Siegessäule – the victory column

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Located at the main roundabout (called Grosser Stern) in the middle of the large Tiergarten Park in Berlin you find a big victory column. It is called the Siegessäule and originally it was commissioned to commemorate the Prussian victory in the war against Denmark in 1864. But during this time the Prussian army was more or less constantly at war with its neighbor and winning every time they went to war so there were a huge demand of victory monuments – hence the Siegessäule also commemorate the Prussian victories in the war of 1866 against Austria-Hungary and the war of 1871 against France.

The column wasn’t originally located in the middle of the Tiergarten instead it was in front of the present day Bundestag – but Hitler had it removed to make room for his intended transformation of Berlin. If the column hadn’t been moved it would most likely have been badly damaged or destroyed since the original location was bombed heavily by the Americans during the war. After the war the French wanted it destroyed since they stilled had some issues about the fact the column had a couple of sections where the Germans remembered their victory over France.

When the French couldn’t get the column destroyed they removed the section about the war against France at the column wasn’t restored until 1987 when Mitterrand gave it back to Berlin as part of the city’s 750th anniversary. But some of the original sections still remain in France.

It is free to have a look from the outside but there is an entrance fee if you want to go inside.

The column is in the middle of the park and pretty far from the other main sights of Berlin but you can take bus 100 from Bahnhof Zoo or in Berlin Mitte area close to Brandenburger Tor.

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