The Victory Column is one of the best known symbols of Berlin.
"Golden Lizzie," as it is known in Berlin slang, was originally designed by Heinrich Strack and was built between and 1864 and 1873 at Königsplatz (today’s Platz der Republik). It has now been put under a preservation order.
The reason for its being built was Prussia’s victory in the German-Danish war in 1864. In the course of a few years, two additional victorious wars were added: the German war of 1866 against Austria and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1. These three victories are commemorated by the three original segments, onto which a bronze sculpture was placed.
During the era of National Socialism, the Victory Column increased in size to a total height of 67 metres. Between 1938 and 1939, in preparation for the future capital of the Reich “Germania,”the Victory Column was moved to the middle of Tiergarten. After surviving the war largely unscathed, the Victory Column was restored to its previous state that existed during the end of the 19th century.
The 8,3 metre high bronze sculpture weighing 35 tonnes, which was created by Friedrich Drake, represents Victoria wearing a helmet and holding a laurel wreath in one hand and, in the other, a staff bearing an iron cross. The victory goddess Victoria from Roman mythology is analogous to the Greek equivalent of Nike. Her eagle helmet also lets Victoria appear as Borussia, the female personification of Prussia.
The viewing platform offers a wonderful panoramic view of Berlin.
Spiral staircases are known to play an important part in fairy tales. Sleeping Beauty had to first climb the spiral staircase in the tower to meet her fate and the evil fairy. The 285 steps of the spiral staircase inside the Victory Column don't lead to the spindle and a hundred years of slumber, you will however need to be rather determined and fit to climb the tapering staircase.
On the observation deck you'll experience the height with all your senses: The wind will make your hair and maybe even your heart flutter. But don't worry: a protective grille protects you from falling and allows you to get a great view over the city. Incidentally, Barack Obama once made a speech at the foot of the Victory Column, in 2008, before he was elected president of the United States.
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