Travel to Berlin

Day 2 Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, Potsdamer Platz

Berlin


 

Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor): It is located west of downtown, between Unter den Linden and the Pariser Platz on the one hand and between the Reichstag and the Holocaust memorial on the other. It is an old city gate and one of the main symbols of Berlin and Germany. It is the only gate that remains of a serie through of which were formerly entered in Berlin. It is the gateway to the famous avenue of lime trees (Unter den Linden) who previously led directly to the city palace of the Prussian kings.

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate

Was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia as a sign of peace and built by Carl Gotthard Langhans from 1788 to 1791. The Brandenburg Gate consists of twelve Doric columns, six on each side, forming five passageways. Initially, the pedestrians were only allowed to use the two arches at the ends. At the top of the door is the quadriga, a chariot drawn by four horses and driven by the Roman goddess of victory. The Gate´s design is based upon the Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens.

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas), also known as the Holocaust Memorial (Holocaust-Mahnmal), is a monument to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. It consists of a 19,000 square meter site covered with 2711 concrete slabs or "stelae", arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping terrain. Stelae are 2.38 meters long, 0.95 meters wide and vary in height between 0.2 meters and 4.8 meters.

Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust Memorial

An attached underground Ort der Information (Place of information) contains the names of all known Jewish victims of the Holocaust, obtained from the Israeli museum Yad Vashem. Its construction began on April 1, 2003 and ending December 15, 2004. It was inaugurated on May 10, 2005 and opened its doors to the public on May 12 of that year. The cost of construction was approximately 25 million euros.

Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust Memorial

Potsdamer Platz: This square was developed during the nineteenth century as an area of dense commercial and cultural activity. It was in this place where the first traffic light was installed in Europe. Potsdamer Platz, as the rest of the city came under allied bombing during the last months of World War II, which led to the almost total destruction of buildings on the site. After the occupation of the city by the Allies, the Potsdamer Platz was in the area where was the division between Soviet and U.S. protectorates.

Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz (Postdam square)

With the construction of the Wall, which ran in the western sector of the square, it became a no man's land unusable and was not rebuilt, despite being very close to the main shopping street of East Berlin. After the fall of Wall people of Berlin had the task of rehabilitating Potsdamer Platz, which succeeded in the course of less than a decade. Today we can see in the square a very small segment of the wall, plus a replica of the first traffic lights of 1924. Among the various modern buildings built in this area highlights the dome of the Sony Center, designed by Helmut Jahn, most emblematic building of the new Potsdamer Platz. Under this umbrella are several restaurants, a film academy, a film museum and an IMAX cinema.


 

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