Thursday, July 23, 2015

Siegesdenkmal

Today Freiburg's Victory Monument was in the news when the Badische Zeitung (BZ) presented plans showing how the Platz zum Siegesdenkmal will look in the future with those rails for the streetcar line under construction to the new terminus Madisonallee.

A "new" site for the Siegesdenkmal (©Badische Zeitung)
Freiburg's Siegesdenkmal, relatively undamaged during the last war, is actually Baden's Victory Monument. It commemorates Germany's victory over the "arch-enemy" France in 1871 leading to German unification in a 2nd Reich. The monument was inaugurated in 1876 in the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm I, Grand Duke Frederick I, his wife Louise, and Reichskanzler Otto von Bismarck.

©Wikipedia
Originally the monument was placed in the visual axis of Kaiserstraße with Dame Victoria facing west, i.e. toward France.

Siegesdenkmal around 1890 as seen from Kaiserstraße.
In the back the Habsburgerstraße (©Historisches Freiburg)
After the war the the monument was in the way of increasing traffic. So the city moved the "out-of-date furniture" one hundred meters further west onto Friedrichsallee. There it has stood up to now relatively unnoticed in particular by tourists. Here is my question to my friends in Madison: Has anyone of you ever visited the Siegesdenkmal? By the way, in its current location city officials turned Dame Victoria so she is now facing east. A nod to the Cold War?

The "ugly" roundabout situation.
Note the scaffolded spire of the Minster in the back (©Badische Zeitung)
On the plans the BZ published this morning the bottle-neck roundabout at the Platz zum Siegesdenkmal is replaced by a streamlined rectangular fork with the monument moving back nearly to its initial position (see sketch above). This "old" placement is hotly debated but Freiburg's City Council will decide on it soon.
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