City of Military Glory Stele was opened just before the 65th anniversary of the Victory Day. Granite ten-meter column, topped with the emblem of Russia, is placed in the centre of the square, close to the cinema “Rossiya”. On the forepart of its pedestal, there is a cartouche with the text of the Decree of the President about giving to Veliky Novgorod the title of the City of Military Glory. On the other side of the pedestal the emblem of the city is set. Four mini steles are placed at the corners of the square; one can see scenes of four historical periods of the military glory of Veliky Novgorod pictured on them: Ancient Rus, Moscow Kingdom, Russian Empire and Contemporary history.
The section of Ancient Rus shows Yaroslav-the-Wise going to Kiev with a crusade for the unity of Rus, Novgorodians repelling the attack of Vladimir-Suzdal troops, protecting Novgorod land from the Mongol invasion, and Alexander Nevsky with his armed force smashing German knights on Lake Peipus.
Later, in the days of Moscow Kingdom, when Rus was in Time of Troubles, the militia at the command of Mikhail Skopin-Shuisky from Veliky Novgorod went to help besieged Moscow. In a year Novgorod itself had to defend against the Swedes. The stele shows the deed of protopope Amos, “his children and people”: he refused to capitulate and was burnt alive by the Swedes. The next bas-relief demonstrates the reconstruction of the Novgorod Kremlin led by Peter the Great and metropolitan Job just before the beginning of the Great Northern War. Heroism of Novgorod troops in the Battle of Poltava is also shown here.
It was necessary to mention the brave Novgorod militia in the battles of the Patriotic War of 1812, the deed of the Life Guards of the Dragoon regiment in the Russo-Turkish War as well as merits of Novgorod army units in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I.
In the section of Contemporary history scenes from the Great Patriotic War are presented: Alexander Pankratov’s deed, who closed the barrel of the enemy machine-gun with his body during the battles for Novgorod; partisan war on the occupied territory of Novgorod and, of course, liberation of Novgorod by troops of the Volkhov front in the Novgorod-Luga operation. People of Novgorod, who perform their duty in military conflicts of the 20th and 21th centuries, are also not forgotten.
Architects: I. Voskresensky, G. Ishkildina, V. Perfiliev.
Sculptor: S. Shcherbakov