Poklonnaya Hill

Mikhail Japaridze/TASS
It is believed that travellers who headed east or west in the 14th-19th centuries would pause atop this hill in the west of Moscow to admire the majestic sight of the city beyond and bow respectfully. A similar hill – a kind of a natural observatory – also existed in the vicinity of today's Yaroslavskoye Shosse (Yaroslavskoye Highway), but was built over in the 20th century. Poklonnaya Hill, literally "Bow-down Hill," was the place to welcome distinguished guests arriving in Moscow from the west. In 1812, Napoleon waited here in vain for the people of Moscow to bring him the keys to the city. Nowadays Poklonnaya Hill is simply a sprawling walking area with fountains and the Victory Park memorial complex. Victory Park includes the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War, monument to the heroes of World War I, combat dog monument, Holocaust Memorial with synagogue, the lilac vista planted for the 70th anniversary of the 1945 victory, and an outdoor museum of military machinery. Poklonnaya Hill is the site of official celebrations and memorial events. Crowds of Muscovites come here for a stroll. Newlyweds stop by to pay their respects to the city, and rollerbladers congregate on the hill. They make a skating rink on Poklonnaya Hill in winter. Fairs are organized here at Christmas, Maslenitsa and Easter.