool are six massive sculptural compositions defenders of the city. The basis of all the works - the contrast of standing and defeated figures. The comrade is dead, and the sailor, picking up the last bunch of grenades, rushes towards the enemy. The standard-bearer is killed, but the strong hand of another fighter picked up the banner. A nurse with a wounded man on his shoulders ... instead of the fallen, new rows of fighters arise. Having stood, we will win! Particularly symbolic extreme, the sixth in a row sculpture: the soldiers tied up and threw the fascist hydra to the dustbin of world history.
This place is always surprisingly quiet. The wind fades and the sky is reflected in the smooth pool mirror. Already nothing will disturb the peace of the dead. Asleep heroes always watch their birch dreams.
The iron wind beat in the face, and they all went forward, and again a feeling of superstitious fear seized the enemy: did the people go on the attack, are they mortal?
The square ends and an impassable wall rises before us. On the bas-relief is the granite army of winners. Under the feet of Soviet soldiers, a gray mass of German prisoners. Fascist warriors would like to see the Volga? The Red Army gave them that opportunity.
The further way lies under the ground, we enter the realm of the dead. Behind the turn of the dark tunnel - the entrance to Hall of Military Glory.
Guard of honor. The hand holding the torch of the eternal flame ... But what is it? On the walls of the Pantheon are thirty-four huge mosaic panels from floor to ceiling. On each, in two rows, an endless list of the names of the fallen heroes stretches. You turn back in fear - and again the names, names, names ... And above them, on the ceiling is a star cluster of military orders.
The Hall of Fame is crowned by Guards: We were mere mortals, and few of us survived, but we all fulfilled our patriotic duty to Holy Motherland.
Mamaev Kurgan is one of the few places in Russia where the guard of honor keeps watch. Fasting at the Eternal Flame and another one at the exit from the pantheon. Bearing, becoming, posture - all at the highest level. Every time the change of the guard of honor causes an incredible excitement among visitors - the soldiers march, clearly typing a step, through a half of the barrow.
Unfortunately, the exact time and frequency of changing the guard could not be established (according to his own feelings - about 40 minutes). Usually during the excursion to Mamaev Kurgan (a couple of hours at least) you can repeatedly observe this fascinating rite.
Going up the spiral of the ramp, we leave the Hall of Military Glory and get to a new level - Square of sorrow. Sad is the place. Quiet pond, weeping willows. The figure of the mother, bent over the dead son.
In front of the Square of Sorrow, from where a breathtaking view of the lower levels of the mound opens, Marshal Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov rests. The only Soviet marshal, who bequeathed to bury himself not in Moscow, but in a mass grave, next to his soldiers, in the city that he had once defended.
Serpentine Alley soars upward, to where the figure “Motherland Calls!” Shines in the sun’s rays. Under the green lawns of the hill lie mass graves of Soviet soldiers. A long line of memorable granite slabs. To the Hero of the Soviet Union, Sergeant Abdirov Nurken. Eternal glory! To the Hero of the Soviet Union, Captain Baranov, Mikhail Dmitrievich. Eternal glory!
We are coming.
The most terrible inscription. She was just 18 ...
Another turn of the alley - and we are at the top of the mound! Here the giant figure "Motherland is calling!" - A modern interpretation of the ancient goddess of victory, Nika, which calls upon her sons and daughters to repel the enemy and continue the further offensive.
One of the Seven Wonders of Russia. 5500 tons of concrete and 2400 tons of metal structures are resting on a 16 meter foundation embedded at the top of a hill. The mass of basement plates and reinforcements - 16 000 tons. The amount of preparatory excavation work required to install a unique sculpture - 1 million cubic meters.
The thickness of the reinforced concrete wall of the statue does not exceed 25-30 centimeters - the Motherland Motherboard frame is a complex cellular structure welded from angular steel (3 x 3 x 4 meter cells). The required structural rigidity is ensured by 99 with tensioned steel cables.
The sword, a length of 33 meter and a mass of 14 tons, was originally a steel frame sheathed in titanium sheets. The high “sail” of the sword caused its strong swinging in the wind - excessive mechanical stress led to the deformation of the structure, an unpleasant grinding of metal sheets appeared. In 1972, the sword blade was replaced with a frameless one, made entirely of steel. Shorter (28 m), with holes to reduce windage and dampers to damp oscillations from wind loads.
Inside the Motherland there are stairs that allow you to climb the whole height and penetrate into any part of the statue's internal volume, including the head, hands and scarves. Through the hole in the right hand, you can even penetrate into the cavity of the sword and climb the ladder along its entire length.
We are standing at the foot of a huge statue, offering an impressive panorama of the city, the bend of the great river and the endless Trans-Volga steppes. The one who controlled the Mamayev Kurgan, controlled the entire central part of Stalingrad and the crossings of the 62 Army. Any description fades before what happened here 70 years ago ...
Mamaev kurgan. Normal day in winter 1942-43
Usually, excursions end at this place - tired visitors begin their way back to the foot of the mound. But, we, as curious people, will continue the study of the military memorial. We turn to the other side of the hill and go through the park directly to the tower of the television and radio center. (Wow! The reverse side of the mound is completely canopy and is a plain slowly flowing into a steppe covered with ravines).
Next to the radio tower, besides the VIP hotel, there is a small attraction - a platform with military vehicles. Combined hodgepodge of aviation and armored vehicles of various eras. The author was able to identify the Il-2 attack aircraft, MiG-15, -17 fighters, MiG-21 “spark”, rapid MiG-23, combat training “Albatross”, a couple tanks T-34, modern infantry fighting vehicles, BRDM and armored personnel carrier. In general, a good prospect for those who like to shoot military equipment.
There is a really scary place nearby. The real Russian “Arlington” is a military cemetery with endless rows of stone slabs.
And there is a WALL nearby. A terrible wall of black polished marble with tens of thousands of names. A copy of the Washington Memorial of Vietnam Veterans.
Alas, few of the visitors to the memorial complex realize the existence of this military burial. People prefer to admire the opened panorama of Volgograd, enthusiastically flipping the camera shutter at the foot of the Motherland, without tiring themselves with mournful thoughts about the mass grave, which, in fact, is the whole Mamaev Kurgan.
Well, now it remains to go along the familiar route to the foot of the mound, where we have to say goodbye to our dear readers. A day later, under the wheel restart, the train will rush at the foot of the 102,0 altitude and take off into the vast expanses of Russia.
There will be only MAMAYEV KURGAN. Eternally living memory in the hearts of the Russian people.
Life goes on!