The memorial ossuary of the fallen partisans in Veles is located near the highway A1 “Friendship” and is an ideal opportunity for a road break.
The idea of building this grand monument dates back to the end of World War II. Part of the funds for its construction were collected from voluntary contributions. It is a tribute to 378 fallen fighters and 209 victims of fascism from this area. This monument was founded in 1976, and completed in 1979. It was inaugurated on the Day of the Uprising, October 11, 1979, by the President of the Association of Fighters of Yugoslavia, Costa Nagj. In November the same year, the remains of the fighters from Veles and surrounding communities were transferred from the church “St. Panteleimon” and placed in the memorial ossuary under the central symbol, representing a blossoming tree that symbolizes freedom. Here is the grave of the famous Macedonian poet Kocho Racin.
Authors of the memorial ossuary are Savo Sugotin – architect, Ljubomir Denkovic – sculptor (1936) and Petar Mazev – painter (1927 – 1993).
The building is made of reinforced concrete. Steep stairs lead to it. The shape of the monument itself is a poppy flower, at a point of bud-cracking, symbolizing the birth of something new, depicting the association of a cracked helmet – a symbol of defeated fascism. This was the notion of the two authors from Novi Sad: Denkovikj and Sugotin.
The interior art design is presented through Mazev’s mosaic, which is one of the largest mosaic complexes in Macedonia with over 220 square meters. It is made of natural and artificial stone from Venetian marble, in several colors, through which symbols and shapes can be distinguished. The composition comprises of five paintings through which the author depicts the history of the Macedonian people, starting from the Turkish period to the post-war Yugoslav period. More specifically, the five paintings present motifs of Turkish slavery (Turkish: Devshirme or “child levy”, “blood tax” ), Veles in the interwar period as a stronghold of the Communist Party (predominantly red), the fascist occupation represented by a dominant helmet in the composition, the victory embodied in the shape of a woman with a raised hand and lastly the post-war development.
For many visitors, this mosaic is the “Macedonian Guernica”