The Island of Tears
Not far from the main attractions of the city in Minsk a kind of memorial complex called the Island of Tears is located. Its second name is the Island of Courage and Sorrow. Opened in 1996, the island-monument named “The Sons of the Fatherland, perished beyond its borders” was created artificially, and its construction began before the end of the war with Afghanistan. On this island, located in the bend of the river Svisloch at the Trinity suburb, you will see a large boulder with the icon of the Mother of God in it. Under the icon a text explaining why this memorial was built is placed. The boulder itself was used as the first stone to be laid during the construction.
There is not only the boulder. The island also has a chapel, the appearance of which was recreated according to the type of churches of the XI century. The chapel is built in honor of Euphrosyne of Polotsk. Each element used for decoration is not accidental: everything is endowed with a certain meaning. On four altars the names of the Belarusian soldiers who died during the war in Afghanistan are placed. Opposite to each name visitors can put a lighted candle. Visitors to the memorial, who enter the chapel, will also see figures of grieving mothers who mourn their sons. Figures of women in front holding lamps in their hands are a symbol of hope that is still alive, while women who stand behind already know about the death of their sons and therefore are petrified from grief.
The sculpture of a crying angel, saddened by the fact that he could not protect the soldiers from death, is also touching. This complex is supposed to show the tourists those losses that Belarusians suffered in different wars. Eve the surface itself, towering over the rest of the city’s landscape, is a symbol of the Afghan mountains that became the last haven for many Belarusian soldiers. This place is a must for those who want to honour the memory of the fallen in battle and imbued with silence and peace, which are at the Island of Tears.
How to get there: metro station Nemiga