Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)

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Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) belongs to the most famous landmarks in Berlin, as well as its most significant symbols. During the Cold War it stood in the land of nobody, in the middle of the restricted area, next to the Berlin Wall and it was the symbol of division of the city into West and East part, into two power bases. It was reopened after the fall of the Berlin Wall on 22 December 1989.

The place around the Gate is today popular for festivals, different events, or demonstrations. It is the border line for two big and famous Berlin streets: Strasse des 17. Juni (Street of 17th June) and historical boulevard Unter den Linden (Under lindens).

Brandenburg Gate is 26 metres high, 65,5 metres wide and 11 metres long. It was made of sandstone in the style of early classicism. It reminds the Propylea, the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens. There are five gate-ways between the 15 metres high columns. The middle gate-way is a bit wider than the sides’ ones. The diameter of each column is 1,75 metres. They were built in Ionic-Doric style. There are small halls on each side of the Gate. The Gate is decorated by the scenes from the life of Hercules, Greek God Mars and Goddess Minerva. And all that is crowned by a 5 metres high quadriga, a bronze sculpture of the goddess of victory riding a four-horse chariot entering the city.

Brandenburg Gate was built in 1734 as a toll gate in Berlin’s fortification. The present look got the Gate between 1788 and 1791, under the reign of Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm II. The name of the architect was Carl Gotthard Langhans. Quadriga at the top was added to the Gate in 1793 and it was made by Johann Gottfried Schadow. The Original statue of winged goddess had wreath of oak leaves and it was called Eirene, the goddess of peace. In 1806 Napoleon took it to Paris but it returned to Berlin in 1814. Oak leaves wreath was replaced by steel cross and the goddess of peace became the goddess of victory – Victoria.

The last major reconstruction of the Gate took place after the reunion of Germany in 1989, when it was given its original look. Today is this symbol of German unity placed on the bottom side of German Euro coin.
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