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restored quadriga atop Brandenburg Gate ►pale-verdigris gateway build-up (“horses’-herma”) in gloomy night◄ by quapan on Flickr.Via Flickr:The quadriga atop the Brandenburg Gate —restored since 1991— is shining in pale-verdigris against a black backdrop of a gloomy night.
In 1793, — when the so called 'French Revolutionary Wars' all over Europe were to begin —, Schadow installed in an anxious & defiant gesture towards the revolutionary Paris a peace-goddess (PAX) holding up a coronal of olive leaves behind a roman, triumphal carriage. - Under those political circumstances that build-up was obviously meant as an apotropaic allegory against the upcoming, second wave of the Great Revolution which was looming from the other side of the Rhine … 
In 1806 that sculpture was of course dislodged and travelled to the Louvre by the victorious Napoléon Bonaparte but already eight years later — in 1814— the booty was tracked down and re-confiscated by the prussian General Blücher. Back in Berlin the restituted trophy was overhauled and revised by Schinkel in 1815: The once pre-reactionary Fräulein PAX (roman peace-goddess) was still turning its back against the Madame France in the West but this time she was classified into a full-blown reactionary NIKE (hellenic victory-goddess). Supporting that lurking tendency he supplemented as some new fittings the erect shaft in between the pairs of horses (“Pferdeherme”), the harness for the four domesticated mammals and the coronet of oak leaves for the goddess, and he set up the “perch”, i.e. the banner-like standard with the iron cross inside a wreath of oak leaves & acorns from which an eagle coronated by a christian cross atop a prussian crown holds lookout.
The iron cross on the Brandenburg was posted in 1815 and contains the initials ‘FW’ and the figure ‘1813’ in remembrance of its endowment as the prussian war decoration by Friedrich Wilhelm III. in the year 1813 which marks the beginning of the first restoration—the second such reanimation was instigated by the Hitlerists in 1933 under the pompous title “Third Reich”—of the 1806 passed away cadaver of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation by ‘freedom wars’ ('Befreiungskriege') that were the prussian tribute to 'the wars of the 6th coalition' (1812-1814) for breaking Napoleon’s hegemony over Europe. On 18th Oktober 1913, i.e. at the eve of WWI, all around the victory goddess of the Brandenburg triumphal arch a wilhelmine state act was held by the german emperor; like everywhere in the suburbs of the Berlin and the German Reich it was celebrated the centenary of the Battle of Leipzig …
Originally an emblematic build-up to the Restoration epoch (1815-1848) the “horses’—herma” was rededicated in 1991 and refurbished 2000/02 by private businessmen and the Berlin Monument Conservation Foundation that were sponsored to indulge their “faible” for the “imperial prussian flair”.
The Brandenburg Gate in 1945 was one of the few structures still standing on the Pariser Platz but the relics of the copper quadriga atop it had to be melted down; only the head of one of the four horses was preserved and can be visited in the Märkisches Museum. In 1958 a replica of bronze was built up to replace the copper quadriga. 
Vehicles and pedestrians could travel freely through the thouroughfare until 13th August 1961; then the wall with its death strip ran just behind it.On 26th of June 1963, — two years after the put-up of the Wall —, U.S. President John F. Kennedy officially visited West-Berlin and the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate, where he himself and the West-Berlin mayor wanted him to deliver his prepared speech but the west-german chancellor which was demonstratively all the time accompanying him agreed with the western allies that the venue near the soviet sector would have been much too provocative. So he could not hold his oratio in sight of the contended cold-war-focus-point but had to shift to another location: That was the square in front of the office-building of the then ruling mayor Willy Brandt. Unlike Ronald Reagan who could easily overtake the venue twenty four years later—only protected by transparent bullet-proof glass to prevent potential snipers from behind the wall and two decades of détente (“Ostpolitik”) followed up by glasnost & perestroika. 
«Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was “civis romanus sum” {translation lat-engl: “I’m a roman citizen”}. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is „Ich bin ein Berliner“. {translation ger-engl: “I’m a Berliner”, after these four words interpreter Lochner is heard whispering instructions to him on how to pronounce the four german words more correctly, and he’s answering insinuatingly into the open microphone: “I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!”} 
{JFK continues:} There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. „Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen! [Lust z nach Bearlen comen]“ Let them come to Berlin. - KA: „Aber lass auch Sie nach Berlin kommen!“ {heckled the standing-by Bundeskanzler Konrad Adenauer who obviously had’nt quite understood the english words of the speech}
{JFK continues:} Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. … While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, …
… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words „Ich bin ein Berliner!“» (speech by President John F. Kennedy on 26 June 1963 at ‘Rathaus Schöneberg’ in West-Berlin 
When he tried to take sight of the Brandenburg Gate on that sultry summerday climbing on the tourists’ platform on the then Hindenburg-Platz  he was ‘welcomed’ by large red curtains that were hung into the five doorways of the arch to prevent the VIP from speaking and spying to the East …
In the 1980s, decrying the existence of two German states, the then West Berlin mayor Richard von Weizsäcker said: 
“The German question will remain open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed.”
