From the International Encyclopedia of Peace (Prof. Nigel Young, Editor-in-Chief),
Oxford University Press (OUP), New York (January 2010), volume 3, pp. 416-421.

Peace Monuments

Encyclopedia Article by Edward W. Lollis, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

A monument is a physical and permanent way to preserve the memory of an event or concept. A peace monument promotes values associated with peace or peace-building. At least 2,000 peace monuments have been erected in all parts of the world. The pace of their creation accelerated throughout the twentieth century, and the upward trend seems to be continuing in the twenty-first century.

This article names 161 notable peace monuments. All 161-- and hundreds more -- are illustrated and described interactively at

Peace monuments take many forms: Obelisks, statues and other sculptures, gardens and parks, murals, towers, fountains, stones, arches, decorative walls and gates, carillons, bells, gongs, pagodas and stupas, eternal flames, plaques, windows, and enduring works of art. Everyday structures like buildings, highways, and bridges also serve as peace monuments when named for peace or dedicated peace-building.

A peace museum is a special kind of peace monument. A museum is physical and permanent, but it is not passive. A museum is a living institution with a budget and evolving programs. In 2005, the international peace museums network changed its name to embrace "museums for peace," a concept which includes museums not necessarily named for "peace" but which promote anything related to "peace" or human rights.

Peace monuments are created for many different reasons. Some celebrate the peace which follows the end of armed conflict. Some express religious concepts of peace. Some monuments -- especially those in the form of gardens or parks -- are places of repose and beauty intended to invoke feelings of peace and love.

Some peace monuments memorialize specific "peace heroes" such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., or other Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Other monuments promote themes such as world peace, reconciliation, tolerance, non-violence, racial harmony, and pacifism.

Some peace monuments, such as Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, serve as venues for peace ceremonies and demonstrations. In general, peace monuments reject war and violence and help promote a culture of peace.

Ars Pacis Augustus (Temple of Peace) in Rome - Peace of Westphalia by Gerard Terborch in London

Let Us Beat Swords Into Plowshares at the UN in New York - Guernica by Pablo Picasso in Madrid

Classical Peace Art

Artists have depicted the blessings of peace and horrors of war for hundreds of years. Peace art traditionally depicts allegorical figures (usually female, such as a goddess of peace) or other symbols of peace (such as the dove, laurel branch, open hands, and the peace sign of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). Russian artist Nicholas Roerich created the "Banner of Peace" in an attempt to identify cultural properties and to protect them from acts of war.

Here are some examples of classical peace art:

23 BCE - Ars Pacis Augustus (Temple of Peace), Rome, Italy (shown above)
75 AD - Templum Pacis (Temple of Peace), Forum of Vespasian, Rome, Italy
1181 - "Noah Receiving the Dove," Vindobona Monastery, near Vienna, Austria
1341 - Figure of Pax, Sala della Pace (Peace Hall), Palazzo Pubblico, Sienna, Italy
1622 - Standbeeld van Ersmus (Statue of Erasmus), Rotterdam, Netherlands
1648 - "Peace of Westphalia" by Gerard Terborch, National Gallery, London, England (shown above)
1780 - "Peace Bringing Back Abundance" by Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun, Paris, France
1820 - Temple de l'Amité et de la Paix (Temple of Friendship and Peace), Geneva, Switzerland
c1833 - "Peaceable Kingdom" by Quaker artist Edward Hicks, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
1836 - "La Paix de 1815" (The Peace of 1815), Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, Paris, France
1935 - Roerich Pact (Banner of Peace, Pax Cultura) signed at White House, Wash., DC, USA
1938 - Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace), Parco Sempione, Milan, Italy
1938 - "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (shown above)
1952 - "Peace & Freedom Tapestry" by Per Krohg, Security Council, UN, New York City, USA
1953 - "Mankind's Struggle for a Lasting Peace" by Jose Vela Zanetti, UN, New York City, USA
1959 - “Let Us Beat Swords Into Plowshares” statue from USSR, UN, New York City, USA (shown above)
1964 - "Peace and Human Happiness" window by Marc Chagall, UN, New York City, USA
1985 - "Golden Rule Mosaic" by Norman Rockwell, United Nations, New York City, USA Peace

Naval Peace Monument, Washington, DC - Pamatnik Mohyla Miru (Cairn of Peace), Czech Republic

Anti-War Monument of Sylvia Pankhurst, London, England - Monument de la Paix, Bamako, Mali

Monuments After Wars

All nations erect monuments to mark battlefields and to commemorate the glory, heroism, and tragedy of war. War monuments vastly out-number peace monuments, but a few monuments created after war celebrate the peace which follows war or highlight the causes of war which should be avoided in the future.

