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Berlin -Victory Column

The Victory Column currently stands on a grassy roundabout at the intersection of two of Berlin's major arterial roads. It was originally raised outside of the Reichstag as a monument to Frederick the Great's 3 victories over Denmark in 1864, Austria in 1866 and France in 1870 and 71. These victories led to the formation of the German Nation in 1871.

On top of the Victory Column stands a golden statue of Nike, also known as the goddess of victory from which the column draws its name. Amusingly, the exceptionally low entrance fee to enter the column has earnt Nike the dubious title of "the cheapest woman in Berlin".

Beneath Nike, three golden bands of cannons encircle the column. These are actually captured french cannons from the Prussian's successful siege of Paris in 1870-71 (a practice which we are discovering was all too common in 18th and 19th century Europe. Each of these bands represents one of the 3 victories mentioned above.

Observant punters amongst you will have noted that there are actually 4 gold bands around the column. The 4th band was originally placed there to mark the Nazi's conquest of Europe. Fortunately for Europe, this victory was short lived!

The reason the Victory Column stands where it is today is down to the breathtaking arrogance of everybody's favourite clipped mustachioed 20th century maniac. In 1938, just prior to the Fuhrer's birthday, the column was moved 1 mile west of the Reichstag to point directly at Paris. The implications of this symbolic gesture were driven home by Hitler's none-too-subtle proclamation that this was "one step closer".
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