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Memorial Park Revolution

Leskovac, Serbia
1 of 7

This monument at the spomenik complex in Leskovac, Serbia commemorates over 1,000 victims from this area who perished during the National Liberation War (WWII).

In 1964, national and regional government/veteran groups in Serbia organized plans for a commemorative monument complex to be built in a the forested area of Hisar Hill to honor the many civilians who had been executed there. The commission for this project was awarded to Bogdan Bogdanovic. After seven years of planning and construction, the memorial was finally unveiled to the public on July 4th, 1971, a date meant to commemorate 30 years since the popular armed uprising against occupation during WWII. The choice of this date was significant as it commemorated exactly 40 years since the Serbian uprising against Axis occupation.

The primary element of the spomenik complex, officially called 'Memorial Park', is a central hourglass-shaped monument, often referred to as the 'Goddess of Victory' but originally named 'Forest Goddesss' (Sumska boginja) by Bogdanovic. The sculpture, roughly 12m tall, is made of stone blocks which are topped with a sizable bronze 'head-dress' ornament. Originally, this 'head-dress' had four earring-like flourishes dangling down from it, but they were either stolen or destroyed at some point during the 1980s. In front of the 'Goddess' sculpture is a small sunken amphitheatre, while around that are arranged 34 large engraved stone blocks (reminiscent of the ancient stecak stones), ranging from 1m to 2.5m tall, with 14 of them engraved with the names folk heroes from the local area.

Meanwhile, at the north entrance to the spomenik park, there is a large wooden carved entry-gate which gives way to a 450m long stone paved path leading up the hill to the memorial. Along the pathway are small markers commemorating fallen Partisan fighters. In addition Bogdanovic created one additional nearby memorial area on Hisar Hill, roughly 1km northwest of the 'Goddess' sculpture, which isdedicated to the group of mostly Roma civilians that were executed by German soldiers on December 11th, 1941.

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