Great Patriotic War Museum
Address: Lavrska St, 24, Kyiv, Ukraine, 01015
Nearest Metro: Arsenalna ( Bus for onward journey)
Doors Open Days:
May 9th and October 14th
September 1st (schoolchildren and students)
October 1st (seniors)
Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
The ticket office is open till 5 pm
+380 44 285 9452
The massive Motherland Statue (Rodina Mat) stands 62 metres tall upon the museum building, with the overall height of the structure measuring 102 metres (making it taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York) and weighing a colossal 530 tonnes. It is situated within a large memorial complex of the Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War, on the picturesque hills of the right bank overlooking the river Dnipro. Even the sword in the statues right hand is 16 metres long and weighs an immense 9 tonnes, with the left hand holding up a 13 metre shield emblazoned with the coat of arms of the former Soviet Union.
This huge complex, covering 24.7 acres, is one of the largest museums in the Ukraine. It is a memorial commemorating the German – Soviet war 1941-1945 where an estimated 7.5 million victims lost their lives. In fact Kiev (Kyiv) was a decisive battleground in the violent and bloody clashes between Germany and the Soviet Union, and the Battle of the Dnipro in 1943 was a crucial turning point against the Nazis.
What strikes you most about this place is the sheer scale and atmosphere. As you stroll around the grounds loud patriotic war songs are played through speakers, and large elaborate sculptures of Soviet wartime struggle jump out of the walls at you. There is an area just to your right as you enter the complex where for a small fee you can sit and climb over old WW2 tanks, planes, helicopters and guns. Subtle it is not, but behind all of this is some moving and thought provoking historical information.
The museum itself is actually situated underneath the Motherland statue. It is set on three floors which are circular in shape. It has to be said that there is little information in English but much of the photographic evidence transcends words and is sometimes a little disturbing. The Jewish massacre, Kiev in ruins, death helplessness and Nazi occupation, it is all here in all its horror. Leave yourself a whole morning or afternoon to see all that is here and do not forget your camera. There are some great photo opportunities as you will be on a hill so you will have wonderful views of the Golden Onion shaped domes of the churches.