At 171.5m, Poklonnaya Hill is one of the highest spots in Moscow, but it is much more than just a hill! In Russian, Poklonnaya roughly stands for ‘Worshipful Submission Hill’, as it was the place where you would traditionally stop and pay your respects before proceeding into Moscow. It is even said that it is the place where Napoleon waited in vain for the surrender of Moscow.
Poklonnaya Hill took on its current role in the 1960’s, when the Soviet administration was looking for a location to commemorate the victory over Napoleon. They even went as far as leveling part of the hill in order to install an impressive statue of St George. At this point, the hill was transformed into an open air museum. Some of the notable exhibits include:
- The Triumphal Arch of Moscow
- Battle of Borodino panorama
- The Square of Victors
- A log house where Kutuzov planned the abandonment of Moscow.
As well as the exhibits related to the Napoleonic wars, in recent years equipment from the Great Patriotic War have been added and there is a lovely Orthodox church on the site.
Just like every park in Moscow, there are always events going on at Poklonnaya Hill. You can always check up on the current events at the parks website: www.poklonnaya-gora.ru/en/. Although there is an English version of the site, the events that are posted often will not have a translation available. In addition to the regularly scheduled events, the park is always an epicenter of activity for Moscow’s Victory Day.
To get to Poklonnaya Hill, you should take the very conveniently located Park Pobedy (Victory park) metro station. This park is definitely worth a couple of hours of your time, even if you are only on a short visit to Moscow. Especially during the summer months, Poklonnaya Hill is a hive of activity.