On June 12, 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan spoke to the West Berlin populace at the Brandenburg Gate: 
“To those listening in East Berlin, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. … we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace …Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere — that sphere that towers over all Berlin the light makes the sign of the cross.” 
Demanding the razing of the Berlin Wall and addressing the then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan said: 
“And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world. To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe. 
… There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. 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! … The wall cannot withstand freedom.”
On July 12, 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton spoke at the Gate about peace in post-Cold War Europe.
On December 21, 2000, the Brandenburg Gate was privately refurbished at a 6 million $ cost.
Depiction of German euro coinage: On the obverse sides of the 1 € and 2 € coins, there are stylized prussian eagles; on the the 50¢, 20¢ and 10¢ coins there are the Brandenburg Gates; on the 5¢, 2¢ and 1¢ coins there are twigs with five oak leaves and two acorns.The Brandenburg Gate & The WallBerlin, it is worth remembering, came of age as a garrison town. Though Friedrich Wilhelm I was not interested in beautifying the city, he did seek to promote its growth. Needing more space to quarter soldiers and more artisans to supply their needs, he gave away hundreds of lots and compelled the recipients to build houses on them. He expanded the city limits and, in the 1730s, replaced the Great Elector’s old fortifications with a new wall built around the expanded city. This was not a fortification but a customs barrier to regulate commerce and prevent soldiers from deserting. (For all the differences, in both these purposes we can see a resemblance to Ulbricht’s later wall.) Among the wall’s eighteen gates, the most prominent lay at the southern and western edges of the expanded Friedrichstadt, where large plazas were laid out inside the gates: a circular plaza inside the southern Halle Gate, an octagon at the Potsdam Gate, and a square at the western terminus of Unter den Linden. Friedrich Wilhelm envisioned all three spaces as military parade grounds. 
The last of these gates concludes our look at the eighteenthcentury city. It marks the outer end of the grand axis of Unter den Linden, scene of royal processions, military parades, and elegant promenades throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Though it is not the original Brandenburg all that remains of the eighteenth-century wall, apart from a fragment excavated in Stresemannstrasse. The original baroque gate that separated Unter den Linden from the Tiergarten was replaced at the order of King Friedrich Wilhelm II, Frederick the Great’s successor. The commission given to the architect Carl Gotthard Langhans ushered in a new era in Berlin architecture. To the end of his long life (in 1786), Frederick the Great had insisted on building in ornate rococo forms that had long since fallen from favor in Europe’s more fashionable capitals. Langhans’s Brandenburg Gate, completed in 1791, brought the more severe lines of neoclassicism to Berlin. 
Langhans’s simple design, modeled on the Propylaea of Athens, comprises a double row of Doric columns that frame five openings. The gate’s other famous feature is the copper quadriga that was mounted atop it in 1793. This work of the young sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow portrays a goddess riding in a chariot drawn by four horses galloping into the city. The Brandenburg Gate, with its quadriga, has long been Berlin’s most famous symbol, rivaled only by the more ephemeral Wall. Its image has adorned commemorative coins, playing cards, historicist and expressionist paintings, posters for all kinds of events, and East and West Berlin postcards and tourist brochures. It may be an admirable work of architecture and sculpture, but that does not explain its symbolic resonance. Nor does its intended function. Unlike many nineteenth-century structures, it was not erected as a national monument. Its size and form made it much more than a utilitarian structure, but it was nevertheless a functional gate in the city wall, flanked by guardhouses.
History has made the Brandenburg Gate a German monument. At first its official name was the “Gate of Peace”; it was not, after all, a Roman triumphal arch. But its identity changed in 1806, when Napoleon defeated Prussia and triumphantly entered its capital through the western gate. He showed his admiration for the quadriga by ordering that it be taken down and shipped to Paris to join his other confiscated art treasures. The emperor thus became known locally as the “horse thief of Berlin”, and the denuded gate became the symbol of Prussian and German resistance. In 1813 Schadow himself proposed to fill the quadriga’s place atop the gate with an enormous cast of the Iron Cross, the new military medal designed by Schinkel at the behest of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Upon Napoleon’s defeat in 1814, however, a triumphant procession returned the quadriga to Berlin, the neighboring square was renamed Paris Square (Pariser Platz), and the “Gate of Peace” became a “Gate of Victory”. Schinkel designed new insignia for the goddess’s staff: a Prussian eagle and, within a wreath, the Iron Cross.
