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At Brandenburg Tor in Berlin, History Happened

The Brandenburg Tor is the first tourist attraction I visited on my first day in Berlin. It’s an imposing neoclassical gate that appears conspicuously in almost every postcard in the city. Throughout its existence, the Brandenburg Gate bears witness to a tumultuous history of the city and country. And at the same time, it’s an eyewitness to the historical events of a unified European continent. 

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It was here in June 1987 when the US President Reagan declared his famous words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

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The golden rays of the sun peeking through the five gates of Brandenburg Tor.

There were only very few people when I arrived at the gate. The morning sun was just beginning to appear, and its rays peeked through the wide gaps. I was mesmerized by the play of lights and shadows as I looked up, admiring its magnificence. It reminded me of chiaroscuro paintings of Caravaggio and Rembrandt. 

Brandenburg Tor - Your Gate to Berlin
The play of lights and shadows are evident in the morning at the Brandenburg Tor in Berlin.
Frederick William II of Prussia directed the construction of the Gate to symbolize peace.
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Gaze at the doric columns.

If Barcelona and Paris have their Arc de Triomphe, Germany has Brandenburg Gate.

Brandenburg Tor - Your Gate to Berlin
The Brandenburg Tor in Berlin is magnificent in the morning.

As you can see, the gate has 12 doric pillars with five walkways to pass through.

Brandenburg Tor Berlin Things to do
The Brandenburg Tor in Berlin is a witness to the country’s history.

Its gate’s structure also reminded me of the Acropolis in Athens.

Brandenburg at night Berlin Hostel Hotel
The moon, the chariot, the Goddess of Victory and the gate.
Don’t just admire the Brandenburg Gate from afar.
Night in Berlin Hostel Hotel
If you have time, visit it at night, too.

Go near, look up and investigate what those wee carved sculptures are.

Brandenburg Gate Berlin Things to do
The carved statues on the columns are a must-see, too.

You would be surprised to find its homo-erotic theme – at least to me ;). See the photo below to know what I mean. 😀

doric columns carved statues Brandenburg
Hmmmnn… What are you seeing? 😉

On top of the columns, you will find four horses pulling a chariot, a quadriga. The Goddess of Victory is riding the chariot and manning the horses.

Goddess of Victory chariot Berlin hotel hostel
The Goddess of Victory on top of the Brandenburg Gate.

Once you enter the gate, you find an array of shops and cafes. Sit in one of these cafes (or at Starbucks) and observe the locals and tourists go by.

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Sit in one of the cafes nearby and watch the locals and tourists go by.

Hostel / Hotel in Berlin

I stayed at Hostel a&o Berlin Hauptbahnhof, which is around 7 minutes walk to Berlin Train Terminal Station. You can book it via Booking, Expedia, HostelWorld, and TripAdvisor. The hostel was a convenient choice for me as I had an early train trip to Prague on my last day. The hostel is clean, and the rooms are quite spacious, too. They have a pool table, bicycle rental, luggage storage, a spacious lobby, a bar, and a souvenir shop. They’ve got a nice laundry room, too. If you’re a traveler who likes to walk, the Bundestag, Brandenburg Tor Gate, and Reichstag are just 30 minutes walk from the hostel. It’s a good value for money.

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