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The history of Brandenburg Gate – an enormous, sandstone, neoclassical arch – is inextricably linked with the history of Berlin and Germany. Built in 1791 to mark the entrance to Unter den Linden, Berlin's grandest boulevard, the arch was originally created as a symbol of peace. Standing 85-feet (30-meters) high, the Brandenburg Gate was modeled on the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens. When Napoleon defeated the Prussians in 1806, he marched triumphantly through the gate into Berlin, before taking the gate’s crowning statue, Victoria, the Goddess of Victory, back to France as a spoil of war. Victoria was later returned and once again sits atop the gate driving her chariot of horses.
The gate was used as a powerful propaganda tool by the Nazis, and after World War II was left in near ruins on the border between East and West Germany. U.S. President Ronald Reagan gave his famous speech here in 1987, where he demanded, “Gorbachev – tear down this wall!” In December 1989, the gate was reopened to traffic between the East and West and the monument was again recast as a symbol of unity.
Before walking through the gate, spend a little time in the Raum der Stille (Room of Silence), a simple room where people from all denominations and walks of life are invited to leave behind their differences and sit together. When you do pass beneath the gate’s five imposing passageways and heroic friezes representing Greek myology, you’ll be forgiven if you feel a little overwhelmed; the weight of history is almost palpable here. Look for the informative signs which document the history of the gate and all it has come to symbolize throughout the last 200 years. The gate is always a dramatic sight, but is particularly spectacular when lit up at night and for New Year celebrations.
The Brandenburg Gate sits between the Reichstag building and the Holocaust Memorial, and directly across from the Tiergarten. It’s also close to Friedrichstrasse, one of Berlin's main shopping and dining streets, and is serviced by S-Bahn and U-Bahn train stations.
There are so many ways to enjoy this attraction. We've put together just some things you can do at Brandenburg Gate:
If you're looking for even more activities, check out our Berlin things to do page.
Located in Mitte, this luxury hotel is steps away from Friedrichstrasse, Komische Oper Berlin and Galeries Lafayette. French Cathedral and Brandenburg Gate are also within 15 minutes. Franzosische Street U-Bahn is only a 2-minute walk and Stadtmitte Stationn is 6 minutes.
Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of German Chancellery and Reichstag Building. Brandenburg Gate and Friedrichstrasse are also within 1 mile (2 km). Berlin Central U-Bahn and Central S-Bahn are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Mitte, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from German Spy Museum Berlin. Mendelssohn Bartholdy Park U-Bahn is only a 2-minute walk and Gleisdreieck U-Bahn is 6 minutes.
Located in Mitte, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of German Chancellery and Reichstag Building. Brandenburg Gate and Friedrichstrasse are also within 1 mile (2 km). Berlin Central U-Bahn and Central S-Bahn are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Mitte, this luxury hotel is steps away from Madame Tussauds and Brandenburg Gate. Potsdamer Platz is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) away. Brandenburger Gate S-Bahn and Brandenburger Gate Station are within a 2-minute walk.
Located in Mitte, this luxury hotel is steps away from St. Hedwig's Cathedral, French Cathedral and Gendarmenmarkt. Museum Island (Museumsinsel) and Bode Museum are also within 15 minutes. Hausvogteiplatz U-Bahn and Franzosische Street U-Bahn are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Mitte, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Gendarmenmarkt, Nikolaikirche and Checkpoint Charlie. Museum Island (Museumsinsel) and Berlin TV Tower are also within 1 mi (2 km). Spittelmarkt U-Bahn is only a 3-minute walk and Markisches Museum U-Bahn is 8 minutes.
This family-friendly Berlin hotel is located in the historical district, just steps away from Gendarmenmarkt and Friedrichstrasse. Checkpoint Charlie and Berlin State Opera are also within 10 minutes. Stadtmitte Stationn is only a 2-minute walk and Hausvogteiplatz U-Bahn is 3 minutes.