Mound of Glory revived and illuminated
For the first time in its history, the majestic monument of military glory solemnly sparkles with hundreds of bright LED lamps
The Mound of Glory was thoroughly cleaned, painted and restored on the eve of the anniversary of the Great Victory, ready to welcome more guests than ever. Millions of people have visited the site over the decades, with thousands of schoolchildren, alumni, students, delegation members, tourists and newly weds visiting each month. Cadets even take their oath at the site. Over its 46 years of existence, its stairs have been damaged, as have elements of its mosaics. Meanwhile, the metal plates covering the four bayonets have been subject to graffiti. Repairs were undertaken in 2003 but were not complete in scale. Up until the last moment, around 100 people were working on the site: contractors and volunteers cleaning tiles with foam and brushes, assembling power lines for each of the 482 stairs, and painting the metal structures.
The repaired mosaic ring with bas-reliefs now sparkles in the sunshine, looking like new. It reads ‘Honour to the Soviet Army — the Army-Defender!’ Its seven Motherland defenders are ‘crowned’ by four 35m tall bayonets, symbolising the four fronts which liberated Belarus from German Fascist occupants, lit by night in red, so that the site resembles an Eternal Flame in the dark hours. The colours of the Belarusian flag have been used to light the surrounding site, with 48 LED lamps replacing the previous two.
Interestingly, many architects have refused to design stairs around the Mound of Glory in the past, asserting that that task was impossible. However, engineer Valery Laptsevich succeeded. Now aged 76, he is still capable of climbing them, recalling his calculations.
The Khatyn Memorial Complex has also been fully restored in time for the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory, alongside other monuments of military glory countrywide. It is our sacred duty to maintain them, paying due respect and showing our gratitude for peaceful skies.
By Mikhail Vetrov