Mamayev Kurgan

Nikolay Galkin/TASS
You can take the Metrotram to Mamayev Kurgan station and get off at the foot of the biggest monument that has ever been built in memory of WWII soldiers. There are 200 steps up to the top  the same as the number of days that the Battle of Stalingrad lasted.

“Height 102” or Mamayev Kurgan was extremely important during the Battle of Stalingrad. Whoever controlled the hill controlled the city. Of the 200 days that the battle lasted, 135 were spent fighting for this hill. The Soviet army finally entrenched itself at Mamayev Kurgan on 25 January 1943.

Construction of the monument began in 1958 and lasted until 1967 under the guidance of sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich. The route to the top takes in the Alley of Lombardy Poplars, Last Stand Square, the ruined walls that recreate scenes of the fighting, and Heroes Square that ends with a support wall. In the 1970s, the builders entombed a capsule in the wall with a message to future generations that cannot be opened until 9 May 2045.