Duration: about 1 hour.
The starting point of the tour is Lenin Square (Ploshchad Lenina). The best way to get to the memorial ensemble is by high-speed tram to “Mamaev Kurgan” stop. You can see the memorial complex to the left across the road.
Mamayev Hill (Mamayev Kurgan) is one of the most memorable places in Volgograd. People usually associate it with the Russian Great Patriotic War, but only some people know that the secrets and legends of other centuries lie in this place. One of the mysteries is connected with the name of the hill. There are lots of versions of the origin of the name "Mamayev Hill". According to one version during the reign of Khan Mamai there was an outpost of the Mongol-Tatars. Another version says that the etymology of the word "Mamai" is from ancient Tibetan means "the mother of the world", but why it is called Kurgan is not mentioned.
Mamayev Hill is the epitome of unsurpassed talent of the Soviet sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich who is also the author of the magnificent sculpture "Warrior-liberator" in Treptow Park in Berlin, allegorical statues "We will beat swords into ploughshares" at the UN building in New York.
People began to build the memorial in May 1959 and in October 1967 the monument to the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad was inaugurated. All people pay attention to the main monument the Motherland Calls (Rodina-mat zovet!)! It is one of the highest statues in the world. The height of the sculpture with the sword is 85 m (with pedestal 87 m) and it weighs more than 8000 tons. The statue is not secured to the foundation and stands on it freely like a chess piece on the board. The head of the monument, scarf and arms were made separately and then mounted using a tower crane.
The figure is made of concrete. The whole statue is composed of individual cells inside. The rigidity of the frame is supported by 99 metal wires which are constantly in tension.
Something more than the war is commemorated in the sculpture of the memorial. Here you can see faces of real people. Thus, the image of Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasily Chuykov is embodied in the sculpture "Fight to the death" and the face of the Motherland was created by Yevgeny Vuchetich in the image and likeness of his wife.
Every year on 9 May above the memorial the fireworks thunder in honor of the defenders of Stalingrad in the memory of which the complex was created. 9 May 2045 is the 100th anniversary of the victory in the Russian Great Patriotic War. This day should be opened capsule buried at the Square of the Heroes on 9 May, 1970 with the appeal of the participants of the war to the descendants.
In 2005 on the territory of the complex All Saints Church (Khram Vsekh Svyatykh) was opened.
Interesting facts: Myths about Mamayev Kurgan
Modern scholars suggest that Mamayev Hill has a special power because there is a geological break under it through which the microwave radiation influencing people flows. As in all mysterious and mystical places there are ghost stories.
The guards of the memorial complex tell that here you can find the shadows of the fallen soldiers and see strange and unnatural glow on old graves. Some people believe that the ghosts were one of the reasons for the construction of All Saints Church here.
On the way back you can visit the Einstein Museum of entertaining sciences (Muzey zanimatelnykh nauk Einshteina) which presents the amazing exhibits that clearly explain different laws of physics, natural phenomena and optical illusions. To get to the museum you need to go two stops towards the city centre by metro tram and get off at the stop Tsentralny Park kultury i otdykha (TsPKiO) and then you will see a bright orange-and-blue building of the museum.
When you reach this stop you can also stroll through lovely Baku Park (Park Baku) which is a part of Central Park of Culture and Rest (Tsentralny Park kultury i otdykh). The park entrance is on the left side from the Europa City Mall shopping center.