The Brandenburg Gate is one of the most representative buildings in the capital of Germany and is located in the Mitte district. This beautiful construction is so representative for the Berliners as the Arc de Triomphe for the Parisians. It was built from 1788 to 1791 based upon the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens and although the Brandenburg Gate is nowadays the only gate, there were originally 18 gates like this in Berlin.
Commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II, architect Carl Gotthard Langhans built this work of art as a sign of peace of the Kingdom of Prussia. It measures 26 meters in high 65.5 meters wide and 11 meters deep. Very close to your apartment in Berlin, this neoclassical jewel was inaugurated in 1971 and consists of five passageways, being the center of the widest, formed by 12 Doric columns. Both the upper and inner areas of the passageways are decorated with carvings of the Gods Hercules, Mars and Minerva.
Sculpted by Johann Gottfried Schadow, the Quadriga on top was added later in 1795. It consists of a 5.5 meters copper structure that represents the Roman goddess Victoria, although other people say that the sculpture actually represents Irene, the Greek goddess of peace carrying the reins of a chariot drawn by four horses riding into the city. However what you can see today is a copy, because after the bombings during World War II, the work was practically destroyed.
Did you know that this structure was once kidnapped? When Napoleon occupied the city in 1806, he took the Quardiga to Paris and 8 years later, when he was defeated by General Ernst von Pfuel, the sculpture was returned to its original place and the Prussian eagle in the laurel wreath surrounding the steel cross pole of the Goddess, was placed as a new symbol of power.
During World War II, the Brandenburg Gate was one of the few emblematic buildings that survived the bombing. Governments of East and West Berlin ordered its restoration, but despite this, when the wall was built in 1961, the gate was closed completely. Since it was located right between East and West Berlin, after the fall of the wall, it was possible to appreciate very touching scenes by people from the both sides.
During the energetic renewal activities after reunification, the Brandenburg gate was opened again, and the building that once was a symbol of division of Berlin, is now definitely the symbol of union.
Something very entertained and relaxing to do after exploring the gate is to visit the Raum der Stille (The Room of Silence), a place where you will have the opportunity to enjoy intimate moments of tranquility to meditate, in the southern part of the gate, there is a tourist office, which is worth visiting anytime of the day to get valuable information of the city.
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Hans Beltran is a world traveler, who enjoys writing everything regarding holidays and vacations. Passionate about SEO and world history, found in writing the perfect way to share his experiences with his fellow travelers.