Thereafter, the gate became ever more firmly established as a symbol of Prussia and its capital. It became the traditional backdrop for military parades (following Napoleon’s example) and for the ceremonial reception of state guests. When the entire customs wall was tom down in the 1860s, the Brandenburg Gate remained; from then on, it was strictly a monument. After Germany was unified under Prussian leadership in 1871, the victorious troops returning from France were welcomed at the Brandenburg Gate. The Prussian monument had become firmly established as a German national symbol, the site of many more ceremonies before soldiers marched through it on their way back to France in 1914. The Nazis, too, embraced the old symbol of victory. The night Hitler was appointed chancellor, January 30, 1933, thousands of torch-bearing Nazi brownshirts marched through the gate.
When the bombers came, the Nazis generally did a better job of evacuating art treasures than saving people. But they apparently did not dare risk morale by removing the goddess and her horses. Instead, in 1942 they had plaster casts made of the quadriga. By 1945, when Soviet soldiers planted their red flag atop the gate, it was badly damaged and only fragments of the quadriga remained. The East German leaders who inherited these ruins decided to keep the gate and adopt it as their own. The shattered quadriga’s fate was less certain. Artists and politicians entertained several proposals for a suitable new sculpture: a group of workers, children dancing around a globe, a mother with child, Picasso’s dove of peace. A Western newspaper, hearing of the last proposal in 1949, declared that if the dove of peace were to nest placidly at the entrance to the Communist world, the West would be obliged to raise a banner in front of the gate with the words Dante had affixed to the gates of Hell in his lnferno: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” {N23} Eventually, however, the East decided to restore the quadriga instead. 
Unfortunately, the gate stood in the Soviet sector, the plaster casts were in the West, and during the 1950s the two regimes were busy denouncing each other as criminals and usurpers. After the failed uprising against the East German government on June 17, 1953, the West renamed the street that continued Unter den Linden west of the gate “the Street of 17 June.“ But the two Berlins had only one Brandenburg Gate, and it provided a rare opportunity for cooperation. West Berlin agreed to recreate the statues while the East restored the gate. This joint venture did not, of course, proceed without incident. In 1958 the reconstructed quadriga was brought to the sectoral boundary, a few steps from the gate, and simply left there for the East Germans to claim. Before putting it up, the Easterners sawed the Prussian eagle off the top of the goddess’s staff and the Iron Cross out of the wreath. For the Western public, this was vandalism and deceit, but it should not really have been a surprise. In 1957 West Germany had legalized the display of the Iron Cross, which the GDR had banned as a militarist symbol. In 1958 the Eastern press was filled with editorials and letters demanding the removal of these “fascist“ ornaments. The Brandenburg Gate was once again to be a gate of peace, declared the East Berlin government. {N24}
With the goddess’s staff crowned only by a wreath, the quadriga and gate would remain from 1958 until 1990; only their surroundings would change utterly. At first the gate still filtered traffic passing across the sector line between the Tiergarten and the shattered ruins along Unter den Linden. As the two halves of the city grew apart, the gate acquired a rich new symbolic resonance, captured, for example, in scenes of the 1961 American comedy film One, Two, Three, directed by Billy Wilder (whose ties to Berlin went back to the 1920s) and starring James Cagney as a representative of the Coca-Cola Company caught between the intrigues of Communists and ex-Nazis. 
But the film was a commercial flop: by the time it was completed, the Wall had made crossing the Brandenburg Gate anything but a laughing matter. Because the western edge of the Mitte district coincided with the location of Friedrich Wilhelm I’s wall, the sectoral boundary followed the same course after 1945, and after 1961, so did a long stretch of the new wall. The Brandenburg Gate was thus once again part of a wall. Here was a historical continuity that no one wanted to acknowledge. This time it was not a gate; the crossing points lay elsewhere. Erich Honecker, the Politbüro member in charge of national security and hence the man directing construction of the Wall, apparently pressed for the gate’s closure because he thought any activity around it would attract Western media attention, demonstrations, and provocations.{N25} He was probably right, but he may also have been swayed by his own regime’s frequent evocation of the Napoleon-like specter of West German troops marching triumphantly through the Brandenburg Gate on their way to destroy peace and socialism. 
