Mamayev kurgan used to be a nameless hill marked on military-topographic maps as a height — 102,0. This hill was the main link in the general system of defence of Stalingrad front. This place became key position in the battle of Stalingrad. Soviet and German troops fought a fierce battle on its slops at the end of the 1942 year.
Memorial complex Mamayev kurgan
The idea of creation of a monument on Mamayev kurgan in Stalingrad was occurred to a sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich when he was making a Soviet War Memorial in Berlin's Treptower Park.
The enormous scale and complexity of the composition of the monument required a lot of time for its realization. The project was changed even during a process of construction. Originally the main monument of the complex consisted of two figures: the first one was a Motherland sculpture with the Victory flag in the right hand and a sheaf of ears held to the body in the left hand. The second figure was a soldier with a submachine gun in his hand, knelt down and kissing the ears. It was planned to include a panorama of the battle of Stalingrad into Mamayev kurgan complex.
The ceremonial laying of the foundation stone of the Monument of Glory (it was the first name of Mamayev kurgan complex) took place on February, 2nd, in 1958, on day of the 15th anniversary of the victory in the battle of Stalingrad. The main construction work started in May in 1959, and official opening ceremony took place on October, 15th, 1967. This day the Eternal flame was set on fire in the Hall of Valour. The flame was delivered from a monument «Memory of Generations», from the Fallen Fighters Square by Vasily Yefremov, Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, a pilot battled in Stalingrad. The Eternal flame was lit in the Hall of Valour by Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU.
Nowadays the Memorial complex is the most visited in Russia. It works without days off, all year long with free admission.