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Once a memorial to the separation of an entire country, today a symbol of German unity - the capital's only surviving city gate is the Berlin landmark par excellence

The gateway buildings of the Athenian Acropolis, modeled after the Classicist columned building was erected in the years 1788 to 1791 according to plans by Carl Gotthard Langhans. With the construction of the Wall in August 1961, the gate acquired its special symbolic power. Located in the restricted area between East and West Berlin, it became a memorial to the division of Germany. Since its celebrated opening on December 22, 1989, it now stands for a reunited Germany.

The quadriga of the goddess of victory Victoria on the Brandenburg Gate has been facing east since 1793 and, like the gate itself, looks back on an eventful history. In 1806, Napoleon took the Quadriga to Paris after his victory over Prussia. In 1814, after the defeat of the French emperor, it returned to its original place in Berlin. There, the damaged gate was repaired and the quadriga was recast. In the course of the celebrations for German reunification, it was so badly damaged on New Year's Eve 1989/90 that it had to be restored two years later.

The gate is located on Pariser Platz, one of the most beautiful places in the capital. Around the square and on the boulevard Unter den Linden leading to it you can admire numerous city villas, embassies, the noble hotel Adlon and the University of the Arts. On both sides of the Brandenburg Gate are the Liebermann and Sommer houses, designed as a pair of twins. Based on the works of master builder Friedrich August Stüler, they are reminiscent of 19th century Prussian architecture.

Cover photo: The Berlin Gate stands for the united Germany like no other building in the country © moofushi - stock.adobe.com

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