Europe’s hippest capital boasts non-stop nightlife, cutting-edge fashion, cosmopolitan eats and museum treasures galore. At the centre of the World and Cold Wars, it also oozes history, much of it sobering.
Travel bucket list idea:
This former city gate was rebuilt in the late 18th century as a triumphal arch for a rising Prussia.
The arch was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia to symbolise a period of peace and prosperity in Berlin. The neoclassical design by Carl Gotthard Langhans was inspired by the Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens, and it built from 1788 to 1791. It stands as the entry to Unter den Linden, the boulevard of linden trees that formerly led directly to the city palace of the Prussian monarchs.
Now one of Germany’s best-known landmarks, the Brandenburger Tor is laden with historical significance. Napoleon briefly stole the Quadriga, the horse-drawn chariot atop the gate, and it was here Reagan urged Gorbachev to tear down the Wall. Nowadays, the gate stands as the symbol of national unity after reunification.
Getting there & doing it
Take the U-Bahn to Brandenburger Tor. You can’t miss it from there.
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