The Berlin Arch ??
The Brandenburg Gate or The Berlin arch as it also known, was once the gate of a former wall. This marked the entrance to the city. It is the only surviving part of that original 18th century structure that once enclosed the city. Dedicated as a symbol of peace after many years of war during the reign of Frederick the Great.
The victoria cross and wreath added after the fall of the communist east.
Ironically during the cold war, between August 1961 and December 1989, yet another wall divided the city. The well-known Berlin wall. The Gate then lay marooned just behind the Berlin wall in communist led east Germany. It was clearly visible over the wall but unreachable from the west side of the city in a sort of no-man’s land.
A place where during the east and west occupation of Berlin the gate became a symbol of a country divided. The Brandendburg gate (Berlin arch) restored after the war and is now a major landmark in Berlin. It has become an important part of Berlin’s history and identified as a reunited Germany.
It was within earshot of the gate that, in 1987, Ronald Reagan gave a famous speech. During this speech he shouted: ‘Open this gate, Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’
Originally built with the gate having 12 columns, the central ones were originally used as an entrance for royals. Whilst the outer ones were for aristocracy and further out the ordinary people. Above the Berlin Arch is the Quadriga, the four-horse chariot being driven by a winged angel of peace. During the french occupation of 1806; Napoleon took the Quadriga back to Paris and it wasn’t until his defeat at Waterloo that it returned. At that time they added the wreath and cross as a mark of triumph and victory. The quadriga was then known as Victoria after the Roman goddess of victory.
The Berlin arch is truly a great place to visit if you are in Berlin and if you get the chance go by day and night as the lights at night are spectacular, just a shame my battery ran out !!