In the middle of Berlin’s Tiergarten, in the centre of the Grosser Stern roundabout, on the main east-west Strasse des 17 Juni leading to the Brandenburg Gate stands the impressive Victory Column. Originally erected outside the Reichstag in 1873 to commemorate Prussian victories it was moved to this spot in 1938. The 8.3 metre (27ft) high bronze statue of the Roman Goddess Viktoria weighs in at a massive 35 tonnes!
Berlin was divided in 1961 by at first a barbed wire barrier then later by a more sophisticated double wall. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and most has now been cleared away. Likewise the command centres/watch towers were destroyed. Of the 302 built only a handful survive and one can be seen in Alt-Treptow.
I mentioned in my last post Teufelsberg the hill constructed from the rubble of a destroyed Berlin. 80 metres (260ft) high it was used in the ‘cold war’ as an American listening station. Normally the public are allowed inside the ruins, sadly when we visited a film was being shot and security refused entry.
Treptower Park has one of the three Soviet War Memorials in Berlin. A very impressive sight but sobering to think it is the final resting place of 7,000 soldiers. It is still undergoing restoration but one thing struck me is that it is free from graffiti, unlike the rest of the city. Obviously, despite the history, there is great respect for this memorial and I find that very pleasing.