Brandenburger Tor, Berlin

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Walking through the gate

    by toonsarah Updated Jun 17, 2011

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    Brandenburg Gate from east side
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    On our last visit to Berlin, in 1985, the Brandenburg Gate was completely “off-limits”, stranded as it was in the middle of No Man’s Land between East and West – photo 4 was taken on this visit (and is worth opening to see how young I looked then!). It was one of my main aims on this trip to do what we had been unable to do then, and walk through the Brandenburg Gate. After all, isn’t that what a gate is for?

    So through the gate we went. It was wonderful to be able to appreciate the full grandeur of this structure, and to see the unlimited view westwards from its far side, through the greenery of the Tiergarten to the distant golden gleam of the Siegessäule (Victory Column). Unfortunately the similarly impressive view eastwards, along Unter den Linden, was blocked on this occasion by a large vehicle promoting Amnesty International – a worthy cause but a lousy place to park! Still, we did manage to get some great close-up photos, another pleasure denied to us in the past.

    The Brandenburg Gate was built in 1791, commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II as a symbol of peace. It is the only remaining gate of several that once ringed the city, and when built formed the grand entry to Unter den Linden, the famous boulevard of linden trees which in those days led directly to the city palace of the Prussian monarchs. It consists of twelve Doric columns, six on each side, which form the five passageways – citizens originally were allowed to use only the outermost two. On top of the gate is the Quadriga, a chariot drawn by four horses driven by Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory, as seen in my photos.

    Like much of Berlin the Gate was badly damaged in the Allied bombing raids of World War Two, but was patched up in a joint effort by the governments of the two Berlins. It remained accessible for a time, and the people of Berlin could pass through it when crossing between the two halves of the city as the East Germans had a border guard here, but when the Berlin Wall was built in August 1961 the Gate was stranded in No Man’s Land, just as it was when we first saw it 24 years after that.

    The Wall fell on 9 November 1989, and on 22 December 1989, the Brandenburg Gate crossing was reopened when Helmut Kohl, the West German chancellor, walked through to be greeted by Hans Modrow, the East German prime minister. After reunification it was fully restored, and in 2002 opened up in its current majestic state.

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Brandenburg Tor

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Brandenburg Tor (gate) is a triumphal arch and the symbol of Berlin. It is located on the Pariser Platz and dates back to the 18th century when it was loveliest of Berlin's 18 city gates, and is the only one that remains today.

    The gate was incorporated into the Berlin wall during the years of Communist government, and became part of East Germany. When it was re-opened in 1989 it became a symbol of reunification of the two sides of this great city.

    The Brandenburg Gate consists of twelve Greek style columns, six on each side. The 6 metre high sculpture on top of the gate is called the Quadriga. It was created in 1794 as a symbol of peace, and consists of a horse-drawn chariot being driven by the winged goddess of victory.

    This is indeed an impressive landmark, and is looking particularly good after its recent-ish restoration. Though I must say I was a little surprised to see a branch of Starbucks just a few metres away!

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Platz des 18 März

    by toonsarah Written Jun 17, 2011

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    Platz vor dem Brandenburger Tor in 1985
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    The semi-circular area on the western side of the Brandenburg Gate used to be called, prosaically, "Platz vor dem Brandenburger Tor" (Place in front of the Brandenburg Gate), and for years was sealed off in the “Death Strip” (No Man’s Land) behind the outer Berlin Wall – this photo 2 was taken on our 1985 visit. But when the Wall fell it was once again accessible, and was the scene of a lot of the impromptu parties that took place at that time.

    In June 2000 it was renamed Platz des 18 März. The name commemorates both the events of the revolution of 1848 and the first free and democratic parliamentary elections in the former GDR on March 18, 1990. Today the line of the Wall is marked, as elsewhere in the city, by a double line of cobbles, but it is hard to make these out as the traffic passes constantly through – and even harder to photograph them!

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    Brandenburg Gate

    by antistar Updated Jun 8, 2013

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    Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
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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.

