Brandenburger Tor  

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

A photo of the Brandenburg Gate in the snow makes a powerful symbol of the ups and downs of German history. Built in the late 18th century for King Frederick William of Prussia, this neo-classical arch was originally a symbol of Peace (the goddess depicted being Eirene, Goddess of Peace). Napoleon was the first to use it as a triumphal arch in 1806, and as the gateway to Unter den Linden it became a symbol of the strength of the Nazi Party before and during the Second World War. Amazingly the Brandenburg Gate was still standing at the end of the war, and it was in this vicinity that the historic TV news film of young people tearing down the Cold War ‘Berlin Wall’ was shot on 9th November 1989, giving the arch new life as a symbol of reunification exactly 51 years after ‘Kristallnacht’, the night the persecution of German Jews by the Nazis really took off.