Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)
Berlin’s most iconic landmark, the neo-classical Brandenburg Gate has stood at the very center of German history for over two centuries. Erected as a triumphal-cum-city gateway in 1791 and topped with Johann Gottfried Schadow’s statue Quadriga depicting the Goddess of Victory driving a four-horse chariot, the gate was dismantled by Napoleon and shipped off in pieces to Paris before being returned in triumph in 1814. The Prussian eagle was then added to the Goddess of Victory’s staff and the gateway became a symbol of the strength of the German nation. Over 150 years later, the gate became the symbol of a divided nation when it stood trapped on the eastern side of the infamous Berlin Wall from 1961 to 1989. Today, more than 20 years after unification, it has reclaimed its position as the city’s most beloved monument. The gate once more forms the imposing entrance to the lime-tree-lined boulevard of Unter den Linden, one of the city’s major shopping streets. Indulge in some window-shopping and then retire to the Adlon Hotel Kempinski for champagne cocktails in the Moët Ice Impérial Lounge and views of the famous gate.