When you look around the world, you realize that every nation values their military and veterans well, Russia is no exception. Russia honors the military more than any other countries in the world. They value the military as much as their art and history. No matter where but anywhere you look, you'll see at least one thing dedicated to the veterans and sufferers. You can also recognize this fact by visiting their museums, especially the Great Patriotic War Museum.
The Great Patriotic War Museum is at the west side of Moscow on the Poklonnaya Hill, in the Victory Park. The 171-meter hill which was the highest point in Moscow had the glorious view of the whole city. The Victory Park with its 24 square kilometer area had the best potential for opening an outdoor museum which assigned to the Great Patriotic War Museum. Although, there is an excellent 14000 square meter area indoor museum in the park too.
Poklonnaya Hill is notable for its history and also because of its vital point as it was the highest point in the city. Poklonnaya Hill named after an old Moscow tradition. In the past, any person who entered the city from the hill would bow to the city and pay their respect. Poklonnaya Hill exactly means bow-down hill. After the French invasion of Russia, Napoleon stood at the top of this hill for Russian to deliver him the key to the Kremlin Palace which they never did.
During the Soviet Union era, the government decided to construct an outdoor museum, in 1960, celebrating the victory over Napoleon, in 1812. It was during this time that the Triumphal arch rebuilt in the victory park.
The cabin in which Mikhail Kutuzov decided to retreat the war and save Russian soldiers and gave Moscow to the French counted as a national monument. The panoramic painting of Battle of Borodino by Franz Roubaud brought to the victory park, in 1962. The 141.8-meter obelisk of victory stands in front of the museum in victory square, every ten centimeters of it represent one day of the war. There are an Orthodox Cathedral, a Mosque, and a Synagogue built in the park to honor each religion who fought in the war and lost their lives.
Besides the outdoor museum which displays every vehicles and weapon that used during the war, there's an enormous indoor museum dedicated to the second world war memories in the park too. The area sectioned to a few great halls and smaller rooms which each of them has a different tale to tell.
When you enter the vast victory park, you immediately get the war-theme of the museum by just looking around. You would notice vehicles, weapons, planes, and even warships that used during the Second World War in each corner of the park.
There are several statues and monuments of war everywhere in the park, but the People's Tragedy and the Allies Monument are more noticeable than others. The People's Tragedy Monument reveals a long line of tortured, exposed, and desperate men, women, and children who were waiting in Nazi's camps for their death to arrive. The only difference in the monument is that in front of the line which there's a woman who sealed his child's eyes and the father who tries to protect them from behind. The artist behind this masterpiece, Zurab Tsereteli has successfully resembled the pain of the people caused by Fascism and represented it to the world by creating this tragic monument.
The First hall you'll visit after entering the museum building is the Victory Hall which displays pictures, paintings, statues, documents, uniforms, and other stuff that used during the war for the public. But then, you'll notice the Hall of Fame, which has white marble as its interior, and names of all the 11800 people who awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title had written on its walls. There's also the enormous bronze sculpture of Soldier of Victory in the center of the hall.
Right under the Hall of Fame, at the below floor, there's The Hall of Remembrance and Sorrow which occupies an enormous space in the museum. The whole hall dedicated to the twenty-seven million lost lives during the second world war. About 2.7 million pieces of crystal attached to the ceiling to represent the tears for the dead. At the center of the room, right beneath the crystals, there's a statue of a mother who grieves for a soldier in her arms.
The Generals Hall on the second floor is for the people who want to know the commanders and their notable influences on the war. There are pictures, documents, posters, statues, and other stuff the commanders used during the war displayed for the public in this hall.
But besides the enormous halls with a different tale to tell for each one of them, there are more programs and events for the children and adults to learn from the war and recognize the feeling people felt during the wars. For example, there's a section in the museum with 3D-Paintings and decorative which transmit the war atmosphere perfectly. There are several educational and recreational tours with the theme of war for children and adults. There are also galleries and cinemas which help the administrators to have a better educational system within the museum. There are also galleries for images and paintings on the top floor of the building. If you are interested in war history particularly in the Second World War, this museum might be the most genuine and completed source you can find in the world. For people who travel to Russia visiting this amazing museum would be quite pleasant and useful whether they love the history of wars or not. The Great Patriotic War Museum successfully delivered the educational purpose alongside its principal goal which is to honor the war period and its losses.
The Museum of Great Patriotic War is one of the best military museums in the city of Moscow, although, there are several other great military museums in Russia.
For example, the Artillery Museum in St. Petersburg is one of the most completed museums of its kind which explains the development process of the army and weaponry of the Russian military. There's also the Central Naval Museum in St. Petersburg which is about the history of the Russian Navy and has several branches all over Russia such as the Ship Museum of Aurora.
Between all of these military museums, the Great Patriotic War Museum is the most completed ones about the Second World War, yet, visiting each one of these museums has its advantages which we recommend anyone who has plans to travel to Russia does.
One can find more about our top tips on how to travel to Russia in our blog, especially our brief guides such as this post.