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    Treptower Park: The Berlin park between nature and history

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    Andrea Schulte-Peevers
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    Treptower Park: The Berlin park between nature and history
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      A park between present and past

      Inside, expect to find everything a park can offer: fountains, flower beds, benches, small sculptures scattered along the paths. It is a very popular place for Berliners who like to relax, sunbathe and devote themselves to reading. But tourists come here mainly with a different intent: to visit the majestic memorial to the soldiers of theRed Army which is undoubtedly the heart of Treptower Park.



      photo at Ari Bronstein via flickr

      From the public garden for sports to the great memorial

      Il Treptower Park it was designed by the German architect Johann Gustav Meyer and completed in 1888. Before the war he was a great public garden for sports equipped with recreational equipment and sports fields. After the war, precisely in 1946, work began on the construction of the great Soviet war memorial. The project was successful in a competition among 33 proposals. Three years of work and the memorial was completed.

      Il “Soviet Memorial”

      At the entrance to the memorial you will immediately notice an inscription: “Fallen for the freedom and independence of the socialist homeland”. The Sowjetisches Ehrenmal (Soviet memorial) houses the tombs of approx 5.000 Russian soldiers who lost their lives during the Battle of Berlin in May 1945.



      photo via it.wikipedia.org

      At the entrance stands the great statue in granite of a distraught woman representing the Mother Russia crying for fallen children. At the center of the memorial, at the foot of two large blocks of red stone, are the statues of two kneeling soldiers and the large mausoleum surmounted by the famous statue of the "Liberator Soldier".

      It is a work made by the Soviet sculptor  Yevgeny Vuchetich: a soldier saves a child and rests his sword on a destroyed swastika, a clear reference to liberation from Nazi tyranny. The statue is located above a small pavilion decorated with mosaics, where wreaths of flowers are usually placed.

      Around the perimeter of the central garden there are 16 stone blocks representing the Soviet republics, with bas-reliefs depicting battle scenes and quotes from Stalin written in Russian and German.


      The symbol of anti-fascism

      The Memorial of Treptower Park it has become a symbol of anti-fascism and hosts various commemorative events and ceremonies.

      What to see in the surroundings

      Treptower Park is found in the namesake quartiere in Treptow, within easy reach of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. The park includes a small island called "Insel der Jugend" (Isle of Youth) reachable thanks to ponte Abteibrücke. A short distance away you will find theAstronomical Observatory Archenhold observatory e lo Spreepark Planterwald, an amusement park dating back to 1969 currently abandoned, which opens only for short guided tours. It is possible to visit it on weekends and take a ride on the original train.


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