The Mask of Sorrow is a monument in Magadan in Russia dedicated to those who died in Soviet gulags.
The gulags were prison camps first used by the Bolsheviks and then vastly expanded between 1934 and 1951, particularly under soviet leader, Joseph Stalin. Notoriously brutal and famously remote, the gulags were forced labour camps used by Stalin to ‘purge’ the Soviet Union of perceived ‘enemies of the people’.
The Mask of Sorrow is a vast stone statue of a crying face, the interior of which is a recreation of a gulag cell. Behind the main statue is a smaller monument showing a kneeling woman with her face in her hands.
The Mask of Sorrow overlooks another relic of Soviet Russia, the Road of Bones, which was built by prisoners. Many of them died during its construction and their remains were scattered into the earth around it. Even the nearby town of Magadan was built by prisoners.
The Mask of Sorrow is extremely remotely located, just north of the town of Magadan in eastern Russia. Magadan does have a bus station with regional services, but check with a tour operator. There is also an airport in the town of Sokol, approximately 60 km north of the site.
Route P-481, near Magadan, Eastern Russia
Contact local tourist office