Brandenburger Tor, Central Berlin
The gate was opened in 1791, replacing an older gate in the city wall at the same location.
Until I took these photos, I have never noticed the series of violent scenes of centaurs and humans clubbing and stabbing each other, that runs along the entire length of the building.
The quadriga was a symbol of peace when the gate was built, representing both Nike and Eirene. The French took it to Paris when they defeated the prussian army in 1806. After Napoleon was defeated, prussian officials found the quadriga still packaged in wooden crates and brought it back to Berlin, where the original laurel wreath war replaced by an iron cross surrounded by oak leaves, turning the former goddess of peace into Victoria, the goddess of victory.
The relief underneath the quadriga, however, still shows the train of the goddess of peace.
The central gateway was reserved for the German emperor after 1871; all other persons had to take the four other gateways with the sole exception of members of the noble family von Pfuel, commanders of the Prussian sector of Paris after Napoleon’s defeat.
The statue on the last picture shows Minerva.
After the Berlin wall was built in 1961, the gate became inaccessible as it was located in the restricted area of the border between West and East Berlin. When the wall fell in 1989, it became a symbol of the German reunion and the peaceful revolution in East Germany and most of Eastern Europe.