The stone rotunda

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The stone rotunda is a monument to the victims of the World War I in Marggrabowa (now Olecko) county, built in 1925-1927. On July 19, 1925, the first foundation stone was laid, and in 1927 on September 11, the construction of this second largest monument (20 m wide and 10 m high) was finally completed. The construction of the Marggrabowa monument was initiated by the starost (head of the commune), Bruno Wachsmann in 1921 and financed by veterans’ organizations. The monument was built on a hill, by the Great Olecko Lake, between the Geldap road and the city beach. The area was full of sports and entertainment areas with an Olympic-sized stadium, athletics and parkour running tracks, a city shooting range, tennis courts and volleyball and football pitches. The complex was supplemented by a youth zone, a summer pavilion and a large park.

The monument was given the shape of a semi-circular rotunda with six large openings topped by pointed arches. Local stones were used in the construction, which became the symbol of the rotunda. A sentence was inscribed above: “Herr Gott, erhöre unsere Flehen, lass wider ein starkes Deutschland” (lit. “God, hear our plea and make Germany strong again”). A massive pedestal with an eternal flame stood on the platform, which was led up by wide stairs. The structures were surrounded by stone paths, which ended with a descent of high stairs towards the stadium and the lake that lay behind it. In front of the monument there was a large square where events like political meetings, jubilee meetings and dances took place.

The monument remained. In the 1970s, a plinth with an eternal flame and swords carved in stone were added to decorate the three vertical pillars of the structure. The monumental shape, size, material, surrounding park with sports and entertainment complex make the structure very impressive. It is one of the few surviving monuments to the victims of the World War I in the region of North-Eastern Poland.