Both the gate and the quadriga had been designed to face into the City—that is, to the east. That is not what a visitor would expect, but the gate’s intended audience was local residents, not outsiders. The folk memory of Berlin seems to offer evidence of confusion on this point. Visitors are often told that the quadriga Originally faced the other direction and was turned around at some point—something that never happened. This is an old legend: an 1860 guidebook asserts that the goddess had faced away from town before Napoleon, but had been reerected looking inward in 1814.{N26} Late-twentieth-century versions of the legend tend to be vaguer about the date of the reversal; Ulbricht as well as Napoleon comes under suspicion as a possible culprit. 
In its uncertain stance toward inside and outside, residents and visitors, the Brandenburg Gate resembled nothing so much as its newer neighbor, the Berlin Wall. With the Wall’s presence, the poignancy of the gate as symbol became stronger than ever. On its Eastern side, Pariser Platz starkly illustrated the desolation brought by the Wall. Once among Berlin’s most elegant squares, a place of palaces, the French and U.S. embassies, the Academy of Arts, and the city’s premier hotel, the Adlon, it was now bare except for the gate and the Wall. Tourists were restricted to its far end, but distinguished guests and officially invited delegations were brought to the gate and asked to admire the work of the border guards. From the Western side, the gate was now entirely inaccessible, and could only be seen from a dead-end street in the middle of the Tiergarten. Nevertheless, tourist buses regularly came by, and state visitors were brought there too. In 1963, when John F. Kennedy came to see it, he found that the East had hung red banners
{ i.e. five perpendicular flags, four of them were red (symbolizing the four-power-status of Berlin), the fifth in the main-gateway was black | red | golden signed with the GDR-coat of arms. klp }between the columns that blocked any view beyond the gate—interpreted as a Cold War gesture with more figurative meaning than the East had intended. In 1987, the gate served as the backdrop for Ronald Reagan’s speech, with bulletproof glass erected behind the rostrum. (Bill Clinton, in 1994, was the first U.S. President privileged to speak on Pariser Platz, under the heads of the quadriga’s horses instead of their posteriors.) 
Both East and West Berliners claimed the gate as the symbol of their city and of their version of German unity. But it may have been the foreign media from the West that made the gate the preeminent symbol of the less telegenic Berlin Wall. During the days after November 9, 1989, the TV networks made the Brandenburg Gate the backdrop for their cameras. It was a fortunate coincidence that the semicircular barrier blocking the gate was the only section of the Wall wide and flat enough to stand (and dance) on. Since the Brandenburg Gate was not a functioning gate, however, the hordes of East Germans actually passed through the Wall elsewhere for several weeks. Finally, on December 22 , 1989. West German chancellor Helmut Kohl led a phalanx of politicians in a ceremony reopening the Brandenburg Gate. Evidence later surfaced that Kohl had in fact pressured the East Germans to delay the opening for five weeks so that he could be present. 
A few days later. New Year’s revelers climbed up to the newly accessihle quadriga and left it seriously damaged. Soon afterward, while the gate was being restored, the quadriga. too, was taken down for a careful restoration. Thereupon controversy erupted anew. The summer of 1991 saw a reprise of the 1958 debate about the quadriga, this time without the Cold War to define positions. A young Christian Democratic member of the Bundestag, Friedbert Pflüger, called for the Iron Cross and Prussian eagle to be left off the restored quaclriga. (They had been preserved since 1958 in an East Berlin museum; the reunification of the quadriga coincided with that of Germany.) His campaign found supponers across the political spectrum, only some of whom could be dismissed as leftists antipathetic to any sign of German national pride. The Berlin press anti public was nonetheless hard on Pflüger. He argued that symbols of Prussian patriotism had no place in the new Germany; but others suspected that his real motive was bitterness over the decision to move the governmcnt from Bonn. He was, more pointedly, accused of wanting to falsify history “à la Ulbricht”. Little attention was paid to his claim that he wanted to restore the original “Gate of Peace” and the original quadriga as it had existed up to 1806. It was easy for Pflüger’s supporters to conclude that Berlin was rejecting historical authenticity in favor of patriotic nostalgia. 
