Sunday, January 18, 2015

Brandenburg Gate: A Historical German Attraction

Brandenburg Gate, one of the best-known historical landmarks in all of Germany. Located in West Berlin, Brandenburg Gate has stood for centuries, enduring wars and tumultuous times; yet representing European unity and peace. Brandenburg Gate is located near the German Reichstag building, as well as many of the embassies.
Brandenburg Gate history
Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate is built on the site of a former city gate that marked the start of the road that separated Berlin from the town of Brandenburg an der Havel. Brandenburg Gate was commissioned by King Fredrik William II of Prussia, built from 1788 to 1791. As you can see, there are five places to pass through Brandenburg Gate. Originally, citizens were only allowed to pass through the outermost passages. The center passageway was reserved for royalty to pass through. In 1806, Napoleon marched through Brandenburg Gate in a celebratory procession after defeating the Prussians. During the Cold War, Brandenburg Gate was one of the checkpoints in which citizens could pass from West Berlin to East Berlin. 

Brandenburg Gate is the site where lots of political history occurred. In 1987, Reagan spoke at Brandenburg Gate and demanded the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since then, Brandenburg Gate has become a symbol for the unification of East and West Germany, and specifically East and West Berlin. 

Brandenburg gate menorah
menorah at Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate at night
Brandenburg Gate at night
bullet holes in the columns of Brandenburg Gate
 During WWII, Brandenburg Gate and the surrounding areas suffered from tons of damage. In the above picture, you can see patches where the gate was repaired from 2000-2002, in an attempt to restore Brandenburg Gate.

Brandenburg Gate Christmas
Brandenburg Gate at Christmas time
Much of the area around Brandenburg Gate is cobblestone pedestrian walking streets. On the streets leading up to the gate were a giant Christmas tree, as well as a Jewish menorah.

Brandenburg Gate menorah
menorah at Brandenburg Gate

Christmas at Brandenburg Gate
Nick and I at Brandenburg Gate!
As one of the most iconic historical sights in Germany, it was cool to see Brandenburg Gate in person and reflect on all of the historical events that have happened near it. Personally, I enjoyed thinking how many hundreds of thousands of people have passed through the gate, and all of the history that it represents. For anyone visiting Berlin, time at Brandenburg Gate is a must!

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