Built by Prussian king Frederick William II during the early Batavian Revolution, the Brandenburg Gate is one of the most iconic landmarks in Germany. This 18th-century Neoclassical sandstone monument was modeled on the Acropolis in Athens and is located at the start of the road that extends from Berlin to Brandenburg an der Havel. It lies just to the west of the Pariser Platz and provides a monumental entry to Unter den Linen (the boulevard of linden trees), which once led directly to the City Palace of the Prussian monarchs.
While the Brandenburg Gate has been the site of numerous historical events, today it stands as a symbol of peace and unity, not only in Germany but across Europe. In 1999, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia's Mikhail Gorbachev and Poland's Lech Walesa all walked through the gate to commemorate two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Brandenburg Gate was designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans to replace the simple guardhouses that previously flanked the Customs Wall gate. It features twelve Doric columns (six on each side), creating five passages for traffic to drive through (with the central passage originally reserved for royalty). The Quadriga four-horse chariot was sculpted by Johann Gottfried Schadow to top the new gate and it was originally called the Peace Gate.
The Brandenburg Gate is one of the most photographed landmarks in Berlin, with fine vantage points from all sides. It’s a particularly photogenic destination at night with the car lights moving between the columns to create an interesting juxtaposition.