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Izum Sights | Kremenets Mountain, Memorial of Second World War and Polovtsian Women (Stone Babas)
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Ukraine Izum Sights | Kremenets Mountain, Memorial of Second World War and Polovtsian Women (Stone Babas)
The highest point of Kharkiv region is Kremenets Mountain. It is a hill of 218 meters above the sea level and 160 meters above Siversky Donets river with a magnificent panoramic view. The mountain is a geological monument of nature with outcrops of Upper Cretaceous and Jurassic rocks with numerous remains of the organic world.

Kremenets Mountain towering over the steppes was a strategic height for centuries: who owned the mountain - controled Siversky Donets river and Izum Pathway.

Tatars called Kremenets Mountain as "Long Mountain" and by Izum Pathway raided to ancient territory of Ukraine.

In XIV century on the top of Kremenets Mountain was Tatars fortress - "Kerman" the remains of which were still visible until the end of the last century. The name "Kerman" has been transformed in tune with Russian word "Kremlin" and gave the name to Kremenets Mountain. The fortress on Kremenets Mountain is known since 1571 and in 1681 there were Cossacks led by Gregory Donets-Zakharzhevskiy who began the construction of "small town" on the top of the mountain.

Kremenets Mountain was in March-April 1943 the commanding heights of Izum bridgehead. The purpose of the bridgehead in the days of Second World War - to wear down the enemy and do not give the possibility to transfer troops to Kharkiv. More than a month starting from 15th of March 1943 Nazi troops every day several times a day attacked our defenses. In these battles each side has lost up to a thousand people a day. The most hard day of Kremenets Mountain defence was on 4th of April 1943 when the Germans went on a decisive assault but after a fierce melee was thrown with great losses to their original positions. Bloody battles in Izum continued until mid-August 1943 and on 23rd of August 1943 was released Kharkiv.

In 1988 on Kremenets Mountain was open Memorial to Soviet Soldiers who died in Izum during Second World War. The center of Memorial to Soviet Soldiers is a gigantic monument - three concrete slabs of the monument (height 26,5 meters) represent the three battles of Kharkiv. One of the monument slabs has the entrance to the inside for the memorial service. The area of Memorial to Soviet Soldiers is about 7,5 hectares. On the approach to the memorial installed military equipment of World War II. At the memorial there is a monument to "Grieving Mother" and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

For several decades in Izum there is unique tradition according to which every year in the evening on 9th of May residents of Izum climb with torches on Kremenets Mountain to commemorate the soldiers who died in World War II. The grand ascent ends at the top of the mountain on the Square of Memory with fireworks.

On Kremenets Mountain there are unique statues - Polovtsian Stone Women (Stone Babas) who look to the west although correctly and according to tradition they should be turned to the east. "Baba" or "Vava" translated from Turkic language means "ancestor".

Polovtsy (Cumans or Kipchaks) who created most of these stone idols in IX-XIII centuries used them as idols to worship their ancestors. Women's statue was given to the soldiers support, strength, invincibility in battle and immortality. Male figures represented the father-protector. These stone statues found on mounds throughout the Izum region and moved to the museum. When the museum started repairs stone statues moved to the top of Kremenets Mountain where it is possible to look at them now.

There is a legend about the origin of Stone Women (Stone Babas): "Once upon a time lived on the Earth powerful and strong heroes. They become so proud of themself, get mad to the Sun and began to spit on it. Angered Sun turned heroes into the stones".

You could visit Ukraine Izum Sights | Kremenets Mountain, Memorial of Second World War and Polovtsian Women (Stone Babas) with Ukraine Tour East Ring

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
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Ukraine tours and Kiev tours

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