A private viewing of the Brandenburg Gate

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There is a chill in the air as I exit the subway station.  First order of business is to find a coffee shop for breakfast. I found that I picked places I could just point at pastries since I couldn’t read the signs. I ordered a nice pastry filled with berry compote and hot tea.  I had a quarter mile walk through the streets of Berlin before I arrived at my destination, the historic Brandenburg Gate of Berlin, Germany.

A private viewing of the Brandenburg Gate

This was going to be one of the highlights of my trip to Berlin.  The Brandenburg Gate has stood the test of time.  It has watched over the city of Berlin since it’s completion in 1791. The Brandenburg Gate was commissioned Friedrich Wilhelm II as a replacement gate in the Berlin Customs Wall.  Berlin Customs Wall was built to help enforce the tariffs in the then small city of Berlin.  Friedrich Wilhelm II hired German classicism architect Carl Gotthard Langhans to design the gate.

A private viewing of the Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate was built as a symbol of peace.  The statue on the top of the gate is of Eirene, the goddess of peace.  The Gate has provided an important backdrop to many historical events.  The Gate survived both World War I with minimal damage and World War II with severe damage (that was repaired).  When Berlin was split after the WWII, the Gate became part of West Berlin.  The Berlin Wall split the city in two and prevented East Berliners from visiting the Brandenburg Gate.  The Brandenburg Gate was the site of U.S. President Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” speech as well as official ceremony that marked the reunification of Germany.

A private viewing of the Brandenburg Gate

I walked through the Gate and couldn’t imagine the feeling of joy Germany must off felt in that moment when Germany became whole again.  I spent time walking through the 12 Doric columns and enjoying my cup of hot tea.  The gate is every bit as impressive as it looks in the pictures.  It stands proudly looking over Berlin as a symbol of a united Germany and its long history. I look out from the gate and know that if I just following the road, I will eventually find the town of Brandenburg an der Havel.  In the other direction is Unter den Linden and the City Palace of the Prussian monarchs.  I was glad I got there early since I got to enjoy the gate with about 10 other people and no local sales people.

A private viewing of the Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate was a great place to start my first day in Berlin.  It’s central local made a great starting point before a Reichstag Building tour, a visit to the Holocaust Memorial, a visit to Hilter’s bunker.

What is your favorite memory of the Brandenburg Gate?  Have you seen any history happen there?

One of my favorite sites while visiting Berlin, Germany was my early morning almost private viewing of the Brandenburg Gate.

19 thoughts on “A private viewing of the Brandenburg Gate”

  1. Thanks for this concise post! I agree that the Brandenburg Gate is a great starting point to explore Berlin! At what time did you visit the Gate? It looks like it was very early in the morning as otherwise there would be more of a crowd?

  2. Thanks for sharing this, brought back some good memories. I remember the first time I saw this gate, it was the end of fall and for some weird reason, the sun was out and it was beautiful despite the horrible weather warnings we got. The gate was so impressive and regal!

  3. I like that the statue on the top of the gate is of Eirene, the goddess of peace, what a beautiful site it must of been to see. I haven’t been to Berlin before, but love the architecture and history, certainly a lot different then my country.

  4. The Brandenburg Gate does sound like a good idea for a first day, to get a feel of Germany’s history and learn about the effect it has and had on the country. Nothing better than a symbol of peace!

  5. The Brandenburg gate is so imposing, especially with the moddy Berlin weather! I’ve always wanted to go Berllin, one day!

  6. The early bird certainly captures the worm! I love the history of the gate and symbol of Berlin and Germany that it has become and it makes for a pretty epic subject for photos!

  7. I love the Brandenburg Gate so much!! It took me three tries (and times of visiting) to be able to walk underneath the gate! Now, the Brandenburg Gate is one of my favorite places and symbolizes all of my travels! Great article 🙂

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