Mona Lisa of Grodno – Hrodna, Belarus - Atlas Obscura

Mona Lisa of Grodno

The old fire station features a mural that has more to it than first meets the eye. 


The fire station in Grodno was built in 1902 to provide the city with a watchtower that was taller than the previous one. At 105 feet (32 meters) above ground, someone would always be on duty keeping an eye open for any fires spreading in the city. If a blaze was spotted, the lookout would ring a bell to alert the team of the danger.

On the side of the building below the tower there is a painted mural, depicting 16 people dressed in historical firefighter and army uniforms. Yet there is more to this mural than first meets they eye. If you close closely at their faces, you might notice that one of the people looks almost identical to one of the most well-known faces in the world: Mona Lisa’s.

Today there’s no need of watchtowers to spot fires, and the old station building is now a museum dedicated to the fire service. Visiting the museum, you can (almost) claim that you have seen not just a peek into the history of fire-fighting, but also the famous Mona Lisa’s face, and save yourself the trip to the Louvre.

Know Before You Go

The murial can be found on the old fire station at Zamkovaya street (Замковая улица) 19 in downtown Grodno. The figure with the Mona Lisa like face can be found on the far right.

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