45 AMAZING Brandenburg Gate Facts [September 2019]

Last Updated on

The Brandenburg Gate is one of the most significant landmarks in Berlin and carries a heavy historical significance and transformation in Germany and in Europe over time!

It has survived through wars and seen protests and gatherings of thousands, and today stands as a symbol of peace and unity in Germany.

Read on to find some interesting facts about this iconic military monument and its history and construction that you probably don’t know about!

Ready to book? Here are our favorite areas to stay in Berlin!

Fast Facts about the Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate (Photo credit – tripsavvy.com)

  1. Where is Brandenburg Gate? This iconic monument is the only remaining town gate of Berlin, Germany, standing at the western end of the avenue Unter den Linden
  2. The Berlin Brandenburg Gate, or Brandenburger Tor in German, is an 18th-century neoclassical monument in Berlin
  3. It was built on the order of the Prussian King Frederick William II after what had been a temporary successful restoration of order during the Batavian Revolution
  4. This Berlin Gate is one of the best-known landmarks in Germany
  5. Langhan built the monument to stand 26 meters (85 feet) high and 65 meters (213 feet) wide, with the 12 Doric columns which each measure 15 meters (49 feet) in height.

How much do you know about Berlin? You can learn about Berlin’s history before you go!

  1. The gate was built on the site of a former city gate that marked the start of the road that led from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg an der Havel.
  2. The gate is a significant entry point to the renowned boulevard of linden trees which led straight to the royal City Palace and Prussian monarchs
  3. Brandenburg Gate is filled with historical significance and was often a site for major historical events
  4. Today, it is considered as a symbol of peace and unity after the tumultuous history of Germany and Europe!
  5. The gate consists of twelve Doric columns, six to each side, and forming five passageways altogether
  6. Of these 5 passages, the central one is the widest and was originally reserved only for the royals. The adjacent passages were only for the aristocracy and the outside passages for ordinary citizens!
  7. It is now visited by thousands of tourists who come to see the impressive structure with its decorations of reliefs and sculptures
  8. These artistic designs were done by Gottfried Schadow, and were based on the exploits of Heracles!
  9. That classical sand work that you see on the gate is one of the great masterpieces of this era and is the only one remaining of all the 18 previous city portals!
  10. The Quadriga is the sculpture of the horse-drawn chariot found on the top of the Gate!

Let’s make this simple. These are the best hotels in Berlin!

History of the Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

Photo credit – berlin.de

  1. Frederick William II of Prussia commissioned the gate with the intention to represent peace after a tumultuous time in Europe
  2. The gate was built between 1788 and 1791, replacing the earlier simple guardhouses which flanked the original gate in the Customs Wall of Berlin
  3. The gate was opened on the 6th of August in 1791 and marked the end of the boulevard Unter den Linden
  4. The new gate was originally named Friendenstor, or Peace Gate!
  5. The gate’s design is based on Propylaea in Greek Mythology, which represents any monumental gateway and was the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
  6. The Gate’s goddess in ancient Roman religion is Victoria and Nike in Greek mythology. She is the Goddess of Victory!
  7. The gate is consistent with Berlin’s architectural classicism, which was first Baroque and then neo-Palladian
  8. The gate has played many different political roles in German history!
  9. After the 1806 Prussian defeat at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, Napolean used the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate a triumphal procession
  10. He then took the Quadriga to Paris as a victory trophy!
  11. After Napolean’s defeat in the year 1814 and the occupation of Paris by General Ernst von Pfuel, the Quadriga was rightfully restored to Berlin!

MUST READ – There are some incredible day trips from Berlin you should know about!

  1. It then turned into a symbol of victory and was redesigned by Karl Friedrich Schinkel to include the Prussian eagle and an iron cross on her lance, with a wreath of oak leaves.
  2. In gratitude for the return of the Quadriga to the top of the Brandenburg Gate, the Pfuel family was then granted use of the central archway from 1814 to 1919!
  3. The Quadriga faces east, as it did when it was originally installed so many years ago in 1793.
  4. Later in history, when the Nazis ascended to power in Germany, the gate was used as a party symbol
  5. Brandenburg Gate survived many onslaughts during World War II and was one of the only damaged structures that remained standing in the Pariser Platz ruins in 1945.
  6. The gate was badly damaged during the war and was left with holes in the columns from all the bullets and nearby explosions!
  7. There was one horse’s head from the Quadriga that survived the onslaught and is now kept in the collection of the Märkisches Museum.
  8. After Germany’s surrender and the end of the war, the governments of East and West Berlin joined forces to restore Brandenburg Gate
  9. The holes were patched up, but were still visible for many years after the war!
  10. Vehicles and pedestrians were then allowed to travel freely through the gate that was located in East Berlin.
  11. This changed when the Berlin Wall was built on the 13th of August 1961!
  12. Brandenburg Gate border crossing was closed on the 14th of August 1961 and came to symbolize divided Germany!
  13. In the course of the reunification of East and West Berlin, the gate was reopened in the historically significant moment when West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl walked through it to meet East German Prime Minister Hans Modrow on the 22nd of December, 1989.
  14. Brandenburg Gate then stood to symbolize freedom and the desire to ultimately unify the city of Berlin!

Want to go deeper? These great museums in Berlin are perfect for learning a little more.

  1. Thousands of people gathered at the wall to celebrate its fall on 9 November 1989, and the demolition of the rest of the wall around the area took place the following year.
  2. The gathering was one of the most iconic scenes of recent German history as the crowds of thousands stood celebrating before the Brandenburg Gate as the Wall fell!
  3. The Brandenburg Gate was privately refurbished on 21 December 2000 at a cost of six million Euros!
  4. It was then once again opened on 3 October 2002 after extensive refurbishment, for the 12th anniversary of German reunification.
  5. The Berlin Festival of Lights is an event that now occurs annually every October. The gate and other well-known sights like Fernsehturm, the Berlin Victory Column, and Berlin Cathedral are illuminated with light art for a couple of weeks during the festival.

Planning a trip? See our list of the best things to see in Berlin!

Final Thoughts on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Brandenburg Gate has stood the test of time and has seen many historical occasions through the tumultuous times of war and unease in Germany and Europe.

The iconic structure is a must-see monument when visiting Berlin, and holds huge cultural and historical significance.

The dark past of Germany and the gate’s involvement in these times seems to have seen a positive light in today’s age, and is a solid structure that will exist for thousands of years to come, telling a fascinating story of time!

As an iconic landmark that has seen so much change and upheaval, the Brandenburg Gate is now an omnipresent landmark that is found o on logos representing Berlin companies or Berlin and the German authorities. It’s also embedded on German coins and on all kinds of Berlin merchandise!

About the Author Aaron Hovanesian

Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.