The Brandenburg Gate

Pariser Platz 1 10117 Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate is probably one of the most well know landmarks in the whole of Germany, and is the reason that so many tourists flock to Berlin each year. It was originally one of the 18 city gates when Berlin was a smallish, fortified city in the 18th Century. It is now the only one of those gates to have survived intact.


The Brandenburg Gate is probably one of the most well know landmarks in the whole of Germany, and is the reason that so many tourists flock to Berlin each year. It was originally one of the 18 city gates when Berlin was a smallish, fortified city in the 18th Century. It is now the only one of those gates to have survived intact.

The German Democratic Republic actually took the step of incorporating the gate into the Berlin Wall, and closing it off to make Brandenburg a symbol of division in the city. In World War Two, it had even been used as an image for the Nazi’s. However in 1989 eastern Germany fell and Berlin was re-united, and thus the Brandenburg Gate became an image for Berlin’s reunification. It is a truly historic and wondrous attraction that everyone visiting Berlin should see.

The Construction Of The Gate

The Brandenburg gate that we know was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II, and was intended to represent peace. It was built between the years of 1788 to 1791. You might be thinking…”3 years sounds like quite a long time to spend on building a single gate”. Well, yes, you are quite right. But the Brandenburg Gate was no ordinary gate. Brandenburg was built on a very impressive scale! We are talking here about the kind of scale that was unprecedented at the time. The gate structure was designed to consist of 12 Doric columns which formed 5 passages through the gate arch. There are 6 columns per side, all supporting a magnificent 36 foot long beam that ran along the whole length of the Gate. The Gate's design is based upon the Propylaea (the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens). Indeed it helped earn Berlin one of its many nicknames: “Spreeathen,” meaning Athens of the Spree.

Brandenburg Gate was designed by a man called Karl Gotthard Langhans. Such was the beauty and wonder of his original design that the main design of the Gate hardly changing since it was built. The gate today is still one of the most visited attractions in Berlin and is widely considered to be the icon of Berlin, up there with the likes of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Big Ben in London. The Gate’s significance was even realized by the Berlin senate, who banned all traffic from passing through it in October 2002, in a bid to preserve its historic beauty.

Why Visit The Brandenburg Gate?

If you are in Berlin and wondering how best to while away an afternoon, then we would highly recommend coming along and visiting the Gate. It is an attraction which has seen many millions of visitors come and go during its long history, and has won a deserved place among Berlins top tourist attractions. The Gate is located just city block from the Reichstag, slightly west of Berlin city center. It is also very close to Pariser Platz, a very popular square in the city centre.

Although the gate is no longer used as the main entrance to Berlin, it is still very important to the city’s culture and heritage. It is also still used as the entrance to the Unter-Den-Linden, a road flanked by linden tree’s leading to the Berlin city palace. Indeed it is not just the entrance to the Unter-Den-Linden that the Brandenburg Gate symbolizes. Statues show a Goddess surrounded by company on the gate with each one of her company representing a different virtue, such as friendship and love. However, many of the images show intellectual progression in art and science, and one figure even depicts the legendary 12 labors of Hercules.

These images accurately depict the constant historical struggle which the city of Berlin has undertaken. It is this battle of reconstruction and regeneration that the Gate to the city captures so strikingly. It also is a memorial to the king, who could not live long enough to see the Gates final completion after he had commissioned it.

Visiting the site of the world famous Brandenburg Gate really can help you to discover the true history of Berlin, and how it became the great city that it is today.

Image sources:
  • | shutterstock

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Brandenburger Tor

Pariser Platz 1
10117 Berlin

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