Mamaev Kurgan in Volgograd
“Height 102”, in military maps denoting the highest point of the city of Stalingrad, where the bloodiest battle took place, now is home of the most famous war memorial complex Mamayev Kurgan, the largest among those built to commemorate the victory of the Soviet soldiers in the Second World War.
“Height 102” of Mamayev hill played a most important role in the course of Stalingrad Battle: being the highest point of the city, it gave much advantage for observing the movements of the enemy. Control of the hill became vitally important, as it offered control over the city. In fact, the hill (in Russian ‘kurgan’ means ‘tumulus’) is supposed to have served as an observation point by nomad Tatar tribes of Mamai Khan, after whom it was later named Mamayev Kurgan (“The hill of Mamai”). Still, there are also other hypotheses about the name: some historians say that ‘mamai’ just means ‘hill’ in the language of the Volga Tatars.
Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex is composed of several monuments and places:
- The Memory of Generations – entry high relief
- The Alley of Poplars
- “Fight to Death” Square
- Ruined Walls – high relief depicting the battle of Stalingrad
- Heroes Square
- Retaining Wall (Breast Wall)
- Hall of Valour
- Square of Grief with the statue of a mourning mother in the center of it
- “The Motherland Calls”, the focal colossal statue of the memorial complex
- All Saints Church
- War memorial cemetery
- Exposition of military equipment