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waterfall in Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg
Viktoriapark with waterfall © visumate, Foto: Sylvia matzkowiak

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Viktoriapark

Wine and water

A mountain waterfall, a vineyard and a national memorial – you can find it all in Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg.

Kreuzberg is not just the name of the borough in Berlin, but also that of a 66-metre-high hill. On the top of the hill stands a national monument and there is a small, romantic park. Nowhere else in the city can you enjoy the atmosphere of a babbling waterfall.

From a vineyard to a national memorial

In the 18th century, Berlin’s highest hill was known as Tempelhofer Berg or sometimes Runder Weinberg (“Round Vineyard”). Not a lot of people know it, but Berlin was once a wine-growing region, and vines really were grown on Tempelhofer Berg right up to the 18th century. The tradition was revived in 1968, and you can acquire a drop of the Kreuz-Neroberger white wine in return for a donation and sample the Berlin tipple for yourself.

In 1818, the foundation stone was laid for the construction of a national memorial in the Neo-Gothic style, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The monument was dedicated in 1821 by King Friedrich Wilhelm III. It symbolised the victorious campaign over Napoleon Bonaparte and the liberation of Europe from French domination. The monument eventually led to the creation of the park 73 years later.

A waterfall right in the middle of Berlin

The Riesengebirge – the mountains now known as the Krkonoše on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic – were once the top destination for nobles and wealthy Berliners whenever they had time to spare. The waterfall that can now be admired in Viktoriapark is a replica of a waterfall from those mountains, rendered as accurately as possible using geological studies.

In 1888, Kaiser Friedrich III decided that the monument needed surroundings that befitted it. The park is named in honour of his English wife Victoria. The idea of the waterfall came from Hermann Mächtig, the city’s director of parks and gardens. Made of large rocks, the waterfall is deceptively true to its model in the mountains – the only difference being that the 24-metre-high waterfall is in the middle of the city and powered by a pump.

The beer garden in Viktoriapark

At the foot of the Kreuzberg, Golgatha is not just for beer drinkers. It has a large beer garden and terrace where you can relax and dance in the evening. Another popular place to go is the Osteria No. 1 on Kreuzbergstraße.

Around the corner at Methfesselstraße 7, a plaque commemorates place were Konrad Zuse designed the Z3, the world’s first programmable computer.

If you carry on along Kreuzbergstraße to the east and cross Mehringdamm, you come to the famous Bergmannstraße and the neighbouring Marheineckeplatz, where you can browse to your heart’s content in all the small shops, take a stroll around and enjoy an excellent coffee and cake at Barcomi’s.