Slavín – Bratislava, Slovakia - Atlas Obscura
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Bratislava, Slovakia

Slavín

Thousands of slain Soviet soldiers are buried within the shadow of this enormous obelisk. 

It’s hard to miss the obelisk poking skyward from this mighty war memorial. The stark gray structure is a somber tribute to the troops who died defending the city.  

This enormous monument towers over the graves of thousands of Soviet soldiers. Six mass graves and 278 individual graves lie within its shadow, containing a total of 6,845 fallen fighters. The soldiers perished while liberating Slovakia’s capital from its occupying German forces during World War II.

A roughly 130-foot-tall obelisk spikes toward the sky from atop the structure, which is one of the largest World War II memorials in Central Europe. A bronze soldier crowns the tower, keeping watch over the city. The memorial’s main hall is a place for somber reflection and is filled with inscriptions, statues, and a symbolic marble sarcophagus.

Slavín was unveiled on April 3, 1960, to honor the 15th anniversary of the liberation. It has since been listed as a National Cultural Monument. In addition to serving as a solemn war memorial, the site also offers sweeping views over Bratislava from its perch atop a hill.