Five stones for peace

Five stones for peace

May 05, 2021

With the long-awaited arrival of the warm season, Berlin's parks traditionally fill up with people who want to take a walk in nature and forget, at least for a few hours, about the traffic and the stress of city life. A favorite destination is the Tiergarten, the large park located in the heart of the city. Originally created as a hunting ground for the prince electors, under Frederick III it became a park for the people. In the 18th century, landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné took over the project and modeled the park after the English gardens. Over time, statues and monuments were added.

Today, there are several important landmarks inside the park, first of all the Siegessäule, the column on top of which the winged victory shines to celebrate Prussia's victory in the wars against Denmark, Austria and France. Also inside the park, near the Spree, are the House of World Cultures and the Carillon; in the southwestern part is the famous Zoological Garden. With around 20 kilometers of walkways, ponds, rose gardens, cafes and even a tea room, it's easy to see why the Tiergarten is one of Berlin's favorite leisure destinations!


House of World Cultures


The Tiergarten is also home to an interesting project: the Global Stone Project.  It is the project of Mr. Kraker von Schwarzenfeld. The artist, now almost 90 years old, traveled the world far and wide by ship and was inspired to symbolically connect the five continents, in an augury of peace. To do so, he selected ten large stones: five are each on their home continent, the other five are in Berlin, which was chosen as the meeting point because of its past as a divided and reunified city. The five Berlin stones represent the “five steps towards peace”; in fact, each of them symbolizes a particular stage in the achievement of global peace: the stone from Europe is “awakening”, the one from Africa is “hope”,  the one from Asia is “forgiveness”, the one from America is “love”, and the last one, from Australia, is “peace”. They are arranged in a circle and polished in such a way that, on June 21st of each year, they reflect the light together with their “sisters” scattered throughout the world.

Global Stone Project

The artist holds this project close to his heart and continues to follow its development with patience and tenacity. In 2020, a long diatribe ended regarding the stone that arrived in Berlin from Venezuela, which the locals consider important because traditionally it is said to contain the spirit of Kueka, a maiden turned into stone by a jealous god. The stone of legend was eventually brought back to Venezuela, but in Berlin the wait for a replacement was prolonged indefinitely by the onset of the pandemic.

To learn more about this project, I invite you to visit the reference site, where Kraker von Schwarzenfeld tells the story in a kind of diary. There you will also find a map in which the position of the stones is indicated in a very clear way: they are not far from the Brandenburg Gate and are definitely worth visiting during a relaxing walk in the green lung of the city.

NOTE: All photos are mine and cannot be used without my permission.

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