The Marasesti Mausoleum has been constructed in celebration of the 1917 glorious battle of Marasesti and commemorates the heroes that have fought in the National Unification War. The shrine has been erected in the exact place where the conflagration took place, on what is now the national road that connects Focsani and Adjud cities.
Romania is a country that prides itself with many mausoleums which have been constructed so as to honor various heroes or landmark historical events, but among all of these, the Marasesti Mausoleum stands out due to its imposing stature. The impressive architecture and grandeur has made the monument renowned in all of Europe.
In order to better comprehend the impact that this battle had on the country’s past, it is worth mentioning that the outcome of this battle wrote the history of Romania and it is safe to say that it also determined its present. In the First World War, the enemies were steadily but surely advancing on Romanian territory, but their advancement came to a hold the moment they planned to enter Moldova by passing through Marasesti. There, the Romanian army was waiting, prepared to crush anyone who attempted to go past it. The battle of Marasesti lasted for one month, between 21st of July and 21st of August 1917, and its denouement consisted in a glorious victory for the Romanians.
The total number of casualties (in what concerns the Romanian army) was 21.480, of which 480 were officers, while the remaining majority consisted of soldiers. It is to these brave individuals to whom the monument is dedicated. The mausoleum has 154 individual crypts and 9 collective ones spread throughout the 18 floors where the heroes who have sacrificed their life for their country have find their eternal sleep. It is no wonder that on the main façade, on its most upper part, the following words are inscribed: ‘Praise for the national heroes.’
The initiative to construct such a masterpiece worthy of our fallen soldiers was taken by the National Orthodox Society of Women who has presented the idea in front of the Congress in the summer of 1919.
The architects in charge of the project were George Cristinel and Constantin Pompeiu who have designed the plans and have seen the mausoleum come into being throughout its 15 years of construction (between 1923-1938). The construction of the mausoleum occurred in several stages, but what is noteworthy is the summer of 1924 when the earthly remains have been deposited within the finished crypts.
In august, the relics of General Eremia Grigorescu, the commander-in-chief of the 1st Romanian Army during the Battles of Marasesti, were deposited in their rightful place, in an individual crypt, in honor of him leading his army towards victory.
The Mausoleum was inaugurated in the presence of King Carol II on the 18th of September 1938.