The amazing cosmopolitan city of Berlin doesn´t just shine for its past, the Museumsinsel or the Brandenburg Gate, which are places that are jaw-dropping, but also because the German capital preserves districts, corners, areas and places that are totally unknown. However, they aren´t less interesting because of that.
Berlin: unknown places
One of these less-famous places amongst tourists is the Kreuzberg district. There you can find the homonymous monument, the Nationaldenkmal auf dem Kreuzberg in German, also known as the Prussian National Monument for the Liberation Wars, which is a tribute to the brave fighters who fought for the freedom of the city during the Napoleonic Wars.
We already known that there have been many armed conflicts in Europe between countries and regions. Every so often, the inhabitants of a certain area have had to get rid of the yokes of a certain tyrants and in August 1806, Friedrich Wilhelm III, king of Prussia, rose in arms against Napoleon, who as we known had the brilliant idea of conquering the whole continent, from Spain to Russia.
Despite all the losses, the troops of the Kaiser beat the Napoleonic troops and the battle was called the Liberation Wars. The casualties, like in all wars, were considerable on both sides and, therefore, in honour of the fallen soldiers, the monarch ordered to build, in the tallest point of Berlin, a metal monument inaugurated in 1821 with the presence of the Zar of Russia Alexander I.
Schinkel, the father of Kreuzberg
The location wasn´t random. They wanted that the pointy monument could be seen as soon as one reached Berlin, that it was the spiritual guide for all Berliners and that, also, a cautionary monument for future tyrants and invaders. And it´s with this character that 19th century drawings and prints from the city show it.
The monument, at its time, was located on the outskirts and today it´s surrounded by the many streets of high buildings, but it still preserves its grandeur and symbolism with which it was created.
Since it was a monument of huge importance, the king ordered the design of this unique work to Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who was then the most reputable architect in Germany. Among other buildings, he´s responsible for the neoclassic Altes Museum in Berlin, located in the famous Museums Island (Museumsinsel). However, his masterpiece, from my humble point of view, is the Konzerthaus in Berlin, which is a great example of all of his knowledge on ancient Greek architecture and is a building that wants to pay tribute to ancient times.
The Kreuzberg Monument is made in bronze following the structure of a Gothic cathedral. It remembers the twelve battles of the Napoleonic Wars and have a series of symbolic sculptures inserted: St George defeating the dragon (a metaphor for good defeating evil) and the triumphant victory among others. Contemporary princes and noblemen were used as models for the sculptures.
Today, on one of the sides, there´s a waterfall surrounded by a small park with trees.
If you´re looking for apartments in Berlin and you want to discover its lest touristy and most hidden side, the district of Kreuzberg has beautiful 19th century buildings where to stay comfortably.