– by Brendan Reid, Editor –
The Podgaric Monument, located in Podgaric, Croatia, is one curious sculpture. It looks like something from a fifties sci-fi novel, and is dedicated to the communist revolution that took place in the region of Moslavina during WWII. Erected by artist Dusan Dzamonja in 1967, it is one of many bizarre monuments built in the area at the time, all commissioned but the government of what was then Yugoslavia to celebrate the new regime. Now that the communist rule is gone, the monuments lie abandoned in the ex-Yugoslavian countryside, and are sure to confuse future archeologists.
Sverd I Fjell
The Sverd I Fjell (Swords In Rock) monument of Norway was built to celebrate a great victory that took place in 872 AD. During the storied battle of Hafrsfjord, King Harald Fair Hair of Norway defeated the enemy kings that sought control of his country, and ushered in an era of unity and peace. The tale is something straight from a Tolkien novel, and could not go without proper recognition. The monument was designed by Fritz Røed and unveiled by King Olav V in 1983, and is deeply symbolic. The two lesser swords represent enemies of the crown and the ornate one represents King Harald, with all three firmly planted in the stone to signify everlasting peace.
Lion Of Lucerne
Few monuments are as tragic and impressive as the Lion Of Lucerne. Carved directly into a mountain face in Lucerne, Switzerland, the dying lion was comissioned to mourn the deaths of nearly 800 Swiss Guards who were massacred during the French revolution. Swiss guards make very good mercenaries due to the country’s neutral status, and King Louis the XVI of France hired them in droves as his palace guard. When revolutionary tensions boiled over in 1792, the guards valiantly defended their employer, but hundreds fell to the angry mob. A monument to their sacrifice was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and carved by Lukas Ahorn in 1820, and serves as a reminder of the failings of the monarchical system.
Also known as the American Stonehenge, the Georgia Guidestones are very mysterious in origin. A man named R. C. Christian commissioned them in 1980, even though there never existed a man of that name during the time. Inscribed on the stones are 10 guidelines for a new society in 8 modern languages, and 4 ancient languages. The guidelines are quite radical, proclaiming we should keep the population below five hundred million at all times, but also that we should live our lives based on the values of love, reason, sustainability. Many people have proclaimed the stones as Satanic and evil, while others have praised their bold ideas. No matter your opinion, the stones are a fascinating curiosity, and show that a highly liberal counter-culture remains active in the United States.
If there’s one thing communists love to do, its build massive monuments, and the Buzludzha in Bulgaria is another addition to that list. The communist regime of Bulgaria constructed the monument as their headquarters in 1981, and is build on the very spot where the socialist revolution began in 1891. The monument is unlike any other, designed like a giant saucer, and adorned with stirring communist quotes and massive reliefs of the early socialist philosophers. Despite the effort that went into its construction, the Buzludzha monument was abandoned when the Iron Curtain fell, and now sits derelict and vacant. It is not officially open to the public, but is still a hotspot for many urban explorers and adventurers.
The Motherland Calls
Standing at 91 meters in height, the Motherland Calls is a massive statue that stands guard in Volgograd, Russia, and celebrates the battle of Stalingrad, when Russian forces deterred the invading Germans. Designed by sculptor Yegveny Vuchetich and engineer Nikolai Nikitin in 1967, the statue is a serious technological feat. It is held together by an internal rope structure and pre-stressed concrete, and is hollow throughout. The statue is just two meters shorter then the statue of liberty, and depicts a powerful woman with sword raised high in the midst of a rousing battle cry. Today the statue still stand tall, and is a reminder of what can be possible when a country bands together against a common enemy.