In Europe, about twenty peace or anti-war museums opened between 1980 and 2000, leading to the creation of the International Network of Peace Museums in 1992 and to the change of the network's name in 2005 to International Network of Museums for Peace.

Here are some examples of peace monuments created after wars:

1878 - Naval Peace Monument, National Mall, Washington, DC, USA (shown above)
1904 - "Cristo Redentor de los Andes" (Christ of the Andes) statue, between Argentina & Chile
1910 - New York Peace Monument, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
1912 - Pamatnik Mohyla Miru (Cairn) & Austerlitz Museum, Prace, Czech Republic (shown above)
1914 - Fredsmonument (Peace Monument), Morokulien, between Norway & Sweden
1921 - International Peace Arch and Peace Arch Park, between USA (WA) & Canada (BC)
1924 - Maria Dolens (Peace Bell), Rovereto, Italy
1925 - International Peace Bridge, between USA (NY) & Canada (ON)
1925 - Anti-Kriegs-Museum (Anti-War Museum), Berlin, Germany
1926 - Liberty Memorial and National World War-I Museum, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
1930 - IJzertoren Museum of War, Peace & Flemish Emancipation, Flanders, Belgium
1930 - Shrine Peace Memorial, Exposition Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1936 - American Legion Peace Garden, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
1936 - Anti-War Monument of Sylvia Pankhurst, Woodford Green, London, England (shown above)
1938 - Anti-War Monument of Hamilton Holt, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, USA
1938 - Peace Light Memorial, Civil War Battlefield, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
1938 - Monument a la Gloire des Américains, Pointe-de-Grave, Le-Verdon-sur-Mer, France
1938 - Temple of Peace and Health, Civic Centre, Cardiff, Wales
1988 - Memorial de Caen - Cite dHhistoire pour la Paix (Caen Peace Museum), Caen, France
1992 - Monument de la Paix (Peace Monument), City Center, Bamako, Mali (shown above)
1998 - Páirc Síochána d'Oileán na h'Éireann (Island of Ireland Peace Park), Messines, Belgium
2000 - Peace Bell, Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Republic of Korea
2003 - Peace Bell, Memorial Hall for Compatriots Killed in the Nanjing Massacre, China
2003 - Museo para la Paz (Museum for Peace), Fundación Arias para la Paz, Costa Rica
2003 - Najeen (Survivor), Firdus Square, Baghdad, Iraq
2004 - Kigali Memorial Centre (genocide museum), Kigali, Rwanda

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park - International Peace Garden (both between US & Canada)

Heiwa no Ishiji & Okinawa Peace Memorial Park - Jardin de la Paz (Peace Garden) in Mexico City

Peace Gardens and Parks

Small peace gardens and parks are numerous because they are relatively easy to construct and are therefore favored by small communities. But they are fragile because they require continuous care and relatively unknown because they are local.

A few very large peace parks have been created on adjacent sides of international boundaries in order to symbolize peace between and among nations and to help achieve peaceful purposes such as tourism and wildlife conservation.

Here are some examples of peace gardens and parks (both small and large):

c1908 - Peace Park, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA
1910 - Garden of Peace, Japan-British Exposition, Shepherd's Bush, London, England
1932 - Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, between USA (MT) & Canada (AB) (shown above)
1932 - International Peace Garden, between USA (ND) and Canada (MB) (shown above)
1936 - International Friendship Garden, Michigan City, Indiana, USA
1940 - Great Smoky Mountains National Park, between Tennessee & North Carolina, USA
1940 - International Peace Gardens, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
1954 - Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Cenotaph, Hiroshima, Japan
1955 - Nagasaki Peace Park and Peace Statue by Seibou Kitamura, Nagasaki, Japan
1972 - Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, Mabuni Hill, Okinawa, Japan (shown above)
1984 - Peace Garden, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1986 - Canberra Peace Park, Canberra, Australian National Territory, Australia
1988 - Seattle Peace Park, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
1988 - National Garden of Peace, Temple of Peace, Cardiff, Wales
1988 - Parque Internacional La Amistad, between Costa Rica & Panama
1990 - Parque de la Paz, Managua, Nicaragua
1991 - Jardin de la Paz, Tlatelolco District, Mexico City, Mexico (shown above)
1998 - My Lai Peace Park (Madison Quakers), My Lai, Vietnam
Forming - National Peace Garden, Haynes Point, Washington, DC, USA
Forming - Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, beween Mozambique, South Africa & Zimbabwe

