Treptower Soviet War Memorial

· Saturday July 19, 2014

The Battle of Berlin marked the end of the Second World War, Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler's life. For the Soviet Union it also meant the loss of more than 80,000 soldiers. The Soviets weren't ones to forget quickly and they're also not afraid of building a monument or two, so immediately after the war they erected three in their newfound East Berlin territory.

The monument in Tiergarten is one of Berlin's most visited attractions, but not more than a few dozen souls a day visit the final resting place of 5,000 Soviet soldiers, out in Treptower Park. I don't really know why – it's one of the most impressive pieces of Soviet architecture I've ever seen, it's located in the middle of a blissful park on the banks of the Spree and the monument is studded with rose petals, shattered swastikas and a 12-meter tall dude clutching a child and sword. Badass.

If history is your bag then there's plenty to discover here: markers, plaques and information boards walk you through the Battle of Berlin and also give you some glimpses into life in Berlin under Soviet rule. If Soviet architecture floats your boat you're going to love how grandiose this thing is, and the tight angles and austere slabs of concrete are going to have you purring like a kitten. If you hate both those things I feel bad for you, but the peace and quiet is still nice.