The memorial complex to the heroes and victims of the First World War in Smorgon, Grodno Region
Historical and cultural complexes
The bloodthirsty war lasted not one year and had broken the fates of many people, including the Belarusians taking an active part in those terrible events. Many Belarusian towns, the residents of which had to protect desperately and violently the freedom of their country, town and family, have withstood hard conditions. The small Belarusian town of Smorgon where strategically important battles took place has suffered lots of trials.
Belarus and the First World War: the history of Smorgon
Before the war, Smorgon was a rather prosperous and affluent town having real perspectives to become a large industrial regional center. However, the sudden war has brought its sorrowful shifts having made Smorgon become a dead town. The front was coming there with lightning speed, and the numerous townsmen were ordered to leave the location in only a few hours. So, in mere seconds, the resident became persecuted refugees that went up hills and down dale. Later, there was the hardest and exhausting battle lasting three years. However, the Kaiser troops could not break the deaf defense to go forward. In the postwar period, only about 150 people returned to the dilapidated and sacked town. It is not accidental that Smorgon is associated with famous Verdun…
Today the historical part of the town is an open-air museum where there is much that connects the town with the centuries-ago events ranging fr om fortifications and trenches to mass and unmarked graves.
Memorial of Belarus dedicated to the First World War
1st August 2014 was a special day for the Belarusian nation and many allied countries. The memorial complex to the heroes and victims of the First World War installed on the same site wh ere bloodthirsty battles took place a century ago was presented on the highest State level. After the official opening ceremony, there were shown large-scale battles referring to the terrible times. Powerful military hardware and volunteers fr om different locations: from Kiev to Krasnoyarsk, from Moscow to Minsk were involved in the improvised battles.
The memorial is located in the picturesque Memory Lane and includes monumental sculptures dedicated to warriors and refugees. Further away, there is “the Zone of Memory and Sorrow” with a bronze map of the years gone by and special urns filled with the ground taken from the unmarked graves. There is also a nice chapel, and “the Stone of Memory” with touching words addressed to future generations, and the George Cross located at the entry. It is planned to prepare a complete variant of the memorial by the 100th anniversary of the close of hostilities.
However, even now you can see this sight when you come to Smorgon for an excursion. In addition, in this small Belarusian town there are other interesting monuments:
as well as a monument to the "Bear Academy" - a place wh ere in the old days the bears were trained for performances in the circus.
- Krevo Castle - Transfiguration of the Savior Cathedral - Khodaki - The Church of St. Michael the Archangel - «Zolotaya gorka»
- Number of hours 5
The cost of the tour is fixed and does not depend on the number of people. The maximum number of people — 3.