|Walking up to the Reichstag|
|Love locks on the Weidendammer Bridge|
While the only remaining city gate of Berlin formerly used to represent the separation of the city between East and West Berlin, since the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 the Brandenburg Gate has now come to symbolise German unity. In addition, this gate made of sandstone is one of the finest examples of German classicism.
Built according to the plans of Carl Gotthard Langhans from 1788 to 1791, the Brandenburg Gate is modelled on the Propylaeum of Athens’ Acropolis. On both sides, there are six Doric columns supporting the 11 meter-deep transverse beam, which divide the gate into five passages.
In light of a decision made by the Berlin Senate, since October 2002 the Brandenburg Gate has been closed for traffic, including buses and taxis. (From VisitBerlin)
A former symbol of the divided city, it drew visitors who used to climb an observation platform in order to get a glimpse of the world behind the Iron Curtain, on the other side of the barren “death-strip” which separated east from west Berlin, geographically and politically. It was here that on June 12, 1987, Ronald Regan issued his stern command to his cold war adversary admonishing him with the words: “Mr. Gorbachov – tear down this wall!” The speech delivered to West Berliners was also audible on the east side of the Gate and echoed President von Weizsacker’s words which translate as: “The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed.” (from Berlin.de)
|Quadriga of Victory|
The Berlin Quadriga was designed by Johann Gottfried Schadow in 1793 as the Quadriga of Victory, perhaps as a symbol of peace (represented by the olive wreath carried by the Goddess of Victory) and points to the east in the direction of the city centre. The quadriga was seized by Napoleon during his occupation of Berlin in 1806, and taken to Paris. It was returned to Berlin by Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher in 1814. Her olive wreath was subsequently supplemented with an Iron Cross. The statue suffered severe damage during the Second World War, and the association of the Iron Cross with Prussian militarism convinced the Communist government of East Germany to remove this aspect of the statue after the war. The iron cross was restored after German reunification in 1990.
|German Boxer baby|
Warm weather clothes are necessary at the end of December, so we stayed bundled up and continued onto The Reichstag, which I'll cover in my next post.