The Marasesti Mausoleum - History and Facts | History Hit

The Marasesti Mausoleum

Marasesti, Vrancea, Romania

The Marasesti Mausoleum is an elaborate Romanian World War I monument.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About The Marasesti Mausoleum

The Marasesti Mausoleum is an elaborate World War I monument dedicated to the Romanian troops who died in a famous battle with German forces. Completed in 1938, this impressive monument took over 15 years to finish.

The Battle of Marasesti was fought between 6 August and 8 September 1917 and despite being a major Romanian victory, did result in a very high death toll. The names of those who died are shown on the Marasesti Mausoleum. The battle is famous for the Romanian sentiment of “Pe aici nu se trece”, meaning “they shall not pass”.

The Marasesti Mausoleum history

The mausoleum was built right on the battlefield of the Battle of Maraseti during which over 21,000 Romanian soldiers lost their lives.

Romanian entered World War One with the Entente coalition in 1916. The Battle of Maraseti lasted 29 days, involving 25 infantry divisions, 2 cavalry divisions and a cavalry brigade. It is recognised as one of the most significant victories obtained by the Entente forces in 1917.

The initiative to build a mausoleum in Marasesti was taken at the Congress of the National Orthodox Society of Women in Romania held in 1919, attended by representatives of this organization from all over Romania.

The proposal to build a Mausoleum in Marasesti was submitted to King Ferdinand and the government led by Ion IC Bratianu. A committee was formed to make the project a reality. The winning proposal came from architects Constantin Pomponiu and George Cristinel.

The laying of the foundation stone took place August 6, 1923 in a ceremony attended by many personalities of the time and Romanians from all historical provinces of the country.

In 1924, the burial of the bones of the soldiers in the crypts of the mausoleum began (5,000 heroes were reburied), and in the autumn of the same year, the remains of General Eremia Grigorescu were deposited in the central sarcophagus.

The inauguration of the Mausoleum took place on September 18, 1938, in the presence of King Charles II and many officials.

The mausoleum has been restored several times in response to damage caused by earthquakes and bad weather.

The Marasesti Mausoleum today

The Mausoleum is sometimes referred to as the  “Church of the Nation” is 22 metres tall and is framed by several terraces arranged symmetrically on a length of 60 meters. Above it guards a cross over 3 meters high, supported on a pedestal framed by four eagles. The dome of Gloria was decorated with a frieze carved in stone by the sculptors Ion Jalea and Corneliu Medrea, which depict aspects from the battles of the summer of 1917.

In 2009, new works of consolidation and restoration of the Mausoleum were started. The monument can be visited throughout the entire year between 9.00 and 17.00.

Getting to the Marasesti Mausoleum

The nearest train station to the monument is Marasesti Rail Station. There are regular minibuses through which the town is connected with Focsani, Tecuci and Adjud.