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    The Brandenburg Gate

    by mallyak Written Dec 6, 2010

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    The Brandenburg Gate was commisioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II to represent peace. The Gate was designed by Karl Gotthard Langhans, the Court Superintendent of Buildings, and the main architectural design of this landmark hasn't changed since it was first constructed in 1791. Ironically the gate was incorporated into the Berlin wall during the years of Communist government. The Brandenburg gate is probably the most well-known landmark in Berlin, it now stands as a symbol of the reunification of the two sides of this great city

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    Brandenburg Gate

    by illumina Written Nov 17, 2009

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    The Brandenburg Gate is the only surviving gate of a series of entrances into the city through the wall encircling Berlin. It is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden which originally led to the palace of the Prussian monarchs. It was designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans, and constructed between 1778 and 1791. It consists of 12 Doric columns in six pairs, which form 5 passageways - originally ordinary citizens were only allowed to use the outer two. The sculpture on top of the gate is known as the Quadriga; it depicts Victory in a chariot drawn by four horses.

    It is situated at the junction of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße, next to Pariser Platz.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Brandenburger Tor

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 6, 2012

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    Brandenburg Gate by night
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    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.

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    National History

    by Gerrem Written Aug 22, 2005

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    The Brandenburger gate was designed by Carl Gotthard. It was constructed between 1778 and 1791. The decorations, including bas scenes depicting Greek mythology took another 4 years to complete. The quadriga of victory crowning the gate was built in 1793 by Johann Gottfried Schadow. Originally it was a symbol of peace. During Berlin's occupation by France, in 1806 Napoleon ordered the quadriga to be taken to Paris. After the Battle of Waterloo, the quadriga was triumphantly taken back to Berlin, and it was turned into a symbol of victory.

    Situated at the end of Unter den Linden, the 60m tall gate was part of a wall surrounding the city and was the main entrance to the city. It is the only gate that remains of this former city wall.

    After the construction of the 1961 Berlin Wall which was built right next to the Brandenburger Tor, the Pariser Platz, on the East-Berlin side, became completely desolate. The gate symbolized Germany's division. With the fall of the wall in 1989, people flocked to the reopened Brandenburger Gate to celebrate

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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    Troubled History of Berlin's most famous Landmark

    by Kakapo2 Updated Oct 30, 2007

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    The Quadriga back with Iron Cross and Eagle.

    This monument on Pariser Platz is Berlin’s most famous landmark – and although it is called a gate it has never been a real gate. The monumental construction was designed by the architect Carl Gotthard Langhans (the Older) as the magnificent western terminus of the boulevard “Unter den Linden”, in the style of Athen’s Propylaea.

    During the times of the Cold War the Brandenburger Tor was the symbol of separation, as it stood right behind the Wall in Berlin’s East, and from West Berlin you could just see the top. Only GDR soldiers were allowed to go near it. Now it is the symbol of the reunification, well, the symbol of Germany, and people from all over the world can peacefully stroll around it and admire the wonderful sandstone reliefs on the inside panels between the pillars that hold the top with the famous Quadriga, designed by Johann Gottfried Schadow.

    Built from 1788 to 1791 in neo-classical style, and the Quadriga added in 1793, the Brandenburger Tor has an incredibly troublesome history. The Quadriga had to be demounted no less than three times. In 1806 Napoleon took it to Paris after he had defeated the Prussians. In 1814 the successful Alliance (famous General Blücher) took it back to Berlin. During World War II it was so badly damaged that it was replaced by a replica in 1956. However, on request of the East the Iron Cross and the Eagle had to be demounted.

    From 1961 to 1989 the Brandenburger Tor was isolated between the political systems. On 22 December 1989 it was opened, and 100,000 people partied around it. On on New Year’s Eve the Quadriga was damaged. In 1991 it was restored, and got the Iron Cross and the Eagle back. Damaged by air pollution and neglect, also the Gate needed a make-over some years later. It was reopened on 3 October 2002. The idea to open it for vehicular traffic was dismissed because the exhaust residues would do a lot of damage.

    Click here for my tip about the construction details of Brandenburger Tor.

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  • hojasdehierba's Profile Photo

    Take advantage of the sunset

    by hojasdehierba Updated Jan 13, 2006

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    To walk along Unter den Linden with the Brandenburg Tor as a destination may be a charming experience at the end of the afternoon: the special quality of the light gives the area a kind of romantic look. If you are lucky, you could take some beautiful photographs with the sun looming through the Tor.
    Pasear por Unter den Linden con destino a la Puerta de Brandenburgo puede ser una experiencia encantadora hacia el final de la tarde: la especial calidad de la luz da a la zona una especie de aspecto romantico. Si tienes suerte, puede sacar unas fotos muy bonitas con el sol asomando a traves de la Puerta.

