Spotlight on Russia’s WWII Sites: The “Road of Life”
During the 900-day Siege of Leningrad during WWII, there was only one way in or out, and it was a dangerous one. Convoys of trucks and straggling lines of people on foot stood out starkly against the snow-covered ice of Russia’s huge Lake Ladoga, 85 miles from west to east.
The “Road of Life” was the name of the precarious ice road that was the only way into or out of the besieged city of Leningrad for almost 900 days, from September of 1941 to January of 1944. In all, more than 360,000 tons of goods were hauled into Leningrad, and 1.3 million people walked out of danger over the Road of Life. The historic road is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
Travelers can visit some of the monuments and memorials along the life-saving route, including the “Flower of Life” monument, with heart-rending pages from the diary of Leningrad schoolgirl Tanya Savicheva, who documented one by one her family members’ deaths from disease and starvation; the Road of Life Railway Museum on the Ladoga shore, designed to look like anti-tank teeth; some of the mile posts along the route; and the “Broken Circle” monument on the shores of Lake Ladoga, representing the breaking of the siege.
Travel to Russia with MIR
Travelers can incorporate the “Road of Life” and other St. Petersburg WWII memorials on our Essential Russia or Essential St. Petersburg tours, private tour itineraries researched and ready to book on your dates of choice.
You can also work with a MIR Private Journeys specialist to create your own personalized custom private journey to this region, visiting any of the dozens of memorials, battlefields and war museums that Russia honors.
Be sure to check out our Beginner’s Guide to World War II Sites in Western Russia and our History Buffs Guide to Lesser-Known World War II Sites in Western Russia for a list of essential WWII sites for any military history buff. Or peruse our other WWII blog posts for additional inspiration.
MIR has 30 years of travel experience to Russia, with affiliate offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Siberia offering on-the-ground support, and tour managers that clients rave about. MIR’s full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”
(Top photo: The “Flower of Life” memorial complex at the 3rd km of the Road of Life, representing pages from the diary of Leningrad schoolgirl Tanya Savicheva. The last two read “Everyone died. Only Tanya is left.” Photo credit: Alfiya Izmailova)
PUBLISHED: August 30, 2016