KREUZBERGED BERLIN

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin

SIE IST WIEDER DA – THE RETURN OF THE GODDESS

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.

The Unveiling of the Friedenssäule with Viktoria on top in 1843

The Unveiling of the Friedenssäule with Viktoria on top in 1843

Viktoria on top of her column and looking down Friedrichstrasse around 1905

Viktoria on top of her column and looking down Friedrichstrasse around 1905

Viktoria, shot and wounded but still very much standing, in the late 1940s.

Viktoria, shot and wounded but still very much standing, in the late 1940s (photo: The Oracle of Berlin Project)

The still empty place on Monday, May 28th 2014 (photo: notmsparker)

The still empty place on Monday, May 28th 2014 (photo: notmsparker)

Engel Rückkehr Ab 15.00 Uhr (Angel´s Return beginning at 3 PM) (photo: notmsparker)

Engel Rückkehr Ab 15.00 Uhr (Angel´s Return beginning at 3 PM) (photo: notmsparker)

171 years later (photo: notmsparker)

171 years later (photo: notmsparker)

Sie Ist Wieder Da (photo: notmsparker)

Sie Ist Wieder Da (photo: notmsparker)

3 comments on “SIE IST WIEDER DA – THE RETURN OF THE GODDESS

  1. berlioz1935
    May 2, 2014

    Another great article. I like especially the picture taken in 1905. It shows that Berlin, and in this case Kreuzberg, was very similar to Paris.

    • notmsparker
      May 2, 2014

      It was, wasn´t it? In fact, I consider Berlin of that time to be far superior to Paris. Sorry, Monsieur Hollande;-)

  2. Susan
    May 7, 2014

    I like post-war one. Everything has very clearly gone to hell in a handbasket but there is a young man sitting on a bench, his hat placed neatly by his side, possibly waiting for a sweetheart. And there is a wastebasket next to the bench that looks to have been recently emptied. Life goes on among the ruins.

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