Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Tor , Berlin Overview

A symbol of peace and unity, Brandenburger Tor or Brandenburg Gate that stood as a partition between East and West Berlin, during the Cold War, now symbolises the reunification of Germany. The sandstone Gate was once a symbol of the divided city into East and West Berlin before the fall of Berlin Wall. The military monument representing both victory and separation, the gate is now located at Pariser Platz attracting millions of visitors every year.

Brandenburg Gate has stood witness to over two hundred years of history. Construction of the Gate started in the year 1788  and was completed in 1791. The gate was designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans, a Prussian Court architect and modelled on the Propylaeum of Athens' Acropolis consisting of six Dormic columns that were two rowed and a height of 26 metres.

Johann Gottfried Schadow designed the statue. During this time the gate was intended end spot of the Unter den Linden, a boulevard in central Mittie district of Berlin.
Made of sandstone, the structure reflects neoclassicism. The gate overlooks one of Europe's most famous historic square, the Pariser Platz, with the French Embassy and offices of the federal parliament. The Akademie der KÙnste or the Academy of Fine Arts stands on the southern side with the new American Embassy.

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All Year Round

Past Events at Brandenburger Tor

Here is a glimpse of the events that occurred here from its origin and the monument stands at present:

Year of 1806: Prussia gets defeated at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt and the structure after remaining almost for the decade before the Quadriga got separated in 1806. Napoleon Bonaparte and his huge army after acquiring Berlin commanded to dismount Quadriga in pieces to be shipped back to Paris. Thus both the goddess and the horses in sections were packed in crates and moved by ship to the other part of the continent.

Return of Quadriga in 1814: Napolean is defeated in 1814 and his abdication results into Quadriga being sent back to Berlin. Prussian General Ernst von Pfuel takes back the whole statue to be once again embellished on the Brandenburg Gate. A symbol of Prussian victory over France, an iron cross is added to the statue.

January 30th, 1933: Hitler comes to power with his Nazi party and becomes a chancellor on January 30, 1933. The same evening Brandenburg Gate becomes the celebratory passage for torch lit parade with Hitler’s win of power.

Years of 1946-1957: Post World War II, the division of Berlin and Germany the Soviet Flag is flown on the top of the Gate. End of the War damaged much of the Berlin, but the Gate remains in good condition. During some peaceful protests on June 17th 1953 against the political situations in German Democratic Republic (GDR), the flag is ripped down from the Gate.

Erection of Berlin Wall in 1961: Restoration work on Brandenburg Gate is made by the governments of both East and West Berlin. Once the Berlin Wall is raised the Gate located in East Berlin is closed and not accessible to the locals.

Changes made in 1963: U.S President John F. Kennedy visits the West Berlin’s City Hall few steps away from Brandenburg Gate to deliver the speech. Almost after two years since the erection of Berlin Wall his speech addresses a crowd of more than 120000 and the Soviet in protest hung large banners to avoid him into looking into the East Berlin side.

Attempts of 1987: After once visiting Berlin in 1982 and now again in 1987 Ronald Regan, Former U.S President affirms America’s support to Berlin. On June 12, 1987, Ronald Regan during his speech calls Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall”

Brandenburg Gate Re-opens in 1989: On December 1989, the Gate is made open after the opening of Berlin Wall in November. Around 100000 people gather to witness this grand event along with the New Year’s celebration in the now undivided city. Border crossing occurs by the West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and East German Premier  Hans Modrow.

Restoration 2000-2002: A total amount of three million dollars is spent to refurbish the Gate on December 21, 2000 and today represents a unified Germany.

Events at Brandenburger Tor

Berliners celebrated the first united New Year’s Party at the Gate after it was opened on December 22, 1989. Since then the location has become a hotspot to end the New Year with joy and good music. The party here stretches from Brandenburg Gate to the Victory Column offering spectacular shows to the audience. The 2 km long street of Strasse des 17. Juni (from Brandenburg Gate in the east through Tiergarten to Ernst-Reuter-Platz in the west) is all decked up for the event.

Here are few of its highlights:

  • Music events performed by popular singers on a huge stage set up right in front of Brandenburg Gate
  • Disco vibes are created and LED screen setting along the entire party stretch
  • To experience New Year’s Eve from height settle on Ferris Wheel to witness awesome views of Tiergarten and surrounding areas from the top
  • Fireworks and laser show post the countdown
Congestion of Traffic towards and around this area can be avoided by using the public transport of U-Bahn or S-Bahn.  The gates open at 14:00 and the event starts around 7-8 pm with a music performance by singers and DJ’s starting the party vibe. Many visitors and locals stay till midnight to watch the fireworks as this is the main feature of the event. Be sure to attend the after-hours to get the most of the New Year’s celebrations at Brandenburg Gate.

Other Sights at Brandenburger Tor

Before you cross the Gate to the other side visit Raum der Stille also called a Room of Silence. The room is designed to meditate, relax or rest and is open to people of all age groups. The room represents tolerance among people and is inspired by the meditation room set up in New York in 1957. The most intriguing piece in this 30-square-metre room is the woven wall-hanging by Ritta Hager named as Light that Penetrates the Darkness. The calming blue walls make for the perfect place for meditation without any kind of distractions as the room sits on the northern gatehouse of Brandenburg Gate.

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