In fact, no one was proposing the return of the goddess’s original staff, gone since 1814, when Schinkel had not merely added the Iron Cross and Prussian eagle but had redesigned the entire staff. The quadriga Napoleon took, for example, had a Roman eagle where the Prussian one later perched. And that had actually been the goddess’s third staff: Schadow’s first two designs had proved so unpopular that he was obligated to replace each of them within months. In other words, the debate in 1991 was between restoring the 1814 quadriga and the 1958 version. Since the latter’s repudiation of Prussian militarism had been the work of Ulbricht’s regime, it found few defenders. Amid good words for Prussian symbols—the Iron Cross, it was pointed out, came out of the wars of liberation against Napoleon, not World War I or II—Berlin’s leaders ceremonially rededicated the restored quadriga, with the staff of 1814-1945 as well as an artificial patina, on August 6, 1991, the two hundredth anniversary of the gate.
The gate itself could thus claim its traditional place as the symbol of Berlin as well as its newer status as the preeminent symbol of unity. Yet it stood in the middle of the city’s main east-west thoroughfare; the symbol of unity physically separated the two Berlins. The relationship between the gate and the all-important circulation of traffic sparked another debate. The attachment many Germans have to their cars has always stopped short of the American practice of tearing down cities to make way for cars, but the passion of Gennan car lovers seems to arouse in Green-thinking Germans the same kind of suspicion that passionate patriotism does. Happily the question of driving through the Brandenburg Gate did not create clear battle lines. Some car haters wanted to reserve the gate for pedestrians and bicyclists, but others thought that the gate could serve to limit and slow auto traffic. Car lovers’ favourited solutions were a tunnel under the gate or a scheme to circumvent it. The latter, in fact, had first proposed at the tum of the century, and Nazi planners as well had sought to remove the buildings on each side of the gate to make way for traffic. In the 1990s, those buildings were long gone, but plans to direct traffic away from the gate were nevertheless opposed by some who thought it should serve as a gate, a symbol or German unity, not a traffic island, and by others who wanted to rebuild Pariser Platz as the enclosed space it once had been. An initial compromise permitted only buses and taxis through the gate, and they were restricted to the wider central passage, once reserved for the emperor’s carriage.
When the monarchy ended in 1918, that central passage was not the only place that lost its identity. For all the turbulence of Berlin’s history under the Hohenzollerns, they arguably presided over a degree of stability that has not been approached in the rest of the twentieth century. Many Berliners are understandably reluctant to frame their identity in terms of the troubled eras that followed: the weak Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the divided city. Hence the wish to reach back to the relatively placid era of monarchs. How can that nostalgia possibly be satisfied? Since hardly anyone actually wants a king, it is difficult to know just what to salvage from the royal past. The much-restored but never removed Brandenburg Gate, with its twice-removed and thrice-reconstructed quadriga, is as authentic a symbol as Berlin can offer. Other buildings, visible or remembered, embody too rich a variety of meanings to permit any consensus about the legacy of old Berlin, or about how to restore it. NOTES
   {N23. Michael S. Cullen and Uwe Kieling, Das Brandenburger Tor: Geschichte
eines deutschen Symbols (Berlin: Argon, 1990), 108.
   {N24. Jürgen Reiche, “Symbolgehalt und Bedeutungswandel eines politischen
Monuments,” in Das Brandenburger Tor: Eine Monographie, ed. Willmuth
Arenhovel and Rolf Bothe (Berlin: Arenhövel, 1991), 304.
   {N25. Peter Möbius and Helmut Trotnow, “Das Mauer-Komplott”, Die
Zeit (overseas ed.), Aug. 16, 1991.
   {N26. Friedrich Morin, Berlin und Potsdam im Jahre 1860 (reprint, Braunschweig:
Archiv-Verlag, 1980), 16.
   {N27. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 18, 1991.
   {N28. Ulrike Krenzlin, “Eisemes Kreuz und Preussen-Adler: Ja oder
Nein?” in Hauptstadt Berlin-wohin mit der Mitte? ed. Helmut Engel and
Wolfgang Ribbe (Berlin: Akademie, 1993), 104-7. SOURCE:  The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape. Brian Ladd. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997, pp70-81, UCSB: HT169.G32B4127 1997}

restored quadriga atop Brandenburg Gate ►pale-verdigris gateway build-up (“horses’-herma”) in gloomy night◄ by quapan on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
The quadriga atop the Brandenburg Gate —restored since 1991— is shining in pale-verdigris against a black backdrop of a gloomy night.

