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The Memorial of Syrmian Front

Sid, Serbia
1 of 17

The memorial to the Syrmian Front is one of the final major Yugoslav Partisan memorial complexes. It was built in memory of the killed fighters of the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Red Army who broke through the Syrmian Front on the main historical defence line of Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia at the end of World War 2 (the fighting took place between 21st October 1944 and 13th April 1945). The complex is located near village Adasevci on the left bank of the river Bosut, at kilometre 106 of the Brotherhood and Unity Highway linking Belgrade and Zagreb, constructed in 1950. It was built concurrent with the highway's renovation in the 1980s. It comprises three parts: the Gathering Area, the Promenade of Honour, and the Museum. The Gathering Area is formed by seventy vertical brick walls containing plaques with the names of all military units who took part in the fighting on the Syrmian Front defence line, while the actual sites of the battle lines feature three reliefs. The Promenade of Honour is sited at the line of penetration through the Syrmian Front defence line and designed as a 40m wide and 13m long corridor cut into the ground with an east-west orientation. Along the alley, there are memorials for the various brigades and the names of several tens of thousands of killed liberation army fighters, i.e. the Yugoslav Army, Red Army, and the Bulgarian Army. Spatially, symbolically, visually, materially, as well as in terms of its meaning, the monument forms a breathtaking visual backdrop that is in perfect harmony with the lowland area of the site. The complex urbanist-architectural and sculptural solution of the memorial complex was chosen in a competition with the jury presided by the acclaimed Yugoslav and Serbian architect Bogdan Bodanovic (b. 1922, d. 2010). Authors of the memorial are sculptor Jovan Soldatovic (b. 1920, d. 2005), architect Milan Krstonosic (b. 1932), and landscape architect Milan Sapundzic (b. 1925, d. 2006). In the 1990s, the memorial complex suffered extensive damage during armed clashes which caused the break-up of Yugoslavia. Between 2003 and 2005, the complex was partially renovated, but also significantly altered with the construction of an Orthodox chapel which is in terms of the site where it was erected, as well as visually and stylistically at odds with the spatial context and original creative vision of the monument. Despite the memorial to the Syrmian Front having been declared a cultural monument, the maintenance was relegated to the local community.

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teodora, October 25th, 2019
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