While many readers may be familiar with the National Martyrs’ Cemetery on Mt Taesong in Pyongyang, less well known is this cemetery in Shenyang that is dedicated to Chinese and Soviet soldiers who died fighting in the Korean war from 1950-1953.
The full name of the cemetery translates as something like the “Shenyang Cemetery for revolutionary Martyrs of the War to Resist American Aggression and Aid the Koreans,” and was originally built in 1951. Originally the cemetery held 122 graves, but in 2014 there were a further 427 graves added that had been repatriated from the North Korean and Chinese cemetery in Paju South Korea.
What is the Shenyang Korean War Cemetery monument?
Your visit to the site begins with the entrance, which has the years 1950 and 1953 on either side of the gate in large block letters. This, of course, represents the years the war began and ended.
Inside the compound is a giant bronze statue mounted on a stone block tower showing a Chinese People’s Volunteer Army soldier holding his weapon and flanked by either side with a Chinese and North Korean flag.
Bronze reliefs at the base of the monument show scenes of famous Chinese actions from the war. To either side of the main statue, there are two smaller bronze statues of soldiers. Behind the statues are the graves of prominent martyrs; these take the form of traditional round East Asian style tombs. Further back is a square below ground level featuring the names of 174,407 soldiers who died in the war. Their names are engraved in gold lettering.
In the middle of this square in a rather more modern looking monument that reads long live peace! Here is where the repatriated soldiers from 2014 are now buried.
What is the Soviet Cemetery?
The Soviet Cemetery is located to the East of the Korean War Cemetery. The passageway to the cemetery features reliefs of Soviet soldiers in action in Manchuria from World War 2. The Soviet Cemetery in Shenyang was built in 1995. The cemetery features graves for Soviet Martyrs, a Stone tower with a bronze tank on top and various explanations of Russian and Chinese friendship.
Where is the Shenyang Korean War Cemetery?
The cemetery lies to the North of the city across the river, so your best bet to get there is by taxi or using the Chinese version of Uber called Didi. While currently closed for renovations (as of today, February 21st, 2020), the cemetery used to be free to enter, although your ID would be registered to record your visit. Other things to do in Shenyang include the September 18th History Museum, The Mukden Concentration camp and the Shenyang Peace Memorial.
Shenyang is also a possible starting point for a Private DPRK tour. The train line from Beijing to Dandong city runs through Shenyang and then carries on to Pyongyang. There are also Shenyang to Pyongyang flights every Wednesday and Saturday.
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