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  • NeillTate's Profile Photo

    Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

    by NeillTate Updated Mar 7, 2009

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    Brandenburg Gate 2008

    The Brandenburg Gate is the trademark of Berlin. The main entrance to the city, surrounded by the wall for thirty years, was known throughout the world as a symbol for the division of the city and for the division of the world into two power blocs.

    Today's international visitors to Pariser Platz come to re-experience this first gateway to the city, and to enjoy the long-denied freedom to walk through this magnificent work of art and look at it up close.

    We decided to view the Brandenburg Gate as one of our must sees while on our 3 night visit in February 2008 to Berlin.

    We went to the Brandenburg Gate during the day and returned again armed with my camera and tripod. The picture was taken at around 17.30hrs just as the sun was going down.

    The Gate is totally different at night, which is fantastically lit up to highlight the twelve Doric columns, six to each side, forming five passageways and the Quadriga, a chariot drawn by four horses driven by Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory

    Restoration work carried out on the gate from 2000 to 2002 by the Stiftung Denkmalschutz Berlin (Berlin Monument Conservation Foundation).

    Today, it is considered one of Europe's most famous landmarks.

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Brandenburger Tor.

    by breughel Updated Oct 11, 2013

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    Brandenburger Tor in winter.

    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.

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  • magor65's Profile Photo

    Branderburger Tor

    by magor65 Updated May 8, 2005

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    Branderburger Tor

    This is probably the place most tourists head for straight after they come to Berlin. At least we did so. We were lucky to see there a temporary exhibition presenting the history of the Gate. Looking at the photographs it was easier to imagine different stages the place has gone through.
    Branderburger Tor was built in 1791 as one of 18 city gates and is the only one that remained. Six doric columns form 5 passageways of which the middle one is the widest. This one was used by the sovereign and the royal family. At the top we can see the Quadriga - a chariot pulled by four horses and driven by the goddess of victory. The gate had to part with its chariot for almost eight years when in 1806 Napoleon took it to Paris. After Napoleon's defeat, Prussian soldiers brought the quadriga back to Berlin. This time a new addition was made - a Prussian eagle. For years the Gate has been a silent witness of many events. During the WW II the buildings around were destroyed and for a long time the Gate was standing lonely, becoming the symbol of division into the East and West. On August 13, 1961 it was the first border checkpoint to be closed. After 28 years it was also here that Berliners celebrated the reunification. And thus the Gate has become the symbol of freedom.

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  • alza's Profile Photo

    I already clicked on pre-selected title...

    by alza Written Oct 26, 2004

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    Brandenburger Tor

    i just don't get these tip groupings!

    So, you must see the Brandenburg Gate and I'm sure everyone who goes to Berlin ends up seeing it. It's like the culmination of a long-expected moment when you get there, and it's really great. There's an atomosphere of festivity all around Berlin, people there seem to enjoy being out in every public square or garden and just hanging out together.
    The square is called Pariser Platz and we had a great time there, taking photos, listening to street musicians, getting the facts about the Brandenburg Gate. The flea market there is fun. The American guide told us an amazing story about the old Quadriga (the chariot over the Gate) being replaced by a new, different Quadriga after WWII but I read that the new one comes from the original molds. Not knowing who to believe, I leave it to you.

    Overall, Pariser Platz is not architecturally impressive but its size is. The Brandenburger Tor certainly is overwhelming.

    I lost the guided tour right here, as I was trying to tip the barrel-organ guy. Didn't mind that much since the American guide had asked our group for help with some languages during his tour, and refused my offer for French translation, because "you people in Québec don't really speak the REAL French." How endearing, the fellow. :-)

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  • jenniferchin's Profile Photo

    Brandenburg Tor : A must see in Berlin

    by jenniferchin Updated Oct 9, 2004

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    The Gate

    'The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin's only remaining city gate, is the true symbol of the city. Because it was situated in the no man's land just behind the Berlin wall, it also became symbolic of the division of the city.

    After the Fall of the Wall, the Gate was reopened on December 22, 1989.

    This sandstone construction, has 12 Doric columns and is based on the propylaeum of the Acropolis in Athens. On both sides, six Doric columns support the 11 meter-deep transverse beam, dividing the gate into five passageways. In 1794 the building was crowned with the quadriga and goddess of victory created by Schadow, which face eastwards towards the city center.'

    INFO : http://www.berlin-tourist-information.de/cgi-bin/sehenswertes.pl?id=13340&sprache=english

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