Could it be that Brandenburg Gate is to Berlin what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris? Many would emphatically nod their heads yes. It is certainly Berlin’s most honored landmark. Brandenburg Gate, known is German as “Brandenburger Tor,” has a history that reaches more than 200 years back in time.
The architect Carl Gotthard Langhans is the mastermind behind this monument, which dates all the way back to 1788, whose design was inspired by Propylaea, the monumental gateway to Athens’ Acropolis. It was financed by Frederick William II as a gate leading to the Prussian Palace.
The classical sandstone work is considered as a masterpiece of its time, however, on top of this grand structure, you can see from many miles away the Quadriga steering overhead, which is a sculpture depicting the Goddess of Victory. This sculpture was so exemplary that when Napoleon’s army conquered Berlin, the statue was sent to the French emperor as a victory trophy.
How’s that for a photogenic background? Don’t miss the sunset which magnifies the beauty of Berlin’s last surviving historical gate. You can capture the sun setting behind the gate as you stroll down Berlin’s historical boulevard Unter den Linden, which is now home to many embassies of the world.
Aside from the gate, you can find one of Berlin’s most alluring squares known as, Pariser Platz. All of the buildings surrounding this area have been rebuilt after the unification of Berlin. Some of the buildings have been designed to match the style of Prussian architect Friedrich August Stüler. You can also delight in the impressive embassy buildings lining the gate, which belong to countries like Hungary, France, England, and the U.S.
Brandenburg Gate is best seen under sunset lighting and can be enjoyed well into the night. This iconic monument is enhanced in the nighttime hours by colossal beams of light. On very special occasions, like the 25th anniversary celebrating the fall of the Berlin wall, you can have the unique experience of witnessing words like “Frieden” (“peace”) projected over the gate’s pillars.
Additionally, you, your family and your partner can stand within the middle of the five portals, which was initially reserved for royal use only and have Unter den Linden, or the famous Tiergarten captured in the distant background. The Gate itself is 66 feet (20 meters) high, 213 feet (65 meters) wide, and 36 feet (11 meters) deep, which is hard to imagine until you’re actually there under its impressive presence.
If you approach Brandenburg Gate from the East side, along Unter den Linden, and then walk through the gate to the West side, you wind up on Strasse des 17 Juni, which cuts through Tiergarten, leading all the way to the Prussian monument, Siegessäule, also known as Victory Column.
The Victory Column is crowned with the Goddess of Victory in a striking bronze, located on the roundabout that connects 5 main boulevards. This monument is another one of Berlin’s must-see icons, and can be found just down the road from Brandenburg Gate!
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