The Elector (Kurfurst) of Brandenburg originated the park as his hunting preserve in 1527. Under the control of succeeding Electors the park first enlarged then shrank to its present size. Wild animals were imported and hunted within the preserve which had been fenced in. Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1740 installed features and opens the park to the public. In 1844 the now world famous Berlin Zoo was opened. The park remained under the control of the King of Prussia and family until 1881. During the Nazi era, the Charlottenburger Chaussee, now Strasse des 17 Juni (Where we marched.) was widened to its present 174 feet. The Nazis also moved the Victory Column to where it is now on the “Great Star” square (It's really a circle.). Immediately after WWII, the Russians erected a Memorial to their fallen comrades on Strasse des 17 Juni, close to the Brandenburg Gate. After the division of Berlin into 4 Zones, it turned out to be on the British side of the wall.
Siegessaeule (Victory Column)
The Victory Column Commemorates 3 Prussian war victories, Denmark, Austria+some German allies and France. Gilded cannons captured during those wars surround the lower part of each of the 4 sections of the tall granite column beneath the statue. A Circular staircase goes from ground level to a mid-column viewing point and another from there to the top. The mural at the mid-point depicts figures from the wars mentioned above. There is a museum inside the base but the main feature is the view at the top of each climb. The Victory Column was originally erected at the end of Siegesallee, (Victory Avenue) across from the Reichstag and moved to its present location for Hitler's plan to make Berlin the world's capitol. There are sub-street walkways for pedestrians to avoid the traffic in the circle around the square.
Bellevue Schloss is the home of the President of Germany. No entry, it's fenced in and guarded.
Zoologischer Garten Berlin
The Berlin Zoo is world famous for its natural habitat for the animals. According to Wikipedia; it has about 1,380 different species and 18,662 animals the zoo presents one of the most comprehensive collection of species in the world. The Aquarium was added in 1913. The Zoo was devastated during WWII with only 91 animals surviving. When it was rebuilt, it was decided to present all the animals in their natural environment. The Landwehrkanal serves as the northern border of the Zoo and has locks for tourist boats.
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1Last Update 1/19/2020
Photos from the 2019 Ft. Wayne Turnfest are now up in the Events section.
Photos from the Berlin Turnfest are under the Events tab.
Steuben Day 2016 photos also under Events tab.
There are new sections of the Mannheim Turnfest under the Events tab.