WHAT TO SEE?
Open-air Museum SvidnikA gateway to the Dukla battlefield is the small town of Svidnik, which was almost totally destroyed during the war. An open-air area in front of the Museum is an eloquent illustration of the Latin proverb Inter Arma Silent Musae. Here you will touch and see war machines, cannons and vehicles, with most interesting exhibits being the Soviet Katyusha rocket launcher, the tank T 34, the German armoured carrier D-7, the soviet infantry mortar M-13 and the soviet transport airplane.
„Valley of Death“The valley with villages of Vysna and Nizna Pisana, Dobroslava and Kapisovka was the site of the heaviest fights and also tank battle. On October 19, after the front stucked south from Dukla pass, the Soviets tried alternative breakthrough. They tried to surprise the Germans and choped the intersection for the tanks through the forest overnight. The mountains were like a sponge after heavy October rains. Mud was everywhere and crossing the hills with 26 tons heavy beast T 34 in such conditions can be compared to Hannibal crossing the Alps with his elephants. Difficult terrain, bad weather were just the side wings for the war hell in which the villages in the valley were almost totally destroyed and thousands of soldiers lost their lives.
In spite of enormous pressure of the Soviets they didn’t reach the expected result. However this action contributed to victory of the Soviets in this battle the causalities on both sides were incredibly high.
„The creek was red from blood. Germans snipers waited until the Russians will come to drink and shot them. The banks were full of bodies.“ (from memories of local inhabitants)
Eight tanks T-34/85 are displayed in the countryside, performing a real-battle situation of 25th - 27th October 1944.
Memorial and cemetery of Czech and Slovak soldiers in DuklaCzechs and Slovaks did not just wait till the Soviets set them free from the east. They were also involved in this mission and created an exile army – the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps. The Army was established in the town Buzuluk in the Ural Mountains in the Soviet Union under the leadership of General Ludvik Svoboda, whose surname is a truly symbolic one as Svoboda equals freedom.
The Dukla Pass holds the memorial to the Czech and Slovak soldiers who were killed in the fights. The present national monument was officially revealed in October 1949. On the 20th anniversary commemorating the Dukla Pass battles, the monument was completed with a bronze sculpture called "I accuse..."
Shelter of the Czechoslovak headquarters„Germans are firing again, just hope that these logs are sturdy enough to protect us from their shells.“
Visitors are also shown the bunkers in the forested slope, where the headquarters of the Czechoslovak Army was hidden. Small log shelters for two people scattered under the trees used to protect the nerve centre of the army.
The access is only for pedestrians via a narrow bridge over the creek.
Memorial and cemetery of Soviet soldiers in SvidníkThey came to fight and sacrificed their lives and to them belongs our gratitude. 37 metres high, the Memorial to the Red Army in Svidnik was revealed in 1954. In front of the memorial is a 4 meter high brass statue of a Soviet sergeant. In four common graves are buried about 9,000 Soviet soldiers.
Observation TowerThere is complete silence on the observation deck and just a breath of wind disturbs the peace in which the difference between „good“ and „evil“ seems unimportant. The only thing that matters is the memory of the wasted lives.
The Tower is 48 meters high and gives a spectacular view of the whole battlefield.
1st May - 15th October