“First we take Manhattan… then we take Berlin.”*
I’m going to finish up Berlin with the Tiergarten (“Animal Park”), Berlin’s largest urban park. It was originally a hunting ground, hence the name.
The Tiergarten is a huge and gorgeous park, but oddly enough, there were very few people there. Perhaps it was the time of day, but there were just a few joggers and some apparent tourists wandering about. If I lived nearby, I’d definitely spend a lot of time there, especially along the river:
The park runs alongside the Berlin Zoo, some of which can be seen from the park pathways. Look! Fibery animals!
Right by the Tiergarten is the impressive Victory Column. It was built in 1873, and commemorates the Prussian victories in the Danish-Prussian War, the Austro-Prussian War, and the Franco-Prussian War.
The lower part of the column is decorated with beautiful glass mosaics:
There are bronze reliefs on the foundation, which were damaged during WWII. You can see the bullet holes and fractured pieces:
The reliefs were removed by the French during their occupation of Berlin in 1945 (perhaps they didn’t like being reminded of their defeat in the Franco-Prussian war?), and were taken to Paris. In the 1980’s, for Berlin’s 750th anniversary, the reliefs were ceremoniously returned.
You can (and we did) climb to the top of the column. All 285 steps.
It was a beautiful day, and we had a clear view of the city:
Not to mention a peek under Victoria’s skirt:
*From Leonard Cohen’s song “First we take Manhattan“. For Jennifer Warnes’ wonderful original version of it, have a listen here.
If you aren’t sick of Berlin, you can check out my Berlin set for more.
All posts for this vacation can be found with this tag: Europe2013