Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
She is back! The 171-year-old statue of the Goddess of Victory, Viktoria, whom Berliners also call Friedensengel (The Angel of Peace) returned to where she belongs: to the top of the column in the middle of Mehringplatz.
The bronze beauty by Christian Daniel Rauch (the same one whose works can be found on top of the Kreuzberg in Viktoriapark) – placed on the column and fountain designed by Johann Cantian was originally unveiled in 1843. One of the very few remnants of the old, pre-1945 glory of the plaza it was removed again in 2006 for a complete overhaul.
Badly weathered and still carrying wounds from February and April 1945, the 1800-kilo-heavy and 3-metre-tall statue with a very rusty wing threatened to fall down from the 16-metre-high column. At that weight, had she given in to the laws of gravitation, the passengers of Berlin underground line U6 standing on the platform at the station right below the column would have had a rare chance of looking her straight into the eye. Understandably, that was not the risk the local authorities were eager to take.
She was removed from her elevated lookout by a crane, the column got dismantled and the fountain basin was taken away for renovations, too. The whole plaza was to get a facelift.
It took 7 years and 700,000 Euros to finish the job or rather, to bring it very close to its end since Mehringplatz is far from being ready yet. Still, when last Tuesday a massive crane hoisted the Angel of Victory into the her new “nest” on top of a new, more reliable column it was as if somebody switched the light back on. The Goddess returned.
Here are some photos from Viktoria´s private album. This lady has style!
Oh, and if we are not mistaken, Cantian´s original column – in four pieces – seems to lining the pavement between the station Hallesches Tor and Mehringplatz itself. But although it honestly doesn´t do anything for the comfort of cycling on that spot (cycling being illegal there anyway as we are on the pavement…;-), it looks quite impressive. Especially if you know that shiny pieces of granite are.