Notes on the Geography of Germany: Imperial Berlin: Photo 1
The Brandenburg Gate, originally a gate in the long-vanished Berlin city wall, was designed by the self-taught Carl Langhans. It's a dead-ringer for the Propylaea, the famous entrance to the Acropolis. The bronze figure up top is of Nike in her quadriga, a four-horsepower chariot. It was added in 1793, two years after the masonry below was finished. (Comparable ensembles can be found in London's Wellington Arch, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Rome's Vittorio Emanuele Monument, and vestigially in the horses of St. Mark's, in Venice.) The gate was destroyed in World War II, so the gate today is a reproduction, including a recasting of the statue. For almost 30 years the Berlin wall of 1961 blocked the gate.
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