Did you know that before it was named Großbeerenstraße (commemorating Prussian victory at the Battle of Großbeeren in the Wars of Liberation that Prussia fought with its allies against Napoleon), the now nearly 1.3 kilometre long street leading from the city centre to Viktoriapark in Berlin-Kreuzberg was called Monumentenstraße?
Completed in 1864 (the reason why you cannot find it – together with Yorckstraße or Gneisenaustraße – on the 1846 map above), the new road was first given a label commemorating as well as serving as a direction to the by then famous National Memorial to the Wars of Liberation installed on top of the old Weinberg (Wine Hill) in 1821.
However, not long afterwards that label changed hands: a bit of castling took place on the chessboard known as Tempelhofer Vorstadt (a district to which the area belonged), and the name Monumentenstraße was passed onto another road – the one leading to the Nationaldenkmal from the west.
By the time Viktoriapark was built (albeit only one – eastern – half of it as the western one would have to wait until the First World War), the streets around it had all been named after famous battles or military leaders in the wars against Napoleon. Well, almost all: Kleine Parkstraße – a 100-metre long street connecting Kreuzbergstraße with the park and the no-longer exisiting popular café – took its name from the enchanting, leafy recreation grounds named after the daughter of British Empress Victoria – Prussian Kaiserin Victoria.
If you want to learn more about the history of this fascinating and still very much beautiful Berlin-Kreuzberg district, you might enjoy a little audio-tour created by yours truly for her favourite walking itinerary in her old neighbourhood: the GPS-controlled audio-tour (with a GPS on you don’t have to do anything else but walk) is available via Voicemaps and can be downloaded to listen during a leisurely stroll.
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