Address: Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
The Brandenburg Gate is the most well-known landmark of Berlin and Germany in general. The Gate is closely linked to the history of the country: it was a symbol of the Germany division for many years.
History of the Brandenburg Gate
This architectural monument was established at the order of Friedrich Wilhelm II in the 1788-1791 period. Carl Langhans, the representative of the neoclassical style of German architecture, was the designer of the landmark. The height of the Gate reaches 26 meters and the width of it is 11 meters. The Brandenburg Gate is made in the Greek style, representing a classical portico with Doric columns. A sculpture of chariot with four horses run by the goddess Victoria is set above the Gate. The Quadriga was designed and developed by a German sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow.
The 19th Century
In 1806, after Napoléon Bonaparte captured Berlin, the chariot was dismantled and taken to Paris as a war booty. But in the 1814 year, the Quadriga was returned to its native land. And then the architect Karl Schinkel made a contribution to the sculpture embellishing the goddess Victoria with an iron cross crowned with an eagle.
The 20th Century
In the 1930s, the Brandenburg Gate becomes a permanent venue of the Nazi parades and marches with torches. In such a way, the Nazi had an intention to make the historical monument as their symbol.
The city was destroyed greatly after the Soviet Army broke the Berlin line during the Second World War. The Brandenburg Gate was affected as well: the chariot and the goddess were seriously damaged. The Gate was reconstructed only after 11 years in 1956, and the Quadriga was restored after 13 years of the end of the war.
In 1961, the political situation in the world turned tense what resulted in the Berlin crises when Germany divided into two parts: the FRG and the GDR. It was in Berlin on the site where the Brandenburg Gate is located that the Berlin Wall was built, dividing the city into a socialist and capitalist camp. At that time, a passage through the Gate was blocked that is why neither people of West Berlin, nor people of East Berlin had a possibility to get to the Brandenburg Gate. Consequently, the monument was isolated from people and the rest buildings until 1989.
December of the 1989 year had been marked by the reunification of Germany, resulting in the coming down of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the Brandenburg Gate. Thus, the famous monument of Berlin turned into the symbol of the German unity.
To go deeper into the history of the city, it is worth to visit the German Historical Museum that houses about 800 thousand various exhibits.
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