Soviet Victory Monument [Uzvaras piemineklis]

 

Tucked away in the Uzvaras Park, southwest of central Riga, sits a site that deserves a visit.  This Soviet Victory Monument is at once both incredibly awe-inspiring set of sculptures yet also a shameful hunk of propaganda lurking in Riga's equivalent of Central Park.  

Youll come along this site likely by first seeing this spindle-like, stepped, white tower reaching towards the heavens.  If you are a crafty traveler, and like to give yourself a tour of new places, you'll be immediately drawn to this strange site on the horizon and investigate.  That tower is really a series of 5 towers capped with stars - one for each year of World War II.  At the base of this structure sits two massive sculptures, each about  40' (13 meters) tall.  One is a figure of Mother Russia, the other of three infantry grunts with machine guns being guided to victory by the dark angel.

Maybe it's because most people have just never seen much Soviet propaganda up close, but this sculpture will really spoke to you.  It was just so imposing, so out of place and so Soviet, it felt like an alien race had dropped it off for spectacle.  And that's probably about right, for the Soviets are long gone (except for maybe Belarus).  

Regardless, make your way out of the tourist zone across the river and check this sculpture out.  It is well worth your time.