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"Valor and Glory Field"

Президент России

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Home Museum-Preserve "The Field of Prochorovka"


The Belfry – a Monument to Victory

The Belfry is the main monument of the Museum. It is a monument to Victory. Designed by V. Klykov, it is  59 metres high and  consists of four white stone towers representing the four years of war.

 

It is crowned by a golden sphere, a  symbol of the rising Sun, and the historic symbol of Russian power.

The area is dominated by the seven metre statue of the Holy Virgin, the Protector of Russia. The words from the Scripture: "Showing love to the hard  working, and to the ones who gave their lives for others " are inscribed on white marble above the pylon in shining gold. At the base of the marble drum, there is a laurel wreath, a symbol of unfading glory to everyone who had died on the field fighting for their Homeland.

 
Inside the Belfry, under the dome, there is a bell weighing 3.5 tons. The bell rings three times every hour. The three bells represent three important battles in Russian History. The first one is a reminder of the heroes of  Kulikov Field who  saved the country  from the Mongol Tatars; the second  is about the Battle of Borodino during the invasion by Napoleon's troops; the third - of the battle at Prokhorovka and the war with Nazi Germany.

 

 

The four Belfry towers  have 24  frescos  with  130 portraits of Russian people. The author conveyed the idea  of a scarred nature, expressing a certain spirituality.

 

The first tower named the "Outbreak of War" points to the West, from  where the invasion came. There are several rows of images continuing a common theme: Protecting the Homeland from the Enemy, "the Cathedral of All Saints, " "Holy Warriors," " the Duel", where soldiers were in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy infantry. Next comes the series of "Heroes of the Front and the Rear,"  sculptures: "the Communicator", "Peon" and "Minesweeper." The right side depicts the  army of invaders while  the left one shows a family without its breadwinner who has departed for the front. The North Tower points toward  Kursk .  The monastery outside of Kursk is home to  the miracle-working icon of the Mother of God, who has been the patron saint of Russia since the days of the Mongol-Tatar invasion.

 

Below is the relief called "the Attack". An officer is pictured in the foreground leading his soldiers in the attack. Inspired by his courage, they swept forward as one behind him towards the enemy. They were supported by artillery, tanks and aircraft. Several heroes of the front and the rear are included. These include female medical orderlies holding bandages ready to tend to the wounded; a teenage worker standing on a box using a metalworking machine tool; a railway man at work holding a flag and hammer. In  the foreground of the relief, men and women of all ages listen to a radio address informing them of the declaration of war.

 

 

The East Tower is crowned by a high relief of the  "Holy Trinity" of Andrei Rublev's icon. Below are a number of "Holy Martyrs", further below - the "Holy Warriors": the sculptures of St. George,  Prince Boris, Prince Dmitry Donskoy and  Prince Alexander Nevsky. The  relief  “the Return" depicts a scene of soldiers returning home after banishing  the invaders from our land and  settling down to  a life among the ruins. Several heroes of the front and the rear are portrayed including a farmer, a partisan and a steel worker.

 

 

The South Tower  starts from the top with the image of St. George. St. George is depicted as a young warrior on horseback fighting a serpent. In the series of "the Holy Martyrs" we find our countryman Saint Joasaphat of Belgorod. Below are  "Blessing the warriors on the front” and "Heroes of the front and rear including "the Aviator," "the Gunner", "the Tank man".

 

The “Victory” relief  concludes the Belfry compositions: in the foreground  Marshal G.K. Zhukov is on horseback during the victory parade in Red Square. In his hand he carries a blooming apple tree branch as a symbol of peace. Under the hooves of the horses ridden by triumphant  soldiers and generals the defeated enemy standards lay on the floor. In the background a jubilant illuminated Moscow unrolls.

The Monument of Victory philosophically combines  two main themes : heroism and patriotism. By a synthesis of historical and orthodox topics and their relationship with Russian culture the Belfry is an artistic monument to the symbols of Russian Culture and national identity of the people, a symbol of the salvation of the nation.