Sunday, July 31, 2022

Spomenik #2: Kavardaric

 This is one of the most striking monuments in all of Macedonia, to me. There are others that are still used (the next 2), but this is the one that strikes me as beautiful and moving. It is technically called The Memorial Ossuary of Fallen Fighters. 

The stairs are now locked, and you cannot climb up to the observation deck.

It is on a hill above the city of Kavardaric. The city is strategic militarily. It was here, during WWII that the fascist forces of Italy, Nazi Germany and Bulgaria met when invading the Balkans. The partisans made this strategic point mostly ineffective by waging a continual guerilla war to prevent use of the valley.

The area is softened with trees, and the landscaping is still maintained (I saw a local trimming away the edges with a weed whacker.

This monument was erected in 1976 to commemorate those fighters.

Sadly, this monument has been abandoned, but because it is concrete (as opposed to metal or copper statues) it has not deteriorated as badly as some others. My gps us took me up a dirt road to get here, but I later found the stairs that lead up the hill from a different angle.

The people still use this as the focus of health. Older people in particular hike and climb the steps, making 1 or 2 rounds of the monument, and then going back town. I saw one older gentlemen doing the walk. Macedonians are pretty stoic and he ignored me, until I smiled an said hello, and he waved back with a smile.

The wide view of the complex, and the plinths that mark the enemies and the defenders.

Past the trees is a pathway that the old man was using.

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