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Monument Circle, Indianapolis

4.7
The Indiana State Soldiers and Sailors Monument is a 284 ft 6 in (86.72 m) neoclassical monument built on Monument Circle, a circular, brick-paved street that intersects Meridian and Market streets in the center of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. In the years since its public dedication on May 15, 1902, the monument has become an iconic symbol of Indianapolis, the state capital of Indiana. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 13, 1973 and was included in an expansion of the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza National Historic Landmark District in December 2016. It is located in the Washington Street-Monument Circle Historic District. It is also the largest outdoor memorial and the largest of its kind in Indiana.


It was designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz and built over a thirteen-year period, between 1888 and 1901. The monument's original purpose was to honor Hoosiers who were veterans of the American Civil War; however, it is also a tribute to Indiana's soldiers who served during the American Revolutionary War, territorial conflicts that partially led to the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War, and the Spanish–American War. The monument is the first in the United States to be dedicated to the common soldier.


The obelisk-shaped monument is built of oolitic limestone from Owen County, Indiana. It rests on a raised foundation surrounded by pools and fountains. Broad stone steps on its north and south sides lead to two terraces at its base. Stone tablets above the bronze entrance doors on the obelisk's north and south sides bear inscriptions commemorating Indiana's soldiers. An inscription above the tablets reads: "To Indiana's Silent Victors." An observation deck is accessible by stairs or elevator from the interior. In addition to its commemorative statuary and fountains, made primarily of oolitic limestone and bronze, the basement of the monument contains the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, a museum of Indiana history during the American Civil War. At the time of the monument's dedication in 1902, its cost was $598,318. It has been estimated that construction of a similar structure in 2014 would exceed $500 million.


The memorial includes several notable outdoor sculptures, including Rudolph Schwarz's two massive limestone groupings of War and Peace, two smaller scenes named The Dying Soldier and The Return Home, and four military figures at its base. Three astragals, one by Nikolaus (Nicolaus) Geiger and two others by George T. Brewster, surround the stone obelisk. Additional sculptures include John H. Mahoney's bronze statues of George Rogers Clark, William Henry Harrison, and James Whitcomb, and Franklin Simmons's bronze statue of Oliver P. Morton. Brewster's 30-foot (9.1 m) bronze statue of Victory crowns the obelisk. The Indianapolis monument is approximately 15 feet (4.6 m) shorter than New York City's 305-foot (93 m) Statue of Liberty.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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TripAdvisor
  • Absolutely worth checking the area. The largest outdoor memorial in the United States to be dedicated to the common soldier. Surrounded by restaurants and shopping.  more »
  • You have to experience the lighting ceremony at least one time in your life. What a way to to get into the holiday spirit! We get downtown early and just spend the day shopping, eating, maybe catch a....  more »
  • We went to the Christmas Eve Light Show which they had advertised. Absolutely NOT worth it. Lasted 5 minutes and just flashed lights on buildings. BORING.  more »
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