Like others mentioned here it is indeed most cruel irony that this monumental gate was built as a symbol of peace. The Brandenburg Gate was commissioned in 1788 by Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Prussia, to represent peace.
For countries like the neutral Belgium invaded in August 1914 and again in May 1940 by Germany the Brandenburger Tor does not represent peace but is the symbol of war and domination.
"Mais parlons d'autre chose" like we say and let's have a look at the architectural value of this monumental gate.
From the arches of triumph/monumental gates I have seen in Europe I regret to say that this is for me the least elegant; what is a euphemism.
One might think that I have a prejudice. Absolutely not; I visited the place three times because I was attracted by its historical importance but the architecture was from my first visit in the 1990s a deception; it is so clumsy, much to my regret.
Fortunately the Quadriga at the summit is saving the view. Not surprising that Napoleon took the Quadriga to Paris in 1806. After his defeat in 1814 the Prussian army took it back to Berlin.
This grand entrance to the city on Pariser Platz certainly attracts the crowds. The Brandenburg Gate stands as an iconic monument to German reunification and therefore is a great source of national pride.
The gate was constructed by Carl Gotthard Langhans between 1788 and 1791 for the Prussian monarch Friedrich Wilhelm II. It was built to symbolise peace. Ironically, following World War Two, it became neglected and was flanked by the Berlin Wall. The fall of the wall in 1989 made the Brandenburg Gate a feature of the united Berlin and restoration of the gate followed in 2000-2002.
The most noticeable feature of the gate is the Quadriga, a statue of a four-horse chariot driven by the goddess of peace that was briefly removed to Paris by the French army under Napoleon. Fortunately after Napoleon's defeat, it made its way back to Berlin.
I found the Brandenburg Gate a fascinating sight and the Quadriga is really amazing. The square in front of the gate is always really busy with lots of street entertainers throughout the day making for a great atmosphere.
The neo-classical construction is 65.5 m wide, 26 m high and 11 m deep. It has six 15 m high pillars of Dorian style on each side, and those pillars are connected by a kind of limestone panels which are adorned by beautiful reliefs.
Some of the reliefs depict Hercules’s achievements.
On both sides of the Gate were guardhouses for customs and taxes. When they were not needed for this purpose anymore, they were opened up into open halls, held by pillars. In those gate-houses you find sculptures of the gods Mars and Minerva.
The Gate is crowned by the Quadriga, a two-wheeled chariot drawn by four horses and driven by the goddess of victory.
It is the only surviving of originally five city gates.
Click here for my tip about the history of Brandenburger Tor.
Update Oct. 2012 - The Brandenburg Gate area being turned into a cheap amusement park
On my recent visit to Berlin I was less than impressed with the tourist activities that have developed in the Brandenburg Gate area. Everybody is trying to rip some Euro off tourists, the activities turn the boulevard Unter den Linden into a cheap amusement park. Even the uniformed guys who, against a charge, posed for photos at Checkpoint Charlie have multiplied and spread to the cobbled area on the eastern side of Brandenburg Gate. But they do not just stand there with the American and German flags (instead of the American and Russian flags - or has there been the reunification of an American and German sector???), they pose like rockstars, not like the original soldiers that once had turned Berlin into a sad place of separation: jumping, yelling, going down on their knees. Just horribly bad actors.
A man in bear outfit also tried to find customers to be photographed with. He was less obtrusive than the wannabe soldiers, and he even made me laugh because the look on the bear's face was sooo sad and scared that you just had to stare at him. And he did not make any noise - with the consequence that he had far less business than the rubbish soldiers.
Up and down the promenade Unter den Linden and around the gate and over to Reichstag pedalled drinking and screaming tourists on the new kind of hospitality bikes called Conference Bikes or Bar Bikes: they are like rolling tables, everyone is pedalling but only one rider is steering and braking. All these activities gave the area the feelng of a cheap amusement park which locals are starting to avoid. Me too. But sure, we are lucky, there are so many other fantastic things to see and do in Berlin that you can afford to flee the scene after having had a look at the Gate.
Photo 2 shows the idiot soldiers who are now posing in front of Brandenburg Gate, photo 3 the bear with the sad look in his eyes.
The Brandenburg gate (known as: Brandenburger tor by locals) is one of the most well known landmarks in Berlin. It was originally built as a gateway to the city and is the only such gate still standing in Berlin (there were 18). Constructed in 1791 the Brandenburg gate has been damaged numerous times by incidents such as World War 2. The most recent restoration was in year 2000.
The gate is located on Pariser Platz and is almost beside the famous hotel where Michael Jackson dangled his baby from the balcony.
Usually during December Berlin organises "The festival of lights" where the Germans light up 50 of the cities well known landmarks and Brandenburg gate is included. I was lucky enough to be in Berlin during October and got to see it for my self.
The Brandenburg gate is a symbol of the German reunification. The Berlin wall used to separate the both parts exactly nearby the gate. It was build during the flourishing years of Berlin, in 1789 by Carl Langhans. It is 26O m high and 65 m wide. On its top there is a chariot symbolizing Nike, the Goddess of victory.
It is ironic to think that this gate was built towards the end of the 18th century as a symbol of peace. Those of us who were worldwide witnesses to the Cold War which divided the city into East and West will probably think of the Brandenburg Gate as anything but a symbol of peace.
It is a truly majestic structure and is made even more so by the huge sculpture of the quadriga which crowns it. It was built initially as the gate to the city and was part of the former city wall. It is the only remaining part of that former wall.
Today it is seen as a symbol of a reunified Germany, which indeed makes it once again a symbol of peace.
I like night-time pics, especially if object of shooting is as photogenic as Brandenburg Gate is. Day-time photos depend alot of the weather conditions, it has to be nice, clear and sunny day in order photo looking great. Night-time photos depend, in a first place, of a skill and camera but also of the illumination. Beisdes, there are not many people who passing and disturbing while taking photos.
The place everybody knows when they think of Berlin and indeed it is impressive. It was built in 1788 as a gate to the city. It is at the beginning of Unter den Linden. In the times of the cold war the Brandenburger Tor was on the east side of the wall.
A visit to ,and a walk through the Brandenburger Tor (gate) is a must when in Berlin...This magnificent old Gateway to the city and most famous landmark of Berlin and Germany is located just west of the city at the intersection of Unter Den Linden and Ebertsrasse immmediately west of the Pariser Platz..
The Brandneburger Tor was really badly damaged in the exceptionally heavy fighting that took place here in World War II when the soviet troops took the city. The Brandenburger Tor Monument was completely refurbished between 2000 and 2002 by The Stiftung Denkmalshutz ( The Berlin Monument Conservation Foundation) Located at the top of the Monument is "The Quadriga" a charriot drawn by four hoses and driven by" Victoria" The Roman goddess of victory..This was also removed and completely refurbished..
The monument was a great symbol of freedom to the German people following the fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of East and West Germany..
Take a leisurley walk down Unter Den Linden and let your mind wonder at the incredible history that lingers here..
Enjoy the moment and sit in one of the many fine Cafes that are located here, have a beer and a "Bratwurst mit Kartoffel Salat" really fantastic..really German..
most information courtesy of Wikipedia
This is the historic symbol of Berlin it was built in 1788 and is the only remaining gate of a series that the city used to be entered through. But most of the people on my tour were more interested in the fact that the hotel where Michael Jackson held his baby over the railing is near by.
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