Like arms of a starfish, five roads merge into the Grosser Stern roundabout at the heart of the huge Tiergarten park. The Victory Column at its centre celebrates 19th-century Prussian military triumphs and is crowned by a gilded statue of the goddess Victoria. Today it is also a symbol of Berlin’s gay community. Climb 285 steps for sweeping views of the park.

The column originally stood in front of the Reichstag until the Nazis moved it here in 1938 to make room for their Germania urban planning project. The pedestal was added at the time, bringing the column height to 67m. Film buffs might remember the Goddess of Victory on top from a key scene in Wim Wenders’ 1985 flick Wings of Desire. In July 2008, shortly before becoming US president, Barack Obama gave a speech in front of 200,000 people here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Berlin attractions

1. Tiergarten

0.23 MILES

Berlin’s rulers used to hunt boar and pheasants in the rambling Tiergarten until garden architect Peter Lenné landscaped the grounds in the 19th century…

2. Schloss Bellevue

0.24 MILES

While in office, the German president makes his or her temporary home in this snowy white neoclassical palace on the edge of the Tiergarten. Built in 1785…

3. Akademie der Künste


The Academy of Arts has a pedigree going back to 1696 but its cultural programming is solidly rooted in the here and now. It covers all forms of artistic…

4. Bauhaus Archiv

0.59 MILES

Founded in 1919, the Bauhaus was a seminal school of avant-garde architecture, design and art that was shut down by the Nazis in Berlin in 1933. The…

5. Diplomatenviertel


In the 1920s, a quiet villa-studded colony south of the Tiergarten evolved into Berlin's embassy quarter. After WWII the obliterated area remained in a…

6. Haus der Kulturen der Welt

0.69 MILES

This highly respected cultural centre showcases contemporary non-European art, music, dance, literature, films and theatre, and also serves as a…

7. Berlin Aquarium


Three floors of exotic fish, amphibians and reptiles await at this endearingly old-fashioned aquarium with its darkened halls and glowing tanks. Some of…

8. Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand

0.72 MILES

This memorial exhibit on German Nazi resistance occupies the very rooms where high-ranking officers led by Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg plotted the…