21011 Brandenburg Gate

  • Product no longer in production

Facts

  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Architect: Carl Gotthard Langhans
  • Style: Classicism
  • Materials: Sandstone
  • Year: Begun in 1788, completed in 1791

History

The Gate was constructed between 1788 and 1791 according to the designs of its architect, Carl Gotthard Langhans. The Gate itself is built in sandstone and consists of twelve Doric columns, six to each side, forming five passageways. Citizens originally were allowed to use only the outermost two, the central passageway being reserved for Prussian royalty and visiting foreign dignitaries.

Though the Brandenburg Gate has remained essentially unchanged since its completion, it has had a turbulent existence.In 2000, the Berlin Monument Conservation Foundation (in German: StiftungDenkmalschutz Berlin) began a full restoration of the Brandenburg Gate. It opened to the public againon October 3rd, 2002, the twelfth anniversary of German Reunification.

Today, Brandenburg Gate is regarded as one of Europe’s most famous landmarks.

Architect

Commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia as a sign of peace, Brandenburg Gate was built as the grandest of a series of 18 city gates through which Berlin was once entered. The entire construction and ornamentationof the Gate reflected its extraordinary importance as the monumental entry to Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees, which formerly led directly to the city palace of the Prussian monarchs.

Carl Gotthard Langhans (15/12/1732–1/10/1808) was born in Landeshut, Silesia (now in Poland). His inspiration for the Brandenburg Gate came from the Propylaea in Athens, the monumental entry hall of the Acropolis. Just as the Propylaea led to a shrine of the ancient world, the Brandenburg Gate was to represent the access to the most important city of the Prussian kingdom.