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The Brandenburg Gate – Berlin’s signature attraction

 

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Just recently, the Goethe Institute published a survey in which over 18 European countries had voted the Brandenburg Gate the most important German building. Located in the heart of Berlin, west of the Pariser Platz, you cannot miss this most popular landmark. It is the perfect starting point for your tour through Germany’s vibrant capital.

 

The Brandenburg Gate is easily remembered for its Greek revival neo-classical architecture but also known for its symbolic character that embodies the turbulent history of Germany over the past 300 years. Constructed in 1791, the gate once served as a monumental entry to Berlin and the Unter den Linden – Boulevard, a renowned and broad street of linden trees which formerly led to the city palace of the Prussian monarchs. The majestic looking building is graced by the Quadriga, a chariot drawn by four horses driven by Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory. The architectural style of the building had been left unchanged over the centuries, however the gate itself stood right in the centre of major European historic events. For example, following the occupation of Berlin in 1806, the Quadriga was stolen and taken to Paris by Napoleon. Only a few years later, after the French emperor’s fall from power, the statue was returned to Berlin. In World War II, the gate was badly damaged, and even though it found itself inside the Soviet sector after the war, the gate was restored in a joint effort between East and West Berlin. Since its construction, this monument has stood to represent Berlin’s pride, beauty and Prussian power. Incorporated into the Berlin Wall, the gate became a symbol of Germany’s division since the 1960’s. Since the German Revolution of 1989 and the fall of the wall, the Brandenburg gate symbolizes the desire for freedom and the reunification of Germany and Berlin.


We recommend you combine a visit to the Brandenburg Gate with a leisurely stroll along the Unter den Linden – boulevard with its numerous cafés and souvenir shops. Also the Reichstag with its striking glass dome is only a few minutes away. Other nearby places of interests are the Berlin Wall, the Victory Column and the National Gallery.