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Location of the Tiergarten locality within the Mitte borough of Berlin.
The Berliner Tiergarten (German for Animal Garden) is the name of both a large park (210 hectares) in the centre of Berlinmarker and a locality within the borough of Mittemarker. Before German reunification, it was a part of West Berlin. Until Berlin's 2001 administrative reform, Tiergarten was also the name of a borough, consisting of the current Bezirk of Tiergarten (formerly called Tiergarten-Süd) plus Hansaviertelmarker and Moabitmarker. A new system of road and rail tunnels runs under the park towards Berlin's Central Stationmarker in nearby Moabit.
The Rousseau Island in the Großer Tiergarten, early 19th century engraving

Historical notes

Once a hunting ground of the Electors of Brandenburg the Großer Tiergarten park of today was designed in the 1830s by landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné. At its center the Siegessäule (Victory Column) was erected from which avenues radiate. In 1894 the Reichstag buildingmarker by architect Paul Wallot opened as the seat of the Germanmarker parliament. The lawn between the contemporary Haus der Kulturen der Weltmarker (House of World Cultures) and the Reichstag building was the site of the Krollopermarker opera house, built in 1844, which served as parliament house after the Reichstag fire on 27 February 1933 and was demolished by air raids in 1943.

On 15 January 1919 the socialist Karl Liebknecht was shot by Freikorps soldiers within the park near the lake Neuer See. The corpse of Rosa Luxemburg, murdered on the same day, was found in the nearby Landwehrkanalmarker on 1 June 1919.

The first Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sex Research) of Magnus Hirschfeld was situated at the former In den Zelten street, near the contemporary Haus der Kulturen der Welt, from 1919 until it was closed by the Nazis in 1933.
St Matthew Church.
After 1944 the park was largely deforested, because it served as a source of firewood for the devastated city. In 1945, the Soviet Unionmarker built a war memorialmarker along the Straße des 17.marker Junimarker, the Tiergarten's main east-west artery, near the Brandenburg Gate.
Luiseninsel in autumn

Tiergarten today

The park houses many parliamentary and governmental institutions, among others the Bundestagmarker in the Reichstag building and the new German Chancellerymarker. The residence of the German President, Schloss Bellevuemarker and the Carillonmarker are also located in the Tiergarten park. It contains several notable sculptures including the four-tiered Victory Columnmarker (Siegessäule), the Bismarck Memorial and several other memorials to prominent Prussian generals, all of which were located in the ceremonial park facing the Reichstag before they were moved to their present location by the Nazis. In addition, the tree-lined pedestrian avenues emanating from the Victory Column contain several ceremonial sculptures of Prussian aristocrats enacting an 18th century hunt.

The Brandenburg Gatemarker and the Potsdamer Platzmarker are situated on the eastern rim of the locality, the former frontier between East and West Berlin. Nearby is the Kulturforum stretching from the Berliner Philharmoniemarker, a 1963 concert hall by architect Hans Scharoun and home of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra to the Neue Nationalgaleriemarker built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1968. In between are the neoclassical Saint Matthew Church, built in 1845 by Friedrich August Stüler, the Gemäldegaleriemarker as well as the new branch of the Berlin State Librarymarker (Staatsbibliothek). A villa that stood in the place of the bus station next to the Berliner Philharmonie at Tiergartenstraße No. 4 was the seat of the Nazi killing of disabled persons (euthanasia) program Action T4. A memorial marks the site.
View in the Tiergarten.
The adjacent area between the park and the Landwehrkanal is home to Emil Fahrenkamp's 1932 Shell-Hausmarker, numerous embassies and the Bendlerblockmarker, where in 1944 Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and the conspirators of the July 20 plot were shot by a firing squad. Today the building serves as second office of the Federal Ministry of Defence. Nearby are the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Party, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Friedrich Ebert Foundation academies as well as the Bauhaus Archivemarker and the high schools Französisches Gymnasiummarker and Canisius-Kollegmarker. The adjacent western area at the border to Charlottenburgmarker houses the Berlin Zoomarker.

At the Victory Column and the Straße des 17. Juni the Love parade from 1996-2003 and 2006 took place as well as the German Live 8 concert on 2 July 2005. Since 1987, the annual Berlin Marathon starts here.

On 24 July 2008, Barack Obama spoke at the Victory Column in front of a crowd of over 200,000 people.

Notes

  1. Among urban gardens of Germany, only the Englishe Garten of Munich (417 hectares) is larger.


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