In 1793, — when the so called 'French Revolutionary Wars' all over Europe were to begin —, Schadow installed in an anxious & defiant gesture towards the revolutionary Paris a peace-goddess (PAX) holding up a coronal of olive leaves behind a roman, triumphal carriage. - Under those political circumstances that build-up was obviously meant as an apotropaic allegory against the upcoming, second wave of the Great Revolution which was looming from the other side of the Rhine …

In 1806 that sculpture was of course dislodged and travelled to the Louvre by the victorious Napoléon Bonaparte but already eight years later — in 1814— the booty was tracked down and re-confiscated by the prussian General Blücher. Back in Berlin the restituted trophy was overhauled and revised by Schinkel in 1815: The once pre-reactionary Fräulein PAX (roman peace-goddess) was still turning its back against the Madame France in the West but this time she was classified into a full-blown reactionary NIKE (hellenic victory-goddess). Supporting that lurking tendency he supplemented as some new fittings the erect shaft in between the pairs of horses (“Pferdeherme”), the harness for the four domesticated mammals and the coronet of oak leaves for the goddess, and he set up the “perch”, i.e. the banner-like standard with the iron cross inside a wreath of oak leaves & acorns from which an eagle coronated by a christian cross atop a prussian crown holds lookout.

The iron cross on the Brandenburg was posted in 1815 and contains the initials ‘FW’ and the figure ‘1813’ in remembrance of its endowment as the prussian war decoration by Friedrich Wilhelm III. in the year 1813 which marks the beginning of the first restoration—the second such reanimation was instigated by the Hitlerists in 1933 under the pompous title “Third Reich”—of the 1806 passed away cadaver of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation by ‘freedom wars’ ('Befreiungskriege') that were the prussian tribute to 'the wars of the 6th coalition' (1812-1814) for breaking Napoleon’s hegemony over Europe. On 18th Oktober 1913, i.e. at the eve of WWI, all around the victory goddess of the Brandenburg triumphal arch a wilhelmine state act was held by the german emperor; like everywhere in the suburbs of the Berlin and the German Reich it was celebrated the centenary of the Battle of Leipzig

Originally an emblematic build-up to the Restoration epoch (1815-1848) the “horses’—herma” was rededicated in 1991 and refurbished 2000/02 by private businessmen and the Berlin Monument Conservation Foundation that were sponsored to indulge their “faible” for the “imperial prussian flair”.





The Brandenburg Gate in 1945 was one of the few structures still standing on the Pariser Platz but the relics of the copper quadriga atop it had to be melted down; only the head of one of the four horses was preserved and can be visited in the Märkisches Museum. In 1958 a replica of bronze was built up to replace the copper quadriga.
Vehicles and pedestrians could travel freely through the thouroughfare until 13th August 1961; then the wall with its death strip ran just behind it.

On 26th of June 1963, — two years after the put-up of the Wall —, U.S. President John F. Kennedy officially visited West-Berlin and the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate, where he himself and the West-Berlin mayor wanted him to deliver his prepared speech but the west-german chancellor which was demonstratively all the time accompanying him agreed with the western allies that the venue near the soviet sector would have been much too provocative. So he could not hold his oratio in sight of the contended cold-war-focus-point but had to shift to another location: That was the square in front of the office-building of the then ruling mayor Willy Brandt. Unlike Ronald Reagan who could easily overtake the venue twenty four years later—only protected by transparent bullet-proof glass to prevent potential snipers from behind the wall and two decades of détente (“Ostpolitik”) followed up by glasnost & perestroika.
«Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was “civis romanus sum” {translation lat-engl: “I’m a roman citizen”}. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is „Ich bin ein Berliner“. {translation ger-engl: “I’m a Berliner”, after these four words interpreter Lochner is heard whispering instructions to him on how to pronounce the four german words more correctly, and he’s answering insinuatingly into the open microphone: “I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!”}
{JFK continues:} There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. „Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen! [Lust z nach Bearlen comen]“ Let them come to Berlin. - KA: „Aber lass auch Sie nach Berlin kommen!“ {heckled the standing-by Bundeskanzler Konrad Adenauer who obviously had’nt quite understood the english words of the speech}
{JFK continues:} Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. … While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, …
… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words „Ich bin ein Berliner!“
» (speech by President John F. Kennedy on 26 June 1963 at ‘Rathaus Schöneberg’ in West-Berlin
When he tried to take sight of the Brandenburg Gate on that sultry summerday climbing on the tourists’ platform on the then Hindenburg-Platz he was ‘welcomed’ by large red curtains that were hung into the five doorways of the arch to prevent the VIP from speaking and spying to the East …

In the 1980s, decrying the existence of two German states, the then West Berlin mayor Richard von Weizsäcker said:
The German question will remain open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed.”


