Brandenburger Tor, Berlin

4.5 out of 5 stars 192 Reviews

Pariser Platz, Berlin-Mitte 100200
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  • Chinggis_n_Borte's Profile Photo

    Symbol of Berlin - Brandenburg Gate

    by Chinggis_n_Borte Updated Dec 16, 2015

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    The Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor in German) was was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia and was built between 1788 and 1791, and was meant to stand for peace.

    It became a triumphal arch after Napoleon was the first to use the Brandenburg Gate for a triumphal procession in 1806 after defeating the Prussian armies.

    It is located at the junction of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße.

    The gate is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees, which led directly to the royal City Palace of the Prussian monarchs.

    On the top of the gate is the “Quadriga”, a chariot drawn by four horses.

    The gate's design is based upon the Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

    The Brandenburg Gate has played different political roles in German history.

    After the 1806 Prussian defeat at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, Napoleon took the Quadriga to Paris.

    After Napoleon's defeat in 1814 and the Prussian occupation of Paris by General Ernst von Pfuel, the Quadriga was restored to Berlin.

    It was redesigned by Karl Friedrich Schinkel for the new role of the Brandenburg Gate as a Prussian triumphal arch.

    The Quadriga faces east, as it did when it was originally installed in 1793.

    Only the royal family was allowed to pass through the central archway, as well as members of the Pfuel family, from 1814 to 1919.

    When the Nazis ascended to power, they used the gate as a party symbol. The gate survived World War II and was one of the damaged structures still standing in the Pariser Platz ruins in 1945.

    Following Germany's surrender and the end of the war, the governments of East Berlin and West Berlin restored the gate.

    Vehicles and pedestrians could travel freely through the gate, located in East Berlin, until the Berlin Wall was built, on 13 August 1961.

    On 14 August, West Berliners gathered on the western side of the gate to demonstrate against the Berlin Wall. The East closed the checkpoint at the Brandenburg Gate the same day, 'until further notice', a situation that was to last until 22 December 1989.

    Brandenburger Tor at night
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  • alectrevor's Profile Photo

    Brandenburg Gate [ Brandenburger Tor ]

    by alectrevor Updated Sep 17, 2015

    As a non German, this is the symbol along with the wall that i think of from the Cold War.in Berlin. Today those memories are still there but now freedom reigns.Lets hope it always will.has the gate was originally built as a symbol of peace.

    Pariser Platz and Brandenburg gate

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Brandenburger Tor.

    by breughel Updated Feb 1, 2015

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    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.

    Brandenburger Tor in winter.
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  • Designerartgirl's Profile Photo

    Brandenburger Tor

    by Designerartgirl Written Nov 3, 2014

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    This place shouldn't need much explaining really. It is an enormous structure and has a lot of history associated with it. For me in this trip was my first port of call. There is also a large tourist office there which you can use as the start of your Berlin trip.

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  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    Symbol of Iron

    by EasyMalc Updated Jan 25, 2014

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    The Brandenburg Gate is not just a symbol of Berlin. It was constructed as a symbol of peace, but then became a Prussian symbol, followed by a symbol for the Nazis and then a symbol of the division between East and West but I prefer to call it a symbol of iron. Thankfully, today it is regarded as a symbol of peace once again after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
    It was constructed between 1781-91 as a city gate and triumphal arch for the Prussian monarchy that lived in the Crown Princes Palace in Unter den Linden. Designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans the arch was modelled on the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens and topped by the Quadriga designed by Johann Gottfried Schadow.
    In 1806 Napoleon defeated the European coalition which included Prussia and on entering Berlin he took away the Quadriga as a souvenir back to Paris. It came back to its rightful home in 1814 and was declared a symbol of victory and the Prussian eagle and iron cross inside a laurel wreath was added to the Goddess of Victory’s staff.
    It didn’t escape undamaged during WW2 but it fell under the Russian sector and the Russian flag flew over it between 1945 and 1957, after which the GDR re-built the Quadriga without its Prussian iron cross, which to them represented Prussian and German militarism.
    The building of the Berlin Wall made the Brandenburg Gate a focal point. It fell just inside the eastern sector, and although access was off limits to East Berliners, it became a great political platform for western politicians to put pressure on their counterparts on the other side of the wall.
    JFK came here in 1963 but his view of the gate was obscured by large red banners by the Soviets, but it was Ronald Reagan who came here and famously said “ Mr Gorbachev tear down this wall” Apparently, even Margaret Thatcher was reduced to tears when she came.
    The Iron Lady needn’t have worried. When the Iron Curtain came down the Iron Cross went back up on the Quadriga.

