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The Battle of the Dukla Pass

The Battle of the Dukla Pass

January 2020 · 5 min read · District of Svidník

The Battle of the Dukla Pass also known as Dukla has an important place in the history of Slovakia as in the autumn of 1944 there was one of the most difficult battles during the World War II held in this place of our country.

It is situated in the natural area close to the Polish border and dominated by the The Memorial and the Cemetery of the Czechoslovak Army. During the battle for Dukla col more than 60000 soldiers died here and one of the valleys here became known as the Valley of Death.

The Memorial is situated in the military cemetery and it was built in 1949. It is 28 m tall and it is decorated with a bronze statue by Ján Kulich named Žalujem (I accuse). Around the cemetery there are statues of heroes of Dukla.

On the colonnade leading to the Memorial are placed bronze boards, on which are engraved names of 1256 fallen soldiers - members of the first Czechoslovak Army Corps in the USSR.

In 1961, the monument was declared a national cultural momument.

I remember that my school class went to Dukla on a day trip, but I couldn't join, so this was my first time here. I must say that almost every person in this country has already visited this place.


There is also an open- air museum with 55 pieces of different kinds of military equipment from the World War II. You can walk around the park and learn about World War II and the battle that took place here. You can also touch tanks and other heavy combat equipment. It is a paradise for boys!


Each year there is a performance showing scenes from the war period. There are many people taking part in these festivities.


You can come close and observe them. You will feel like you were transported back to the war times. You can also join the performance if you wish.


I enjoyed historical vehicles that were part of the performance. I saw this kind of a bike in a movie when I was a child and I dreamed of sitting next to the driver who would become my husband once I grew older. Frankly, that didn't become my reality.


My husband used to work in the army, and he loved this performance. I don't remember what is the name of this vehicle but it looks like a baby tank to me 😊


Who knows what they were doing there? They could have a break, plan an attack, hide or simply just sit there in the shadow as it was a warm day.


This observation tower offers spectacular views of the Slovak and Polish surroundings. It was built in 1974 on the place of an original wooden tower that was standing there before. It is 49 m high and it is decorated with various artworks from famous Slovak sculptors.

You can also see the former battlefield from here.


There are more memorials in the area of Dukla, such as this one that commemorates the reconnaissance troops of the 1st Czechoslovakian Army Corps who crossed the border here in 1944.

I find these memorials very important as horrible things happened here, and it is crucial that we don't forget about them.


Not far away from Dukla are the ruins of the castle Zborov. It is also known as castle Makovica. The castle was built at the beginning of the 14th century and it had a protective function. In the 17th century the castle was destroyed and never rebuilt again.

You can still see the ruin of donjon, defensive walls of the middle castle, tower of the middle castle, tower of the lower castle and you enter the castle through the gate to the lower castle.


At the beginning of the construction, the castle was a small and modest building. It was expanded later on. The walls and towers of the lower and middle castle survived in the best condition, in slightly worse are buildings of the upper castle.


In recent years, renovation and security works have been carried out at the castle to make it more accessible for tourists. It is a great place and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes adventures.


It was a lovely autumn day and I managed to capture beautiful colors of this tree. It was almost brighter than the sun!


And look at these shades of pink! They are so pretty!


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We stayed long and were lucky to enjoy this amazing sunset.


It changed from yellow to pink, light blue, purple into dark blue.



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Once the sun set down, we were ready to go back home. We had experienced so much during one day and we still tell our friends about these magical places that we visited here.


Thank you for visiting!


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