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Saint Petersburg

Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery

The Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery was founded in 1939 and named after the nearby village of Piskaryovka. In 1941–1944 it became a place for mass graves. The victims of the Leningrad Siege and Leningrad front defenders are buried here in common graves.

The Piskaryovsky Memorial is a symbol of remembrance of the Leningrad residents and defenders who perished. There are about half a million people buried here in huge common graves that cover an area of 28 hectares (~70 acres). In 1945-1960 at the place of the mass graves of Leningrad residents and defenders of the city a memorial was erected according to a project drafted by architects Vasiliyev and Levinson. This is the world's largest cemetery created during wartime. The memorial was opened on May 9, 1960 on the 15th anniversary of the Soviet people's victory in the Second World War. The eternal flame was lit from the fire located on the Mars Field.

In the center of the architectural and sculptural ensemble there is a 6 meter high bronze monument «Mother Motherland» — a funeral stele with high reliefs depicting episodes of life and struggle in Leningrad.

In 2003 a new memorial plate was created. It is called «Blockade desk» and was made to commemorate school teachers who were working in Leningrad during the blockade and schoolchildren who kept on attending the classes despite the hunger and hardship. The idea of this memorial was suggested by pupils of Secondary School No. 144 and was acknowledged as the best children's social project of 2003.

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