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  • OumaimaM's Profile Photo

    Funny Soldiers

    by OumaimaM Updated Dec 30, 2013

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    We rented a few bicycles to visit the amazing places in Berlin. Brandenburger Tor was one of them. The most important gate of Berlin that was rebuilt in the late 18th century as a neoclassical triumphal arch. Just the view of the gate was pretty enough for me. I visited the same place in the morning and in the evening. Morning was really crowded. You can take pictures with things such as the berliner bear (funny) and the soldiers: In my opinion the best souvenir you could bring. The evening was not so special. The only thing what was there was a musician who entertained us with his saxophone.

    In front of the gorgeous gate
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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Brandenburg Gate

    by Raimix Updated Oct 5, 2013

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    Probably it is the most popular sight and symbol of Berlin. It was build in 1788 - 1791 as a gate to the city, more symbolical gate, it was made in a manner of French Classicism. Berlin was damage during the war with Napoleon, famous Quadriga statue (Goddess of Victory) was taken to Paris.

    Brandenburg gate stayed in West Germany after Second World War. Famous speech of John Kennedy took place here. After all, now it is a place to remember history. Also it is just the start (or the end) of famous Under den Linden street, that continues to Cathedral.

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  • shavy's Profile Photo

    The Brandenburg Gate

    by shavy Written Sep 1, 2013

    The Brandenburg Gate is the most famous building in Berlin and the symbol of German unity this old port is the border of the Old Town and was completed in 1795. The structure consists of a colonnade of 26 meters high and 66 meters wide

    Since World War II, however, this is a replica, since the original was destroyed during the war. You can visit the port every day

    The Brandenburg Gate

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  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Brandenburg Gate

    by antistar Updated Jun 8, 2013

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    "From the eastern side the Brandenburger Tor was a magnificent sight, framing the expansive Tiergarten behind it and the long straight boulevard that separated it. The Tor had been seared into my mind the night of October 3rd, 1989, when the once divided Germans met up on that very spot to join in enormous celebrations that were televised around the world. These were possibly the most powerful symbolic images of the whole Glasnost era, especially for me, and we were standing there, on the eve of Germany's 16th anniversary of this event. However, despite the fireworks and the Brazilian band playing in Alexanderplatz, it was a strangely subdued feeling for a national holiday of this significance. It seemed that the celebration of the Fernsehturm’s birthday was garnering more excitement." - from my travelogue

    The Brandenburger Tor is probably the most symbolic landmark in Berlin, and likely to be the number one destination for any tourist visiting the city. It is also conveniently central, and a good starting point for wandering to see any of the city, east or west. The gate was right on the border between East and West Berlin, but didn't form part of the wall. Instead the gate was cut off from the world, both eastern and western parts, by the communist authorities of the DDR. It was inaccessible to the public for 28 years, before finally the German people of east and west met each other on this spot in an emotional and historic event, on October 3rd, 1989.

    The Tor has an even longer history than that. It was built between 1788 and 1791, as a city gate and triumphal arch, modelled on the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. The celebration of the first real unification of Germany, called the Second Reich, with the first being the Holy Roman Empire, was held her in 1871. It was also the site of Nazi celebrations in 1933, when torch lit marches saw Hitler taking the reins of the German republic.

    Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

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  • slothtraveller's Profile Photo

    Unmissable photo opportunity!

    by slothtraveller Written Oct 22, 2012

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    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 Brandenburg Gate The Quadriga A view of Brandenburg Gate
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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    The Construction Details of the City's Symbol

    by Kakapo2 Updated Oct 21, 2012

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    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.

    Reliefs adorn the panels between the pillars. Bad actors: wannabe soldiers at Brandenburg Gate. The photo bear man or man bear at Brandenburg Gate The quadriga on top of Brandenburg Gate.
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  • Pomocub's Profile Photo

    Brandenburg Gate

    by Pomocub Updated Aug 18, 2012

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    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.

    Me and the Brandenburg gate.
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  • draguza's Profile Photo

    BRANDERBURGER TOR

    by draguza Updated Jul 29, 2012

    The Brandenburger Tor stands proudly between Berlin's famous boulevard Unter den Linden and the Tiergarten. The last remaining gate left of the old Berlin, the Brandenburger Tor managed to escape severe damage during WWII. Following that, the gate stood as an iconic part of the Cold War marking the divide between East and West Berlin and it was here that US President Ronald Regan addressing a crowd of West Germans in 1987 said "Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

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  • Nikolay_Ivanov's Profile Photo

    The symbol of Reunification

    by Nikolay_Ivanov Written Jul 19, 2012

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    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.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Brandenburger Tor

    by Maryimelda Updated May 16, 2012

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    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.

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