If you happen to be in one of the post-Soviet countries most likely, among other typical examples of Soviet architecture, you’ll be able to see spectacular Soviet statues of Mother … (here you just insert the name of the country you’re in). They’re usually located on the hill above the city so everyone can see them and they can look at the whole country that needs to be taken care of.
I stumble upon three Soviet era statues of mothers in the past year during my travels and each time I was really impressed and surprised how huge they are (they don’t look that big from far away!).
Mother Georgia, Tbilisi
My first encounter with the Soviet Union statues of mother was in Tbilisi, Georgia. I was in marshrutka on my way from the airport, trying to process what I see around, a totally different landscape from what I’ve seen before, faces of people heading to work (even if it was Sunday morning), the chaotic streets of the suburbs. And suddenly, on my left, the breathtaking view emerged in front of me!
We were getting close to the center and there, on the hill above the city I could see the ruins of the beautiful Narikala fortress – and just next to it the statue of the woman, holding a bowl of wine and a sword. Back then I didn’t know who was she but I was so impressed that this statue was the first thing I’ve checked in my guidebook once I got off from marshrutka.
And so I learned that it’s Kartlis Deda known also as Mother Georgia. The statue was built in 1958 on the hills of Sololaki district and soon became one of the most famous landmarks of Tbilisi. It’s not actually that huge, only 20 meters tall, but surely is impressive.
Mother Georgia is dressed in Georgian national dress and the bowl o wine is her gift to the friends who come (well thank you:)) but the sword is to protect the country from the enemies. I don’t know about the enemies but Georgians really greet everyone with their delicious wine or even more often with chacha, a homemade Georgian vodka, one of a kind!
How to get to Mother Georgia: take the cable car from Rike Park, Mother Georgia statue will be next to the upper station. You can also easily walk from Narikala fortress or take the stairs from Betlemi Rise.
Mother Motherland, Kyiv
Then, before my weekend away in Kiev, Ukraine I did my homework and researched top places to see in Kiev in such a short time (as 2.5 days is definitely not enough for such an amazing city as Kiev). With all the love to the gold-domed monasteries on the very top of the highlights for me there was the Museum of the Great Patriotic War with their Mother Motherland statue, a very good reason itself to visit Kyiv .
The place seemed to be so surreal that I just had to be there! I must admit I have a thing for Soviet monuments (that probably comes from having picture with a Lenin statue back when I was 4 years old and it still stood proudly in the very center of every town and city) and whenever I’m in a place that still has some soviet sights left I get over-excited.
But back to Kyiv! Again, when we were on the way from the airport and approaching the Dnieper River the Mother Motherland appeared! And oh boy, she was one huge lady! Imagine, just the sword itself that she’s holding has 16 meters! I managed to visit the Museum of the Great Patriotic War on my second day in Kiev, after spending half of the day on Lavra Pecherska surrounded by golden domes, monks (dead and alive) and the spiritual atmosphere.
When I climbed the hill to the Museum it was like a transfer in time, to a completely different era. The Soviet war songs were played pretty loudly, children were jumping on the old tanks, there was the tunnel with sculptures of fighting people and above it all the Mother Motherland was dominating the area! She’s a fairly young mother, built only in 1981, but definitely the tallest one from all I’ve seen, with the overall height of 102 meters.
You can get to the head of the sculpture that serves as the viewpoint as well as to the lower viewpoint but I was there too late and it was already closed. But I still loved the place, I could have spent there the whole day, just staring at the crazy sculptures (with all their details), walking around the old tanks, listening to the old war songs and admiring the Mother Motherland. If there was just one word to describe this place it would be splendor!
How to get to Mother Motherland in Kyiv: if you are at Pechersk Lavra it’s a short walk to the Museum of Great Patriotic War. You can also take the bus no 24 from Maidan Nezalezhnosti or from Arsenalna metro station.
Mother Armenia, Yerevan
My newest discovery of Soviet Mother statues was in Yerevan, Armenia which was my last trip, less than 2 months ago.
It’s located high above the city and just getting there might be a problem as you have to climb the Cascades (fortunately there’s the escalator that takes you pretty high up), then pass some constructions, underground dark tunnel and finally you’re in the Haghtanak Park that is also a home to a soviet looking amusement park. The Mother Armenia statue is located at the very end of the park so on the way there you’ll feel like back in the ’80s with all the carousels around.
The monument, with its 51 meters, is also a home of the Military Museum. This sculpture is the oldest one, built in 1950, and the last friendly from all three I’ve seen. It holds a really huge sword and has a pretty aggressive look on her face, you can see after all the troubles the past made for them Armenians are ready to fight for their country.
It was also my least favorite of all the sculptures, it was the hardest to get there but overall it was worth it as the view from the park is really amazing, you can see the whole city of Yerevan spreading in front of you.
It’s no surprise that now I’m really east focused on my travels but I’m even more motivated to go there to see some more of these magnificent Soviet statues!
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