Japanese Peace Bell at the UN in New York - Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Intl. Friendship Bell, Oak Ridge, Tennessee - Flame of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Ueno Toshogu Shrine, Tokyo

Japan After World War II

After World War II (1939-1945), Japan formally rejected militarism. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and other Japanese cities embarked on a campaign for peace based on the demonstration of Japanese suffering and on the proposition that the horrors of war must not happen again. This movement gave the world new forms of peace monuments (e.g. peace pagodas, peace bells, peace museums, and peace poles) and new peace symbols (e.g. the World Peace Prayer and Sadako Sasaki, the Hiroshima girl who folded origami peace cranes before dying from the effects of atomic radiation).

Here are some examples of peace monuments inspired by Japan after World War II:

1954 - Japanese Peace Bell, United Nations, New York City, USA (shown above)
1955 - Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima, Japan (shown above)
1958 - Children's Peace Monument, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, Japan
1964 - Hiroshima Peace Bell, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, Japan
1968 - Peace Pagoda, Peace Plaza, Nihonmachi (Japan Town), San Francisco, California, USA
1975 - Rissho Kosei-kai Friendship Tower, Bagac, Bataan Peninsula, Philippines
1975 - Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, Okinawa, Japan
1983 - Peace Boat (SS Topaz), based at Port of Yokohama, Japan
1985 - Hiroshima Peace Bell, Izumo Taisha Mission, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
1987 - Japanese Peace Monument, Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA
1989 - Children's Peace Statue (intended for Los Alamos), Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
1990 - Sadako Statue & Peace Park, Seattle, Washington, USA
1990 - Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Ueno Toshogu Shrine, Tokyo, Japan (shown above)
1991 - World Peace Sanctuary, Wassaic, New York, USA
1991 - Osaka International Peace Center (Peace Osaka), Osaka, Japan
1992 - Kawasaki Peace Museum & Nakahara Peace Park, Kawasaki, Japan
1992 - Kyoto Museum for World Peace, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan
1993 - Peace Museum of Saitama, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
1995 - Heiwa no Ishiji (Cornerstone of Peace), Mabuni, Okinawa, Japan (shown above)
1996 - Peace Bell, Gan Sacker (Sacher Park), Nahlaot, Jerusalem, Israel
1996 - International Friendship Bell, A. K. Bissell Park, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA (shown above)
2003 - World Peace Prayer Fountain, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA (shown below)
2003 - Peace Bell for 9/11, Veterans Park, Ridgefield, New Jersey, USA

Gyarah Murti (Gandhi's Salt March) in New Delhi - Non-Violence (Knotted Gun) at the UN in New York

Hands Across the Divide in Londonderry, Northern Ireland - Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral, England

Gandhi, Non-Violence and Reconciliation

The pyre (Raj Ghat) in New Delhi on which Mohandas K. Gandhi was cremated January 31, 1948, became an instant shrine to peace, as did his Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and other sites associated with the world's foremost advocate of non-violence. Thousands of statues or busts of Gandhi have been erected in India, South Africa, Uganda, England, and the United States.

"Non-Violence" (also known as the "Knotted Gun"), a sculpture by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, has been placed in Malmo, New York (United Nations), Stockholm, Göteborg, Cape Town, Liverpool, Berlin, Caen, and Lausanne. (shown above)

Copies of "Reconciliation" (originally called "Reunion"), a statue by Josefina de Vasconcellos, are in Bradford (England), Coventry, Hiroshima, Berlin, and Belfast. (shown above)

Here are some other examples of peace monuments inspired by the Gandhian traditions of non-violence and reconciliation:

1950 - Gandhi World Peace Memorial, Self-Realization Fellowship, California, USA
1967 - All Nations Peace and Reconciliation Memorial, above Friedland, Germany
1967 - Protestant Church of Reconciliation, Dachau Concentration Camp, Dachau, Germany
1968 - Statue of Mahatma Gandhi, Tavistock Square, London, England
1968 - Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Non-Violent Social Change, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Year? - Gyarah Murti (Gandhi & ten other figures on the 1930 Salt March), New Delhi, India (shown above)
1986 - "Messenger of Peace" sculpture, Manchester Peace Garden, Manchester, England
1988 - Freedom Quilt Mural, American Friends Service Committee, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
1989 - Statue of National Reconciliation, Klafthmonos Square, Athens, Greece
1992 - "Hands Across the Divide" statue, Craigavon Bridge, Londonderry, Northern Ireland (shown above)
1992 - "Reconciliation" (National Peacekeeping Monument), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
1994 - Pacifist Memorial, Peace Abbey, Sherborn, Massachusetts, USA
2003 - Statue of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Square, Johannesburg, South Africa
2003 - Peace Bridge (renamed by Truth & Reconciliation Commission), Freetown, Sierra Leone
2006 - Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, Astana, Kazakhstan
2007 - Tehran Peace Monument and Peace Museum, Tehran, Iran
2007 - John Lennon "Imagine Peace" Tower, Videy Island, Reykjavik, Iceland

