Connecting Perls – Western Balkans, Serbia, North Macedonia

CONNECTING PERLS

Memorial park in Leskovac was constructed in 1971 on the eastern slope of Hisar, according to the project of Bogdan Bogdanović, in honour of the shot and killed locals, on the thirtieth anniversary of the armed uprising in Leskovac. 

Around the central monument, which symbolizes the Greek goddess of victory Nika, i.e. “Forest goddess” according to the author, there are 17 stones arranged with symbols of life and the names of the most prominent fighters from the area of Leskovac.

The memorial park consists of three main units: the ceremonial road, the area with cenotaphs / medieval tombstones and a symbolic conical sculpture which rises above the amphitheatre.

The road to the memorial is 450 metres long, and at its beginning, there is a wooden entrance carved according to the traditional local architecture. Along the road, there is a small side road at every 8 to 12 meters.

The commemorative part of the memorial park consists of a total of 34 medieval tombstones that vary from 1.2 to 2.2 m in height, 14 of which have the names of all national heroes from Leskovac and its surroundings inscribed, 3 of which with the significant revolutionaries, and the remaining 17 the fallen fighters buried in the memorial park.

The central conical monument is a cenotaph built in honour of over 1,000 fallen soldiers from the People`s Liberation Army of former Yugoslavia and the victims of fascism from Leskovac and its surroundings.

The monument is known among the local population by its name “Goddess of Victory,” but Bogdanović himself called it “Forest Goddess”; the monument consists of a 12-meter-high cone on top of which there is a crown from which four ornaments (earrings) hung. In 2009, a lapidarium of about twenty Jewish gravestones was included in the memorial park, collected in the immediate vicinity.

 Namely, until the Second World War, there had been a small Jewish cemetery that was destroyed by the Nazis. The Revolution Memorial Park in Leskovac was registered as a Famous Place in 1992, and the British “BBC” included the Memorial Park among the ten most wonderful architectural structures.