Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

Unveiling Berlin’s Historical Gem: Victory Column (Siegessäule)

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

Introduction

Welcome to the heart of Berlin, where history and grandeur collide. One of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Victory Column (Siegessäule), stands tall as a symbol of triumph, power, and hope. This majestic structure attracts thousands of visitors every year, igniting their imagination with its awe-inspiring presence. Join us as we unveil the story behind the Victory Column and explore its significance in Berlin’s rich history.

The History Behind the Monument

Completed in 1873, the Victory Column was originally designed to commemorate Prussia’s military successes against Denmark in 1864, Austria in 1866, and France in 1870-1871. The monument was initially erected on Königsplatz, which is now known as Platz der Republik, near the Reichstag building.

However, in 1939, under Nazi rule, the Victory Column was relocated to its current location in the heart of Tiergarten park. This strategic move aimed to create a powerful central axis, highlighting the grandeur of the Nazi regime.

During World War II, the column survived the destruction of the surrounding area but was heavily damaged by shelling. Thankfully, it was faithfully reconstructed after the war, respecting its historical significance.

Architectural Marvel

Standing at an impressive height of 66.89 meters (220 feet), the Victory Column is a true architectural marvel. Its design was the brainchild of Heinrich Strack, a renowned German architect. The column itself is made of beautiful red granite, sourced from Swedish quarries, while the statue at the top is coated with golden leaf.

The monument is adorned with intricate reliefs and inscriptions, depicting key moments from the wars it commemorates. Visitors can witness the craftsmanship as they climb the spiral staircase to the viewing platform. From the top, panoramic views of Berlin reward those who make the journey.

The Golden Goddess

Crowning the Victory Column is the Golden Goddess, otherwise known as the Victoria statue. This breathtaking sculpture was designed by Friedrich Drake and is synonymous with Berlin’s skyline. Proudly standing at 8.3 meters (27 feet) tall, Victoria holds a laurel wreath in her right hand, symbolizing triumph, and a Prussian eagle in her left hand, representing strength and power.

The statue itself weighs a staggering 35 metric tons, and the glistening golden finish captivates visitors as it catches the sunlight. Victoria’s prominent position on top of the column celebrates the heroism of the Prussian army and the triumphs of the German nation.

Exploring the Surroundings

The Victory Column is not only a testament to history but also provides visitors with the opportunity to experience Berlin’s vibrant culture. Adjacent to the monument lies the picturesque Tiergarten park, which offers a serene retreat from the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll through the park’s beautiful pathways, enjoy a picnic on the lush green lawns, or simply unwind amidst nature’s tranquil beauty.

If you’re in the mood for some cultural exploration, within walking distance of the Victory Column is the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Another symbol of Berlin’s history, this neoclassical triumphal arch is an ideal spot for capturing memorable photos and immersing yourself in the city’s past.

Visiting the Victory Column

The Victory Column is accessible to visitors throughout the year, allowing you to immerse yourself in the historical splendor of Berlin. To reach it, you can either take a leisurely walk from various nearby attractions or use public transportation, with the nearest U-Bahn station being Hansaplatz.

Be prepared to climb the 285 steps to the viewing platform if you wish to take in the panoramic views of the city. Additionally, it’s advisable to check the opening hours in advance and consider visiting outside the peak tourist hours for a more intimate experience.

Tips for an Enjoyable Visit:

  • Wear comfortable shoes as the climb to the viewing platform can be strenuous.
  • Bring a camera to capture the breathtaking views from the top.
  • Consider visiting during sunset or sunrise for a truly magical experience.
  • Don’t forget to explore the surrounding Tiergarten park and other nearby attractions.
  • Respect the monument and its historical significance by refraining from climbing on any restricted areas.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as the climb to the viewing platform can be strenuous.
  • Bring a camera to capture the breathtaking views from the top.
  • Consider visiting during sunset or sunrise for a truly magical experience.
  • Don’t forget to explore the surrounding Tiergarten park and other nearby attractions.
  • Respect the monument and its historical significance by refraining from climbing on any restricted areas.
  • Conclusion

    The Victory Column stands as a testament to Berlin’s rich history, reminding us of the triumphs and tribulations that have shaped the city. From its architectural beauty to its historical significance, this iconic landmark offers a captivating experience for visitors of all backgrounds and interests.

    As you stand in the shadow of the towering triumph, take a moment to reflect on the resilience of Berlin and the continued importance of preserving our collective history. The Victory Column is not just a monument; it’s a symbol of strength, unity, and the enduring spirit of a city that has overcome countless challenges.

    Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

    WHAT TO EXPECT

    • 3.5 hours walking tour
    • Berlin’s major highlights
    • Brandenburg Gate
    • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
    • Historical sites

    Free Walking Tour Berlin

    When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
    Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
    Price: Free