The Victory Column is one of the most famous monuments in Berlin.
The Victory Column is a monument built to commemorate the Prussian (German) victory over Denmark, France and Austria and is located in the middle of Tiergarten Park, Berlin. The monument was built in 1873 originally located in front of the Reichstag Building but in 1938 Hitler moved it to its current location because it did not fit into his designs to transform Berlin.
The Victory Column sits in the center of a busy roundabout known as the “Big Star” but it is easily accessed through underground pedestrian tunnels. The monument stands 69 meters high (226 ft.) and can be seen from all over the city.
The Victory Column consists of four main sections: the granite base, the pedestal column, the viewing platform and the Golden statue of Victory.
The granite base
The lower section of the granite base is decorated with four reliefs with one on each side of the square. The relief are represent the following events:
- Details of the Danish countryside and the taking of the Düppel hills
- The Battle of Hradec Králové and the events of the German Unification War
- The Franco-German War, the Battle of Sedan and the entry into Paris
- Entry of troops into Berlin
Above the square portion of the base is a circular pavilion with a mosaic that represents the unification of the Prussian Reich following its victory over France.
The ceiling above the mosaic scenes is elaborately designed and reminded me of the type of ceiling that belonged in a royal palace ballroom.
The pedestal column
The pedestal column has four sections with a row of gold covered cannons at the bottom of each section. The cannons are inserted into the flutes of the column and the gold of cannons are a bright contrast against the dark colored column.
Inside the column is a stairway that leads to the viewing platform. The 285 step stairway is the only way to access the viewing platform but the view of the surrounding area is worth the effort.
The viewing platform
The viewing platform is an open air circular platform that provides a 360 degree view around the monument. Going up the 285 step stairway requires a moderate amount of effort but the views are worth the effort. Not only are the views of Tiergarten Park beautiful but the platform is also a good spot to see views of the city of Berlin, the Reichstag Building, Brandenburg Gate and the Berliner Fernsehturm Tower.
Golden statue of Victory
The top section of the monument is the viewing platform and golden statue of victory. The statue on at the top of the monument represents the Niki, Greek goddess of Victory.
The Victory Column is a monument that is easily noticed when visiting Berlin. Its height towers above the green trees of the Tiergarten Park and the golden statue of victory shines bright on a sunny day.
One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new city is to get an aerial view of the city. Seeing a city from above helps me to see the overall layout of the city. I feel like I have a better understanding of the city when I have seen it from above. The viewing platform is a great place to see the city and to see the Tiergarten Park.
Climbing up the 285 steps will make you tired but you will instantly forget about the effort it took reach the top when you step out from the stairwell onto the viewing platform. There is a nice breeze on the viewing platform and the views are amazing! Once your return down, Tiergarten Park is a nice place to relax from climbing up the height of the column to reach the Goddess of Victory.