Poklonnaya Hill/ Victory Park

Poklonnaya gora (Park Pobedy)

This is where in 1812 Napoleon was in vain expecting the keys to the Moscow Kremlin to be brought to him. Historically, this was the place where important guests and foreign envoys were greeted by the citizens with traditional low bows. According to another version, travellers entering the city would often stop here to enjoy the view of Moscow from these heights and pay homage to its many numerous churches bowing to the ground. Hence the name of the Hill – Poklonnaya, which is derived from the Russian word for ‘to bow down’.

In 1958 a memorial complex called the Victory Park was founded here to commemorate those fallen in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. The Square of Victors is dominated by the Victory Monument, an obelisk of symbolic height – 141.8 meters, every 10 centimetres of which stand for a day of the war. This is the tallest Russian monument. The complex also includes the Eternal Flame, monuments to the First World War Heroes, to the Peacekeepers and to the Soldiers Missing in Action, to the Anti-Hitler Coalition Countries, an outdoor exposition of military machines featuring over 300 exhibits including rare captured vehicles. The Monument to the Defenders of Russia consists of the sculptures of an ancient Russian warrior, a guardsman of the 1812 Patriotic War, and a Soviet soldier of the World War II period.

The collection of the Great Patriotic War Museum includes over 35 thousand exhibits. 6 dioramas, dedicated to the key battles of the War are the Museum’s special pride. It also features audio-visual halls where military documentary films, photographs and archive materials are demonstrated. The Hall of Memory and Mourning is meant to commemorate the 26,6 million Soviet people who either perished or went missing during the war. Close to the Museum is another monument called the Tragedy of the Peoples, dedicated to the victims of fascist genocide.

The main alley of the Park, named the War Years, running between the Victory Square and the Museum, is made of five terraces, symbolizing the five years of the war. The total number of various fountains in the Park, beautifully illuminated in the evening, is 1418 – one for each day of the war. The Park has the world’s biggest flower clock, 10 meters in diameter with hands of 4.5 and 3.5 meters. There are also temples of three different faiths: St. George’s Orthodox church, a memorial synagogue dedicated to the Holocaust victims, and a memorial mosque.

During the warmer seasons the Park is frequented by newlyweds, who do their photo sessions here, as well as by roller-skaters and young mothers with their prams. Visitors can take a ride across the Park on the electric sightseeing train, enjoy a meal at one of several fast-food booths operating here, rent roller-skates, bikes, scooters, pedal or electric carts. There is also a playground and a small amusement park for kids. During winter the Park hosts the Ice Moscow festival which offers an opportunity to enjoy numerous ice slides and take beautiful pictures with ice sculptures.

Address: 3 Pobedy Square (ploschad Pobedy, 3)
Opening hours: Great Patriotic War Museum - Tue-Wed, Sat-Sun from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (tickets sold and visitors admitted until 7:30 p.m.), Thu, Fri from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (tickets sold and visitors admitted until 8 p.m.), closed on Mondays and last Thursday of every month. Open-air expositions and the Engines of the War exhibition operate on Tue-Sun from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (tickets sold and visitors admitted until 6 p.m.), closed on Mondays. The Park is open 24 hours.
How to reach: Park Pobedy metro station
Coordinates: 55.731708, 37.506786