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21/02/2010

Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor), Berlin, Germany


The
Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is a former city gate and one of the main symbols of Berlin and Germany. It is located west of the city center at the junction of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße, immediately west of the Pariser Platz. It is the only remaining gate of a series through which one formerly entered Berlin.
The gate is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees which formerly led directly to the city palace of the Prussian monarchs. It was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia as a sign of peace and built by Carl Gotthard Langhans from 1788 to 1791. The Brandenburg Gate was restored from 2000 to 2002. Today, it is considered one of Europe's most famous landmarks.


The
Pariser Platz named after the French capital Paris in honour of the Allied occupation of Paris in 1814 (when Prussian troops along with the other Allies captured Paris after the overthrow of Napoleon) and is one of the main focal points of the city.


The Brandenburg Gate consists of twelve Doric columns, six to each side, forming five passageways. Citizens originally were allowed to use only the outermost two.



Atop the gate is the Quadriga, a chariot drawn by four horses driven by Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory. It was sculpted by Johann Gottfried Schadow.
After the 1806 Prussian defeat at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, Napoleon took the Quadriga to Paris. After Napoleon's defeat in 1814 and the Prussian occupation of Paris by General Ernst von Pfuel, the Quadriga was restored to Berlin and Victoria's wreath of oak leaves was supplemented with a new symbol of Prussian power, the Iron Cross. The Quadriga faces east, as it did when it was originally installed in 1793.

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