05 May 2008

Victory Avenue

I took a walk at a beautiful memorial park at the northern most edge of the city of Kursk, which was named The Victory Avenue.

Facing northward, it is the gateway to Kursk and greets travellers from the next major neighbouring town of Orel.

Because of this, many of us who travel from Moscow southward to Kursk by land transportation nickname this park 'the Kursk Gate'.

Victory Avenue – a green park; war machines facing north towards the Triumph Arch located beyond the cathedral.

Kursk is well-known for being the site of the largest tank battle in history (during World War 2) with 2700 Nazi tanks and 3600 Soviet tanks involved. This battle is known as the Battle of Kursk.

To commemorate this battle, this park was built and several important monuments erected.

At its closer end to the city, a total of 8 weapons of war that contributed to the victory of the Battle of Kursk are showcased, each lined up one by one facing northward.

A Soviet mobile rocket launcher.

Such examples are the Soviet mobile rocket launcher, mobile anti-air battery, mobile artillery and the famous T-35 heavy battle tank.

A Soviet mobile anti-air battery.

These vehicles displayed serve as a reminder of the sacrifices and brutality of war.

A Soviet mobile artillery piece.

Even so, victory was their greatest pride despite the lost of 27 million Soviet lives at the end of the war, a number exceeding the population of Malaysia today.

The signature T-34 main battle tank of the Battle of Kursk.

Many engraved stones were erected in memory of those who lost their lives during the war, like the one below.

Written in both Russian and Hebrew, "Right here, in the days of occupation of Kursk by the German-facist aggressors, 443 Soviet civilians were executed by gun-point shooting."

A cathedral was built at this site to commemorate the events that transpired during World War 2.

The cathedral at the memorial park.

It had been under construction for a very long time; for a while works were put on hold due to the lack of fundings, but now as Russia's economy stabilised, work had resumed and it is now on the verge of completion.

A close up view of the achitecture of the cathedral.

The interior of the cathedral was meticulously done, although not yet finished, I predicted that it would be very beautiful upon completion. On the walls of the cathedral, names of fallen soldiers and civilians were engraved from floor to ceiling in their memory.

The painting of 8 angels on the ceiling of the dome.

The area around this memorial park is of high value, and is home to the richer minority of the city, which also complemented its beautiful surrounding and landscape.

Bungalows that lined the side of the park.

Further on, I reached the another World War 2 monument that honoured fallen Soviet soldiers. Here, the Eternal Flame burnt ceaselessly for the Unknown Soldier.

One of the many WW2 monuments bearing the Eternal Flame all over Kursk, and the rest of Russia.

Finally, that the most distant end of the park stands the focus of my trip: the Triumph Arch, the gateway to Kursk. Built after World War 2 and the re-establishment of the city, this structure is one of the major landmarks of Kursk.

A statue of a horse-riding knight slaying the serpent at the top; 4 warrior of various ages guarding the 4 corners of the arch.

Before mass transportation was commonplace, vehicles used to pass underneath the arch to the city of Kursk; now it has become a monument, symbol of victory of a war long passed.

The statue of Marshal Zhukov, the Triumph Arch and the cathedral at the distant.

As the park reached an end, so did my evening stroll at the park.

The Triumph Arch, the complete picture.

What a long walk. I guess I'll take a bus home.

1 comment:

Ik said...

kursk is so beautiful man....


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