Brandenburg gate – Spectacular tourist spot in Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most important monuments – a landmark and symbol all in one with over two hundred years of history, attract the large amount of visitors.

Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s signature attraction. The Brandenburg Gate or Brandenburger Tor is one of Berlin’s original city gates, erected in 1791. It marks the entry to the Under den Linden avenue as part of the ceremonial boulevard that led to the Prussian monarchs’ royal seat. A former symbol of the divided city, it drew visitors who used to climb an observation platform in order to get a glimpse of the world behind the Iron Curtain, on the other side of the barren “death-strip” which separated east from west Berlin, geographically and politically. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate has become the symbol of a reunified Berlin. Brandenburg Gate is situated at end of Unter den Linden.

Architecture and construction history

Commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm, the Brandenburg Gate was designed by architect Carl Gotthard Langhans in 1791. When Germany was reunified following the fall of the Berlin in November 1989 the Brandenburg Gate quickly reinvented itself into the New Berlin’s symbol of unity. It was officially opened to traffic on December 22, 1989 and 100,000 people came to celebrate the occasion. Unfortunately this also resulted in severe damage to the monument which needed to be restored and was only officially reopened on October 3, 2002.

Popular landmarks of berlian

Popular landmark of berlian

The Brandenburg Gate was erected between 1788 and 1791 according to designs by Carl Gotthard Langhans whose vision was inspired by the Propyläen in Athens’ Acropolis. Prussian sovereign Friedrich Wilhelm II was looking for a suitable architectural statement to enhance the approach into the Boulevard Unter den Linden. The classical sandstone work is one of the masterpieces of this era and is the only surviving one of 18 previous city portals. The Quadriga, a sculpture representing the Goddess of Victory, by Johan Gottfried Schadow which can be spotted from a long distance was erected on the Gate in 1793. From 1806 to 1814 the statue was held captive in France as a Napoleonic trophy during the years of France and Prussia’s military rivalry for imperial domination.

Visitor’s Information

After the peaceful reunification of Germany, the Brandenburg Gate was refurbished in 2000; today, it is one of the most visited landmarks in Germany and in Europe.

Address: Pariser Platz 1 10117 Berlin

Operating hours:

April-October: Monday-Friday 9.30 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9.30 a.m.-4 p.m.,
November-March: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10.00 a.m.-4 p.m and Sunday 10.00 a.m.-2 p.m.,
Christmas Eve (24 December) and New Year’s Eve (31 December) 9.30 a.m-2 p.m.,
Easter, May 1, Ascension Day, Pentecost, October 3 (Day of Reunification), October 31 (Reformation Day): open according to the hours of the particular weekday. Closed on the 1st and 2nd day of Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Cost: Free

The Brandenburg Gate is part of the Berlin Walking Tour

When to go: The build-up to Christmas is always a good time to visit Germany, as it allows you to combine city-ogling with shopping and – oh yes – mulled wine. Berlin has around 50 Christmas markets, including one near the Brandenburg Gate on Unter Den Linden (while a further large market is held in the vast Gendarmenmarkt, just south of said boulevard). The markets usually start up in the last week of November.

How to get there: Berlin’s excellent metro system ensures that the area around the Brandenburg Gate is easy to reach. Several underground U-Bahn stations sit within walking distance (see www.bvg.de), while an S-Bahn metro station lurks handily at the end of Unter Den Linden (see www.s-bahn-berlin.de for a full network map).

Attractions for visitors near it

Quadriga

The quadriga of victory crowning the gate was built in 1793 by Johann Gottfried Schadow. The bronze quadriga is driven by the goddess of peace; originally the gate was a symbol of peace. At the same time the square near the gate was renamed Pariser Platz and the statue on the quadriga was now called Victoria, after the Roman goddess of Victory.

After WWII

The gate, which by that time had become a symbol of Prussian militarism, was badly damaged during World War II. After the war and the division of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was right at the border between East and West Berlin, just inside the Russian sector.

Best bit

The Gate has a Room Of Silence (Raum Der Stille), where you can sit and contemplate the momentous events that have happened on the site (or just have a breather from sightseeing). Likewise, the Pariser Platz is a delightful area, home to Berlin’s Academy Of Arts (Akademie Der Kunste – www.adk.de) – one of Germany’s most impor.

Berlin Wall

After the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 which was built right near the Brandenburg Gate, the Pariser Platz, on the East-Berlin side, became completely desolate. The gate symbolized Germany’s division.


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