The Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor), once a symbol of Germany’s Cold War division, is now at the heart of a reunited Berlin.
While the only remaining city gate of Berlin formerly used to represent the separation of the city between East and West Berlin, since the Berlin Wall came down in November 198,9 the Brandenburg Gate has now come to symbolise German unity.
One of Berlin’s most famous sights, the Brandenburg Gate is located on the western edge of Pariser Platz just inside the former East Berlin. Rising up from behind the Berlin Wall, it was a potent symbol of Berlin’s division. From the construction of the Wall in 1961 up until 1989 the Brandenburg Gate was inaccessible to the general public.
The Brandenburg Gate gate is 26m (65 ft) high, 65.5 m (213 ft) wide and 11 m (36 ft) thick and was the first Greek revival neo-classical structure in Berlin. It consists of twelve Doric columns, six on each side creating five portals. The current Brandenburg Gate, made of sandstone, was constructed between 1788 and 1791. The Brandenburg Gate was designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans in the classicist style, modelled on the Propylaeum of Athens’ Acropolis. In 1793 it was complemented by the Quadriga, a statue consisting of the goddess of peace, driving a four-horse triumphal chariot is mounted above the gate, which is flanked by two smaller buildings in similar style which served as gatehouses.
In 1806 the Quadriga was stolen by Napoleon following the occupation of Berlin by the French army and it was removed to Paris. It was returned to Berlin in 1814 following Napoleon’s fall from power, and the statue’s olive wreath was exchanged for an Iron Cross.
Pariser Platz 1