The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame in Moscow.
The Tomb of the Unknown soldier is in the Alexander Garden, close to the Kremlin wall. In front of the monument is a five-pointed star in a square field, from which the Eternal Flame emanates. The area itself is not big and guarded by two soldiers.
During the Battle of Moscow in 1941, soldiers killed were buried in a mass grave, close to Zelenograd. This location marks the place where the Germans were stopped, trying to reach Moscow. In December 1966, the remains of the unknown soldiers relocated to the Kremlin Wall. In 1967 they unveiled the The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to the public.
The monument, decorated with a laurel branch and a soldier’s helmet is laid upon the banner.
The symbolic significance of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Probably everyone who visits Moscow and is walking through the Alexander Garden, has a desire to stop at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and look at the eternal flame. Many come to see the changing of the guard, that takes place every hour. There are a lot of people when the guards are changing and many walk away as soon as the ceremony is over. That is foreigners at least.
For Russians, this place is almost sacred. They come here with their children and grandchildren to honor the Russian soldiers, who laid down their lives during World War II, to secure their freedom. It is part of their past, and they want to honor and remember their great history and ancestors.
One Russian woman has described how she feels when she visits the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
I feel like a small and insignificant girl, who could touch history.
World War II touched almost every family. If they were not fighting, they working in factories or rebuilding cities after the war. My mother-in-law was one of them. She was a young woman at the time and the dark hands of the War left a deep wound. One that could never heal.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a symbol of loss and grieve but also of hope. The eternal flame is an everlasting memory to those who had fallen and the Russian people will never forget.
Tips for visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow.
There are a lot of people when the guards change around the hour. I suggest you visit the Grave of the Unknown Soldier when most of the people have gone. Maybe during the evening. The mood is eerie and somber once the crowds are gone. That is the time to remember. Maybe World War II did not touch you but give this place the respect that it deserves. That goes for every Tomb of the Unknown Soldier around the world.