Victory Day (9 May) is a very important holiday for the citizens of all the post-Soviet countries. This event is usually celebrated with amazing military parades. In Almaty, the main celebration of Victory Day is annually held in the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, located on Malaya Almatinka River, not far from the city centre. It is also a memorial of the immortal feat of arms that was performed by Panfilov's division during the defense of Moscow and recognized as a monument of landscape architecture. Come to experience new emotions and celebrate Victory Day in the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen in Almaty.
Ivan Vasilyevich Panfilov was a commander of the Red Army's 316th Rifle Division, and his soldiers were called Panfilov guardsmen. The most famous of them were 28 men who took part in defense of Moscow, during World War II. They are considered national heroes, together with their commander Ivan Panfilov.
The Park of 28 Panfilov guardsmen dates back long before the tragic events of WWII. Before 1870 it was a cemetery, which was rebuilt as a park afterwards. It changed a lot of names throughout a century. The first name of the park was Starokladbishchensky Park, and then it became The City Park. From 1899 to 1919, it was called Pushkin’s garden, followed by The Park of Fallen Fighters, The Lenin Local Park, The Gubkomcomparma’s garden, the 1st of May Public Park. In 1927, it changed the name to The Park of Federation of Soviet Republics, and only in 1942, the park got the final name that probably won’t change anymore - the Park of 28 Panfilov guardsmen.
Since 9 May is a particular day, there'll be particular things that you won't see during the rest of the year. As from 9 am, a military field kitchen and an exhibition of military equipment are open for all visitors. A little bit later starts the official ceremony of laying flowers to the Memorial of Glory. During this ceremony, you will see with the city officials and real war veterans. In the evening, around 8 pm, starts the concert with a military brass band. On this day, up to 30,000 Almaty residents and visitors of the city will come together. The most impressive part of the evening are the fireworks in honor of the Victory Day. It starts around 10 pm.
During the Victory Day, people mostly visit three monuments:
The monument of Glory was opened in 1975, on the 30th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War. The memorial has three parts. The central part - "Feat of arms" is an image of soldiers who defended Moscow literally with their breasts. The left side represents a dedication to young fighters of the Soviet Union in Kazakhstan. The right side called "Trumpeting glory" represents the triumph of victory and life. Down the memorial, you can see the famous words of the commander Vasily Klochkov: "Russia is vast, but there is no going back, Moscow is behind us!". A few meters away, there’s "the Eternal Flame", in the memory of those who have fallen in WWII.
The monument to Ivan Panfilov was established in 1968, and it is located on the southern side of the park. The bronze bust of the hero of the Soviet Union stands on a 2-meter-high granite pedestal. Behind the monument starts an alley of Panfilov heroes, which crosses the entire park. In the center of the alley, there are bollards with the names of all 28 Panfilov Guardsmen.
The monument to Kazakhs who died in Afghanistan was installed in 2003 and is located next to the Memorial of Glory. It represents three bronze soldiers. There’s also a plate with the names of 69 Almaty residents who didn’t return home from the Afghan War. The monument’s composition is completed with a soldier’s helmet and a laurel branch in the lower part of the pedestal.
If you happen to be in Kazakhstan on 9 May, come to see the celebration of Victory Day in the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen in Almaty. You will enrich your knowledge of history and see many interesting people.
Cover photo © Credits to Wikimedia/Alexey Komarov
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