Berlin is a city that became quite big in a small period of time. But at Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg you can still see how old Berlin really is. If you don’t know better, you could easily think the large mountain at Viktoriapark is one of Berlin’s rubble mountains (trummer berge, rubble remains of World War Two). But that is not the case. The large mountain is what remained of the terribly cold Ice Age that blew its winds over chilly place that later became known as Berlin, some 20.000 years ago. When the glaciers melted, the 66 meter high mountain remained.
After the cold, Kreuzberg experienced better weather. There was even a vineyard in Viktoriapark, centuries ago, overlooking the city centre of Berlin that slowly grew bigger and bigger. The Swedish army enjoyed the scenery from the top of Viktoriapark on Kreuzberg and the rest of Berlin as well. But not in the touristic sense. The 66 meter high mountain was perfect for their canons. They could threaten the city centre of Berlin by shooting canon balls from the Viktoriapark mountain between 1618 and 1648. They inspired the Russians to do exactly the same in 1760.
In 1821 Berlin was no longer the victim of Swedes, Russians or French conquerors. They celebrated the victory on Napoleon with the large memorial on top of the Viktoriapark, made by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. It depicts several battles, mainly in France, with soldiers wearing Greek and German armor. Some of them even carry the Brandenburger Tor. That must have been the ultimate revenge for the Germans, since Napoleon stole the Quadriga on Brandenburger Tor when the conquered Berlin in 1806.
Schinkel Memorial at Viktoriapark
The Schinkel memorial at Viktoriapark probably inspired the new name for the Berlin district. In 1921 the Tempelhofer Vorstadt, Luisenstadt, Friedrichsvorstad and Friedrichstadt became known as Kreuzberg. It must have had something to do with the large iron cross on top of the monument of the Schinkel memorial at Viktoriapark.
If you visit Viktoriapark today you still have a beautiful view on the rest of Berlin. You can see pieces of the Tempelhofer Freiheit, Kreuzberg and Potsdamer Platz. It’s the perfect spot to walk your dog, chill in the sun in the grass or under the trees. It has adventurous, steep paths going up and down. And in the summer you can look at the wonderful waterfall that is the centre of Viktoriapark. And if going up and down the mountain at Viktoriapark made you thirsty, there is a nice beer garden here as well.