No place has played such a prominent role in Berlin’s turbulent history as the Brandenburger Tor (Gate). This is where it all happened: Napoleon’s triumphal procession, Nazi parades and Hitler’s grim speeches, a no-man's land during the Cold War, JFK’s visit, Ronald Reagan's speech and the spontaneous street celebrations after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Dive into Berlin’s turbulent history at its only remaining city gate.
The Brandenburg Gate was built between 1788 and 1791 as a city gate and a symbol for peace. During the Cold War, the Gate suddenly found itself in the no-man’s zone between East and West and thus became a symbol of stolen freedom. In his famous speech ‘Tear Down This Wall’ of June 1987, American president Reagan said: "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Two years later the German people did just that and in November 1989 the first ‘Ossies’ (East-Germans) walked through the Brandenburg Gate to find freedom. After that, the Gate represented not only peace, but also freedom.
“Suddenly the city gate stood in the kill zone, full of watch towers and armed Volkspolizisten”