Victory Park is on the Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow. The park is the main memorial complex in Russia devoted to the victory of the Soviet Union in World War II. The remembrance of the Victory is very important for Russia, as the Russian (and other nations of the former USSR) suffered much more from the World War II than all other nations taken one with another. That’s why the Victory Parade in Russia is always conducted on such a large scale.
It is believed that about 52-55 million people were killed in the Second World War, out of which 27 million were the Russian (the German - 9.7 million, the American – 325 thousand, the English – 20 thousand, the French – 20 thousand). The remembrance of World War II is at least tragic for the Jew than for the countries of the former USSR. There were killed about 6 million Jews in the war.
Poklonnaya Gora is a big sloping hill dominating Moscow. It isn’t as tall as, say, the viewing point on the Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory), however, there once went the main road (Smolenskaya), connecting Russia with the countries of Europe. All those who have come to Russia for the first time saw the panorama of Moscow and domes of its numerous churches just from this spot. People «bowed» to Moscow here, hence the name «Poklonnaya Gora», literally ‘bow-down hill’.
On this hill Napoleon waited for the keys from Moscow, and after the Russian defeated the French armies in 1812, the Triumphal Arch was erected on the Smolenskaya Road, which was called Kutuzov Avenue. After the victory over Germany in 1945, the memorial complex was also opened here.
After that time Poklonnaya Gora was given the second name – Victory Park. The memori-al part of the park is divided into 5 big terraces by the number of war years. At the foot of the hill, near Kutuzov Avenue, there located the first terrace, symbolizing the year of 1941, the year when the Soviet Union entered on the war.
The fountain bowls are along the terraces – totally 15 bowls having 15 fountains each. 225 fountains signify the number of weeks that the war lasted. In the evening red illumination is often turned on symbolizing the blood shed by Soviet soldiers in the war.
The Square of Victors is above the last, fifth terrace «1945», where the stele of 141.8 meters is located. This height signifies 1418 days of the war. At the foot of the stele the sculpture of St. George slaying the dragon – the saint patron of Russia – is installed. At the top of the stele the goddess of victory, Nike, stretches her wings over the terraces of the park.
A huge colonnade with a dome can be seen behind the stele. The semicircle of this colonnade is the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. There has been collected a vast collection of various exhibits related to the war: combat equipment and weaponry, things from the diggings, personal effects of Russian military leaders, letters from the war front. There`s also kept the Banner of Victory, which was put by the Soviet soldiers above the Reichstag in Berlin. It is the very banner that is displayed during the military parade on the Victory Day.
The grandiose Hall of Glory is in the middle of the museum. It is just above the Hall that the dome is that you can see above the colonnade. In the center of the Hall of Glory, on the granite pedestal, there stands the statue of the Soldier-Victor. The names of 11717 Heroes of the Soviet Union are inscribed in gold on the walls of the Hall of Glory.
In the 90th of the past century there was built an orthodox church together with a mosque and a synagogue in the Victory Park. They were devoted to the warriors of different religions who were killed in the Second World War. Some relics of St. George`s, a gift of the Jerusalem Church, is kept at the orthodox church.
A huge green territory of the Victory Park is behind the Hall of Glory. There are a lot of alleys, which are always full of people. You can see tanks and some other war equipment in the alleys of the Victory Park.
Wedding processions come there using the special path. There are always a lot of newly-weds on the Poklonnaya Gora, as there is a tradition in Russia to lay a bouquet of flowers on the military monuments. From Moscow they often go just here. As well, the Poklonnaya Gora is the cult place of Moscow roller-bladers. The paths and alleys of the park with numerous inclines are very comfortable for roller-blading.