On June 12, 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan spoke to the West Berlin populace at the Brandenburg Gate:
To those listening in East Berlin, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. … we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace …Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere — that sphere that towers over all Berlin the light makes the sign of the cross.
Demanding the razing of the Berlin Wall and addressing the then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan said:
And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world. To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.
… There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. 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! … The wall cannot withstand freedom.

On July 12, 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton spoke at the Gate about peace in post-Cold War Europe.
On December 21, 2000, the Brandenburg Gate was privately refurbished at a 6 million $ cost.
Depiction of German euro coinage: On the obverse sides of the 1 € and 2 € coins, there are stylized prussian eagles; on the the 50¢, 20¢ and 10¢ coins there are the Brandenburg Gates; on the 5¢, 2¢ and 1¢ coins there are twigs with five oak leaves and two acorns.


The Brandenburg Gate & The Wall
Berlin, it is worth remembering, came of age as a garrison town. Though Friedrich Wilhelm I was not interested in beautifying the city, he did seek to promote its growth. Needing more space to quarter soldiers and more artisans to supply their needs, he gave away hundreds of lots and compelled the recipients to build houses on them. He expanded the city limits and, in the 1730s, replaced the Great Elector’s old fortifications with a new wall built around the expanded city. This was not a fortification but a customs barrier to regulate commerce and prevent soldiers from deserting. (For all the differences, in both these purposes we can see a resemblance to Ulbricht’s later wall.) Among the wall’s eighteen gates, the most prominent lay at the southern and western edges of the expanded Friedrichstadt, where large plazas were laid out inside the gates: a circular plaza inside the southern Halle Gate, an octagon at the Potsdam Gate, and a square at the western terminus of Unter den Linden. Friedrich Wilhelm envisioned all three spaces as military parade grounds.
The last of these gates concludes our look at the eighteenthcentury city. It marks the outer end of the grand axis of Unter den Linden, scene of royal processions, military parades, and elegant promenades throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Though it is not the original Brandenburg all that remains of the eighteenth-century wall, apart from a fragment excavated in Stresemannstrasse. The original baroque gate that separated Unter den Linden from the Tiergarten was replaced at the order of King Friedrich Wilhelm II, Frederick the Great’s successor. The commission given to the architect Carl Gotthard Langhans ushered in a new era in Berlin architecture. To the end of his long life (in 1786), Frederick the Great had insisted on building in ornate rococo forms that had long since fallen from favor in Europe’s more fashionable capitals. Langhans’s Brandenburg Gate, completed in 1791, brought the more severe lines of neoclassicism to Berlin.
Langhans’s simple design, modeled on the Propylaea of Athens, comprises a double row of Doric columns that frame five openings. The gate’s other famous feature is the copper quadriga that was mounted atop it in 1793. This work of the young sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow portrays a goddess riding in a chariot drawn by four horses galloping into the city. The Brandenburg Gate, with its quadriga, has long been Berlin’s most famous symbol, rivaled only by the more ephemeral Wall. Its image has adorned commemorative coins, playing cards, historicist and expressionist paintings, posters for all kinds of events, and East and West Berlin postcards and tourist brochures. It may be an admirable work of architecture and sculpture, but that does not explain its symbolic resonance. Nor does its intended function. Unlike many nineteenth-century structures, it was not erected as a national monument. Its size and form made it much more than a utilitarian structure, but it was nevertheless a functional gate in the city wall, flanked by guardhouses.
History has made the Brandenburg Gate a German monument. At first its official name was the “Gate of Peace”; it was not, after all, a Roman triumphal arch. But its identity changed in 1806, when Napoleon defeated Prussia and triumphantly entered its capital through the western gate. He showed his admiration for the quadriga by ordering that it be taken down and shipped to Paris to join his other confiscated art treasures. The emperor thus became known locally as the “horse thief of Berlin”, and the denuded gate became the symbol of Prussian and German resistance. In 1813 Schadow himself proposed to fill the quadriga’s place atop the gate with an enormous cast of the Iron Cross, the new military medal designed by Schinkel at the behest of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Upon Napoleon’s defeat in 1814, however, a triumphant procession returned the quadriga to Berlin, the neighboring square was renamed Paris Square (Pariser Platz), and the “Gate of Peace” became a “Gate of Victory”. Schinkel designed new insignia for the goddess’s staff: a Prussian eagle and, within a wreath, the Iron Cross.
