The Poklonnaya Mountain is the flat hill in the western part of Moscow, between rivers Setun and Filka. Once the Poklonnaya Mountain was far beyond the borders of Moscow, and from its top one could see the city panorama. Travelers and merchants often climbed the mountain to see Moscow and to bow to the city. «Bow» is «poklon» in Russian, hence the name of the mountain — Poklonnaya.
The Poklonnaya Mountain was first mentioned in chronicles of the 16th century. At that time it was called the Poklonnaya Mountain on Smolenskaya Road. It was on Poklonnaya Mountain that Napoleon was vainly waiting for the keys to Moscow. During World War II the solders passed by the Poklonnaya Mountain leaving for the front to defend Russia.
In 1942 it was suggested to put a memorial on the Poklonnaya Mountain, but during that time it was absolutely impossible because of the war. On February 23, 1958, the Poklonnaya Mountain was marked with a sign saying «Here the Monument to Victory of Soviet people in World War II 1941-1945 will be constructed». And it was at the very beginning of the Victory Park laying.
It took many years to project and construct the memorial complex on the Poklonnaya Mountain in Moscow. Its solemn opening was dated for the 50th Victory celebration that took place on the 9th of May, 1995.
The memorial complex occupies 135 hectares. It includes the Central Museum of Great Patriotic war, the Victory Monument, and three temples of three religions constructed in memory of those who died during the war. Saint George temple was constructed in 1995, the Memorial Mosque was put up in 1997, and the Memorial Synagogue was erected in 1998.
The Central Museum of Great Patriotic War is located in the round Winners' Square. The central alley of the Victory Park connects it with Kutuzovsky Prospect. The museum founded in 1986 contains about 50,000 exhibits of military history. The 385 volumes of Memory Books containing the names of those who died during the Patriotic War are displayed in special showcases. Among other items, the museum contains the red Victory Flag that was raised over the Reichstag in Berlin on the 30th of April, 1945. Near the museum the permanent exhibition of defense technology is situated.
In the center of Winners' Square there is a 141,8 meter high obelisk that symbolizes 1,418 days and nights of the Great Patriotic War. At the 100-meter mark the bronze figure of the Victory Goddess, Nike, is fastened. At the bottom of the obelisk the statue of Saint George is placed. Saint George is depicted stabbing the snake that symbolizes evil. Both sculptures were made by Z. Tsereteli.
In 2003 on the territory of the Memorial the chapel was put up. It commemorates the memory of Spanish volunteers who died during World War II.