Berlin’s Victory Column - History and Facts | History Hit

Berlin’s Victory Column

Mitte, Berlin, Germany

Originally a symbol of Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War, Berlin’s Victory Column was designed by Heinrich Strack and today stands as a symbol for the city, boasting panoramic views over Berlin.

Amy Irvine

16 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Berlin’s Victory Column

The Victory Column is one of the most recognisable – and popular – tourist attractions in Berlin. It stands 67 metres tall including the sculpture at the top, known by Berliners as Goldelse – ‘Golden Lizzie’.

History of Berlin’s Victory Column

Built between 1864-1873, the column was designed by German architect Heinrich Strack to commemorate the Prussian victory in the 1864 Danish-Prussian War. Nearly 10 years after construction had begun, Prussia had defeated Austria (the 1866 Austro-Prussian War) and the French in 1870-71. These subsequent victories were commemorated with the addition of the 8.3-metre, 35-ton bronze statue of Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory.

The column is supported by a base made from polished red granite while the column itself is made up of four sandstone blocks decorated with gold-painted cannon barrels – war trophies taken from Prussia’s enemies after each victory.

In 1938–39, under Hitler’s plans to transform Berlin into his world capital Germania, the column was extended by over 7 metres, (giving it its existing height), and moved from the Platz der Republik to its current location, Berlin’s largest park, the Tiergarten. It survived the war although did undergo a little post-war renovation in the 1980’s to restore it to its original glory.

The column has been used as an important marker in Berlin and in 2008 presidential candidate Barak Obama gave a speech to the people of Berlin at the foot of the column.

Berlin’s Victory Column today

Visitors can enjoy the viewing platform at the top of the column, with stunning vistas over the city. Entry requires a ticket, and with 285 steps to the top up a steep spiral staircase, you’ll need to be fairly fit to attempt the climb but it’s worth it when you get to the top.

Getting to Berlin’s Victory Column

The Victory Column is located in the centre of the Tiergarten, approximately 11 minutes from the centre of Berlin by car via Unter den Linden and B2/B5. From Berlin Central Station, take the S Bahn S5 towards S Westkreuz (Berlin) to Bellevue – the column is then a 12 minute walk.