Isle of Tears, Minsk

4 out of 5 stars 6 Reviews

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  • Isle of Tears
    Isle of Tears
    by Odiseya
  • Fountain statue of a young guardian angel
    Fountain statue of a young guardian...
    by HORSCHECK
  • Isle of Tears: Money in the fountain
    Isle of Tears: Money in the fountain
    by HORSCHECK
  • Felix300's Profile Photo

    Island of Tears - Afghanistan doesn't let go

    by Felix300 Written May 20, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walking around Central Minsk, perhaps on Fridays or Saturdays - you will find that there are quite a few visitors going on and off of an island through a curved bridge that connects it with the Trinity Suburb. The island laid in 1988 has a poignant name - the Island of Tears.

    The complex that was originally designed as a monument to the Belarusian troopers who had fallen in the battlefields of Afghanistan (771) was unveiled in 1996 as a monument "To all sons of the Motherland who died overseas". The central theme, however is Afghanistan war (1979-1989) and the boulders at the distant end of the island symbolize the mountains of that country where Soviet army units were dispatched.

    Due to its central location Belarus has seen many wars and many armies passed through it - Swedish, Russian, French, German to name a few. These wars along with the last one - the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan left a deep scar on the Belarusian society.

    Every year ceremonies bring delegations of the war veterans to the Island, the landmark date is 15 February. 2 August is the Paratrooper's Day. Though security is often tight I would recommend to keep away from this place or at least to not speak English loud in front of the chaps wearing blue-striped T-shirts (demobbed paratroopers celebrating) on 2 August.

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  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    Isle of Tears

    by Odiseya Written Nov 19, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Symbolically named "Isle of tears" is well known touristic attraction in Minsk. Strategically placed in center of small island within river Svisloč it look like, for my opinion, like small island-memento within the tears that surrounding it.
    Trough old town (Trinity district) across the footbridge you entering to very peaceful place with many painful memories on lives that lost in 9 year long war between Soviet Union (USSR) and Afghanistan (1979-1988).
    Central focus within commemorative complex is unusually bell-look-a-like monument that serve like chapel. The four enters in chapel is "guard" with tall women statues that symbolized mothers, widows and sister of fallen soldiers. Within this monument is small shrines within religious reliefs and small display stands for candles across the wall.
    Trough pavements paths that surrounding the monument you across to the special place with small crying angel-boy statues and trough with water. In that water visitors usually put some coins or paper banknotes in name of sure returning to Belarus capital. Around angel statues are wreaths of flowers for remembers at lost love ones.
    Peace and quietness of this places followed us back to the old town.

    Isle of Tears Monument on Isle of Tears Monument up close
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  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Isle of Tears

    by HORSCHECK Updated Feb 27, 2012

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Isle of Tears was inaugurated in summer 1996 as a memorial complex for the fallen soldiers from Belarus, who died in the Afghanistan war between 1979 and 1988.

    The main feature of the Isle of Tears is a small chapel, which commemorates the approximately 700 fallen Belarusian soldiers. Apart from the chapel, also a fountain statue of a young guardian angel, constantly crying teardrops, can be found here.

    This is also the place where people throw coins in the fountain. Interesting enough, all coins are foreign coins, as Belarus doesn't have any coins. So you also see many local bank notes swimming in the fountain.

    Directions:
    The Isle of Tears is situated on the Svisloch River, just south of Minsk's old town (Trinity Suburb, Traiyetskoye Predmestye). It can be reached by a footbridge from the river bank.

    Isle of Tears Isle of Tears: Chapel Fountain statue of a young guardian angel Isle of Tears: Money in the fountain Isle of Tears: Inside the Chapel
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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Isle of Tears

    by Raimix Updated Dec 6, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Isle of Tears it is the small island on the river in Minsk centre. Whole Island is used for commemorating 9 years long war in Afghanistan (1979 - 1988). The chapel in the middle of it is made in quite interesting modern way, with bell structure inside and small other chapels inside. Women sculptures are as a part of chapel structure and symbolize widows, mothers and sisters of soldiers.

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  • Carletto76's Profile Photo

    Island of Tears

    by Carletto76 Written Nov 7, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Just in front of the Troïskoie Predmestie, in the middle of the Svislač river (which here looks more like a lake), there's a little island with quite a particular memorial over it. It's the Island of Tears with the memorial of the war in Afghanistan. Walking along the bridge you see a chapel with haunting figures of grieving mothers. The chapel has four "sides" for every cardinal point indicating the main Belarusian towns on each side. A bell rings quite continuosly inside the chapel. Along the little island there are also other statues, all commemorating the disastrous Soviet war in Afghanistan.
    It's a very nice place, very quiet and peaceful, with a very nice landscape around, except for some ugly "commie-blocks" around.

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  • WanderingFinn's Profile Photo

    A whole small island as a Memorial for warriors

    by WanderingFinn Updated Oct 20, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This interesting beautiful small place is actually a small island. There is a bridge leading to it; it is open for everyone with no entry fee. The place is very calm and beautiful; flowers and big flower bouquets have been brought here continuously, any time of the year.

    The main monument (the very special looking, the highest one in the island) is the actual one; the Memorial Chapel for International Warriors. It is also possible to go inside this monument/chapel though it is very small.

    To the left from the Chapel you can see a crying angel; this is the Memorial for the Afghanistan war. It is a very beautiful sculpture. Please see the other pictures too - the place is touching and beautiful.

    Memorial Chapel to the Internationalist warriors People bring flowers here continuously One beautiful detail - a bouquet of flowers A memorial to the Afghanistan war The memorial to the Afghanistan war
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