Saturday, October 6, 2007

Chick on a Stick: Berlin's Siegessäule

So our first week in Berlin has been quite the adventure. Apart from desperately trying to find an apartment, we have also tried to see most of Berlin's famous landmarks... with much success!

Our most recent visit was the Siegessaule from Sieg ‘victory’ + Säule ‘column’ (or more comically referred to: "chick on a stick"). Visible from Brandenburger Tor, it's a monument in the middle of the Tiergarten, which serves as a victory piece from the days of Prussia, and it commemorates Prussia's victories over Denmark (real hard I know, it's Denmark), Austria, and Napoleonic France (once again a difficult victory I'm sure... sense the sarcasm???). The woman on top, Viktoria, is made completely from melted down French canons... pretty sweet eh? Also along the column are a few rows of canons, once belonging to the beaten nations.

As we came to the Siegessaule, we noticed it would be a bit difficult to get to, since it is surrounded by a huge round-about. I contemplated running for it, but Ebe noticed a sign which read: tunnel to Siegessaule. After walking the long, dim, graffitied tunnel, we saw the light, and the monument loomed above us. The entrance was only 1.50 Euro, thanks to our student id cards (thanks UW and WWU), and it was ours to explore.

Inside the bottom of the monument are housed numerous models of various monuments throughout Germany and the rest of Europe. I thought it was pretty neat seeing them all, especially in such detail. A short description was also given for each of them, some in English, others only in German. We made our way to the first terrace, and admired the beautiful mosaic depicting the coronation of the Kaiser. Then we came to the spiral staircase which lead to the top of the column. I didn't count how many stairs there were to the top, but let me tell you, there were a shit load.

Thighs burning and chests heaving, we stepped out to the beautiful view of Berlin. Since Berlin is pretty much entirely flat, we got a great view of the entire city. I knew once we stepped out, that the 1.50 Euro and all those stairs was well worth it. After numerous pictures we made our way down and said auf wiedersehen to the Siegessaule, before heading off to pick up our key to our short-term apartment. Any trip to Berlin wouldn't be complete without a trip to the top of the Siegessaule and seeing the chick on the stick up close and personal.

2013 Update:

 The glorious Siegessäule is still one of the most impressive monuments in the city with a beautiful view of the city around it and is a symbol for Berlin's vibrant LGBT community. It was even the site of Obama's 2008 speech in Berlin. So climb those stairs!

Siegessäule Visitor Information 

height 66.89 m
weight 5000 t
weight 5000 t
height to platform 50.66 m
285 steps to the platform

Straße des 17. Juni/ Großer Stern


U-Bahn: Hansaplatz (Berlin) (U): U9
Bus: Hansaplatz (Berlin) (U): 106, N26; Großer Stern (Berlin): 100, 106, 187, N26; Bachstr. (Berlin): N9
S-Bahn: Bellevue (Berlin) (S): S5, S7, S75

Guide to Transport in Berlin
Berlin: By Foot, By BVG, By Bike, By Car, By Boat, By Train, By Plane

2013 Admission:
3,00 Euro, 2,50 Euro (students & seniors)

Hours: Open daily 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (April – October); 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (November – March)

Berlin Pride Parade CSD Siegessäule rainbow
2011 CSD


~ cheryl said...

Googling Siegessaule brought up a photo of Golden Else. Very pretty. Your apartment is very cute, condensed and I am so glad to see you more able to start calling Berlin "home".

~ cheryl said...

Here is the link I found on the Siegessaule and it looks like you did have quite a climb!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008