Brandenburger Tor: Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate
"From the eastern side the Brandenburger Tor was a magnificent sight, framing the expansive Tiergarten behind it and the long straight boulevard that separated it. The Tor had been seared into my mind the night of October 3rd, 1989, when the once divided Germans met up on that very spot to join in enormous celebrations that were televised around the world. These were possibly the most powerful symbolic images of the whole Glasnost era, especially for me, and we were standing there, on the eve of Germany's 16th anniversary of this event. However, despite the fireworks and the Brazilian band playing in Alexanderplatz, it was a strangely subdued feeling for a national holiday of this significance. It seemed that the celebration of the Fernsehturm’s birthday was garnering more excitement." - from my travelogue

The Brandenburger Tor is probably the most symbolic landmark in Berlin, and likely to be the number one destination for any tourist visiting the city. It is also conveniently central, and a good starting point for wandering to see any of the city, east or west. The gate was right on the border between East and West Berlin, but didn't form part of the wall. Instead the gate was cut off from the world, both eastern and western parts, by the communist authorities of the DDR. It was inaccessible to the public for 28 years, before finally the German people of east and west met each other on this spot in an emotional and historic event, on October 3rd, 1989.

The Tor has an even longer history than that. It was built between 1788 and 1791, as a city gate and triumphal arch, modelled on the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. The celebration of the first real unification of Germany, called the Second Reich, with the first being the Holy Roman Empire, was held her in 1871. It was also the site of Nazi celebrations in 1933, when torch lit marches saw Hitler taking the reigns of the German republic.

  • Directions: S-Bahn: Unter den Linden, Bus 100




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