I’ve been putting together some reference pages with places to eat and drink, and places of interest, and I came across an interesting discovery.
I’ve mentioned before about the Battle of Stalingrad (the biggest tank battle in history, and the first time in World War 2 that Hitler’s forces lost a significant battle). There are some great stories about that battle, such as the tale of Pavlov’s House which was never destroyed or captured by the Germans (but unfortunately collapsed after the war).
One story I read about, and which was also referenced in films like Enemy at the Gates, is both sides’ struggle to capture a grain elevator – the tallest surviving structure in the city with a significant strategic view over the theatre of operations.
When I visited the Panorama museum, I saw this building, described as a flour mill, damaged, scarred, but still standing 70 years on from the war. I assumed the grain elevator was part of this building – you need grain to make flour, right?
I have been labouring under that misapprehension for some 9 months. Today I innocently asked the question “should I refer to the building as the flour mill or the grain elevator?” and did a Google search. It turns out this is not the grain elevator at all (though it is an old flour mill). But the grain elevator survives, the grain elevator still stands, it is a magnificent structure with a beautiful memorial statue in front of it.
It’s in Voroshilovskiy, and it’s right outside the flat where I lived from November until March! I had asked people “what is this building?” and was told it was some kind of disused cereal factory. I’m kind of gobsmacked that every resident of Volgograd does not immediately know the historical significance of this building!
I am happy to set the record straight and ensure that my readers all fully appreciate the long, distinguished history of the real grain elevator, surely a significant symbol of Volgograd’s defiance, resilience and durability.
You can read all about the history of the grain elevator on this website: https://mamayevkurgan.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/the-grain-elevator-volgograd-russia/