The Victory Column German: Siegessäule) is a monument in Berlin, Germany. Designed by Heinrich Strack after 1864 to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War, by the time it was inaugurated on 2 September 1873, Prussia had also defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and France in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), giving the statue a new purpose. Different from the original plans, these later victories in the so-called unification wars inspired the addition of the bronze sculpture of Victoria, 8.3 metres high and weighing 35 tonnes, designed by Friedrich Drake. Berliners, with their fondness for giving nicknames to buildings, call the statue Goldelse, meaning something like "Golden Lizzy".
The Victory Column is a major tourist attraction to the city of Berlin and opens daily: 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (April – October), and 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (November – March). Built on a base of polished red granite, the column sits on a hall of pillars with a glass mosaic designed by Anton von Werner. The column itself consists of four solid blocks of sandstone, three of which are decorated by cannon barrels captured from the enemies of the aforementioned three wars. The fourth ring is decorated with golden garlands and was added in 1938–39 as the whole monument has been relocated. The fourth ring in the column has a meaning, similarly to the original 3 rings. The fourth ring was added by Hitler after the Battle of France ended. The entire column, including the sculpture, is 66.89 meters tall.
Werner designed the original hall of pillars with a glass mosaic. The foundation is decorated with four bronze reliefs showing the three wars and the victorious marching of the troops into Berlin. They were created by The Victory Column originally stood in Königsplatz (now Platz der Republik), at the end of the Siegesallee (Victory Avenue). As part of the preparation of the monumental plans to redesign Berlin into Welthauptstadt Germania, in 1939, the Nazis relocated the column to its present site at the Großer Stern (Great Star), a large intersection on the city axis that leads from the former Berliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace) through the Brandenburg Gate to the western parts of the city. At the same time, the column was augmented by another 7.5 metres, giving it its present height of 66.89 metres. The monument survived World War II without much damage. The relocation of the monument probably saved it from destruction, as its old site - in front of the Reichstag, at exactly 1500 metres, (one Roman mile), from the proposed new north-south triumphal way of the Nazis in line with the Imperial Victory Avenue in the Tiergarten - was destroyed by American air raids in 1945.