Vredespaleis (Peace Palace) in The Hague - Red Cross & Red Crescent Museum in Geneva

World Peace Prayer Fountain in Fayetteville, Arkansas - Peace Monument, UN Univ. for Peace, Costa Rica

World Peace

International organizations such as the Red Cross, League of Nations, United Nations, and UNESCO promote world peace, they attract the donation of peace monuments, and even their office buildings are iconic and therefore qualify as peace monuments.

Here are some examples of monuments for world peace:

1913 - Vredespaleis (Peace Palace), home of the World Court, The Hague, Netherlands (shown above)
1936 - Palais des Nations (Palace of Nations), League of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
1950 - United Nations Headquarters Building, New York City, USA
1958 - Jardin de la Paix (Garden of Peace), UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France
1975 - United Nations Plaza, San Francisco, California, USA
1984 - Livermore Peace Monument, South Livermore Avenue, Livermore, California, USA
1987 - Monument to Disarmament, Work and Peace, UN University for Peace, Costa Rica (shown above)
1987 - Peace Wall and Moon Gate, Lion & Lamb Peace Arts Center, Bluffton Univ, Bluffton, Ohio, USA
1988 - Musée International de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge, Geneva, Switzerland (shown above)
1992 - Baha’i Peace Monument, UN "Earth Summit," Brasilia, Brazil
1995 - United Nations Peace Bell, Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria
1995 - United Nations Peace Plaza, Community of Christ, Independence, Missouri, USA
1995 - Trinigon (National Monument for Peace), Narvik, Norway
1997 - Peace Bell of the Alpine Region, Moesern bei Seefeld, Upper Inntal Valley, Austria
1998 - Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity, Davao, Philippines
1998 - J William Fulbright Peace Fountain, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA
1999 - World Peace Bell, World Peace Bell Center, Newport, Kentucky, USA
2003 - Jardin de la Paix (Garden of Peace) for Sergio Vieira de Mello, Geneva, Switzerland
2004 - World Peace Statue, Memorial de Caen, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France
2005 - Dayton International Peace Museum, Dayton, Ohio, USA
2005 - Nobels Fredssenter (Nobel Peace Center), Oslo, Norway

Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda) in Ladakh, Kashmir - World Peace Bell, Parque Lira, Mexico City

Rotary Peace Monument in Chandigahr, India - World Wall for Peace in Nashville, Tennessee

Peace Monument Groups

Organized groups are increasingly responsible for placing different kinds of peace monuments in multiple countries. The World Peace Bell Association, for example, has placed twenty World Peace Bells in Japan and in fifteen other countries on all continents except Africa.

Here is a list of peace monument groups (with the year of each group's first monument):

1954 - Peace Pagodas, Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order, Japan (shown above)
1982 - World Peace Bell Association, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan (shown above)
1984 - International World Peace Rose Gardens, Sacramento, California, USA
1986 - International Institute for Peace Through Tourism, Stowe, Vermont, USA
1986 - Peace Tables by George Nakashima, New Hope, Pennsylvania, USA
1988 - Gardens for Peace, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
1989 - World Walls for Peace, Berkeley, California, USA (shown above)
1990 - Intl. Peace Garden Foundation, USA (NY), Canada (ON) & France (Normandy)
1991 - World Peace Prayer Society, Wassaic, New York, USA
1993 - Rotary Peace Monuments, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia (shown above)
1993 - International School Peace Gardens, Missisauga, Ontario, Canada
1994 - Pacific Rim Parks, San Diego, California, USA
1997 - Peace Parks Foundation, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2000 - Clara Halter, Paris, France (monuments in Paris, St. Petersburg, Hiroshima, Jerusalem)
2002 - World Peace Flames, The Hague, Netherlands
2002 - Worldwide Peace Markers, Cape Coral, Florida, USA
2004 - Gong Perdamaian Dunia (World Peace Gongs), Jakarta, Indonesia


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