The day after the Battle of Poltava, Tsar Peter I ordered the burial of the dead
officers and soldiers in two separate graves close to each other. All Russian regiments were
drawn up to the graves to pay their last respect to the fallen warriors.
After the service for the dead a big
mound was raised on top of the common graves.
According to legend, Peter I himself mounted a large wooden
cross on the top of the mound. All in all, 1,345 Russian warriors
were buried in these graves.
A new monument, consisting of a large granite cross on the
mound above the common graves, was dedicated on
September 11, 1895. The eastern side of the foundation
of the cross bears the following
inscription: “Brigadier Felengheim, Colonels Nechaev and
Lov, Lieutenant Colonel Kozlov, and Majors
Kropotov, Erst and Gelt are buried here. 45 officers, 1,293 privates
and corporals, all in all 1,345 Russians are buried here."
On the opposite side of the
monument is the inscription: “Pious warriors shed their blood here on
June 27th 1709." However, the granite cross was too heavy for the site and soon
started to sink into the burial mound. In 1906 it was decided to open the
burial bound above the common graves, reinforce the foundation of the
and build an inner chapel with a spherical vault. In the following year the
burial mound was rebuilt, and a small chapel in the name of St. Peter
and Paul was
constructed inside of the mound. The final reconstruction of the memorial
was completed in 1909 on the eve of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the
battle. Although no Swedish warriors are buried there, local inhabitants still
refer to the common grave as the Swedish Grave.