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Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Pantheon in Gurgulyat

08 July 2014 / 10:07:14  GRReporter
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Polina Spartyanova

     Along with the town of Slivnitsa Gurgulyat village is a symbol of Bulgaria’s military victory over Serbia in the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885. At that time, the Principality of Bulgaria united with another Bulgarian territory, Eastern Rumelia, and neighbouring Serbia decided to add new territories to its own lands to the detriment of the new state. A few months after the beginning of the fights, the Serbian army was totally defeated and the new borders of the Bulgarian state were internationally recognized. However, the Bulgarian army defended its positions on the border with Serbia sacrificing a lot of lives, including those of the residents of Gurgulyat village. For this reason, in Tsarkvishte area over the village, there is a monument-pantheon built in memory of those who died in the battle for Gurgulyat on occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Serbian-Bulgarian War.

     The pantheon in memory of those who died during the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885 is made of red concrete and is situated in an area of 700 square metres. The monument is huge and has the shape of a truncated rectangular pyramid of impressive size. It is about 20 metres high and 30-40 metres wide, and a statue of a woman in its centre symbolizes Mother Bulgaria mourning for her children who died for its freedom. The statue is made of a rare metal, quartzite, donated by the Soviet Union at the time and it is the third structure of such material throughout the world after Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
     Every year in November "Gurgulyat - Descendants" society of non-commissioned officers holds a walking tour, worship, "Along the Lane of Immortality - Slivnitsa 1885." The walking tour in the footsteps of the glorious Bulgarian army involves many grateful Bulgarians from all over the country. However, during the rest of the year, the monument is rarely visited. Obviously, nobody takes care of its maintenance, although it is located in Gurgulyat village, and it is evident that the plaster is already crumbling and chunks are already missing in places. Rainwater and debris collect around the unique statue of Mother Bulgaria that leave permanent stains on the quartzite figure. While the team was taking pictures of the pantheon, passers-by commented that the garbage is part of the concept of the monument, as it symbolizes the attitude of Bulgarians towards their country and history.

Tags: GurgulyatPantheonSerbo-Bulgarian War in 1885Rare metalQuartziteSots ArtPolina Spartyanova
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