Thereafter, the gate became ever more firmly established as a symbol of Prussia and its capital. It became the traditional backdrop for military parades (following Napoleon’s example) and for the ceremonial reception of state guests. When the entire customs wall was tom down in the 1860s, the Brandenburg Gate remained; from then on, it was strictly a monument. After Germany was unified under Prussian leadership in 1871, the victorious troops returning from France were welcomed at the Brandenburg Gate. The Prussian monument had become firmly established as a German national symbol, the site of many more ceremonies before soldiers marched through it on their way back to France in 1914. The Nazis, too, embraced the old symbol of victory. The night Hitler was appointed chancellor, January 30, 1933, thousands of torch-bearing Nazi brownshirts marched through the gate.
When the bombers came, the Nazis generally did a better job of evacuating art treasures than saving people. But they apparently did not dare risk morale by removing the goddess and her horses. Instead, in 1942 they had plaster casts made of the quadriga. By 1945, when Soviet soldiers planted their red flag atop the gate, it was badly damaged and only fragments of the quadriga remained. The East German leaders who inherited these ruins decided to keep the gate and adopt it as their own. The shattered quadriga’s fate was less certain. Artists and politicians entertained several proposals for a suitable new sculpture: a group of workers, children dancing around a globe, a mother with child, Picasso’s dove of peace. A Western newspaper, hearing of the last proposal in 1949, declared that if the dove of peace were to nest placidly at the entrance to the Communist world, the West would be obliged to raise a banner in front of the gate with the words Dante had affixed to the gates of Hell in his lnferno: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” {N23} Eventually, however, the East decided to restore the quadriga instead.
Unfortunately, the gate stood in the Soviet sector, the plaster casts were in the West, and during the 1950s the two regimes were busy denouncing each other as criminals and usurpers. After the failed uprising against the East German government on June 17, 1953, the West renamed the street that continued Unter den Linden west of the gate “the Street of 17 June.“ But the two Berlins had only one Brandenburg Gate, and it provided a rare opportunity for cooperation. West Berlin agreed to recreate the statues while the East restored the gate. This joint venture did not, of course, proceed without incident. In 1958 the reconstructed quadriga was brought to the sectoral boundary, a few steps from the gate, and simply left there for the East Germans to claim. Before putting it up, the Easterners sawed the Prussian eagle off the top of the goddess’s staff and the Iron Cross out of the wreath. For the Western public, this was vandalism and deceit, but it should not really have been a surprise. In 1957 West Germany had legalized the display of the Iron Cross, which the GDR had banned as a militarist symbol. In 1958 the Eastern press was filled with editorials and letters demanding the removal of these “fascist“ ornaments. The Brandenburg Gate was once again to be a gate of peace, declared the East Berlin government. {N24}
With the goddess’s staff crowned only by a wreath, the quadriga and gate would remain from 1958 until 1990; only their surroundings would change utterly. At first the gate still filtered traffic passing across the sector line between the Tiergarten and the shattered ruins along Unter den Linden. As the two halves of the city grew apart, the gate acquired a rich new symbolic resonance, captured, for example, in scenes of the 1961 American comedy film One, Two, Three, directed by Billy Wilder (whose ties to Berlin went back to the 1920s) and starring James Cagney as a representative of the Coca-Cola Company caught between the intrigues of Communists and ex-Nazis.
But the film was a commercial flop: by the time it was completed, the Wall had made crossing the Brandenburg Gate anything but a laughing matter. Because the western edge of the Mitte district coincided with the location of Friedrich Wilhelm I’s wall, the sectoral boundary followed the same course after 1945, and after 1961, so did a long stretch of the new wall. The Brandenburg Gate was thus once again part of a wall. Here was a historical continuity that no one wanted to acknowledge. This time it was not a gate; the crossing points lay elsewhere. Erich Honecker, the Politbüro member in charge of national security and hence the man directing construction of the Wall, apparently pressed for the gate’s closure because he thought any activity around it would attract Western media attention, demonstrations, and provocations.{N25} He was probably right, but he may also have been swayed by his own regime’s frequent evocation of the Napoleon-like specter of West German troops marching triumphantly through the Brandenburg Gate on their way to destroy peace and socialism.
Both the gate and the quadriga had been designed to face into the City—that is, to the east. That is not what a visitor would expect, but the gate’s intended audience was local residents, not outsiders. The folk memory of Berlin seems to offer evidence of confusion on this point. Visitors are often told that the quadriga Originally faced the other direction and was turned around at some point—something that never happened. This is an old legend: an 1860 guidebook asserts that the goddess had faced away from town before Napoleon, but had been reerected looking inward in 1814.{N26} Late-twentieth-century versions of the legend tend to be vaguer about the date of the reversal; Ulbricht as well as Napoleon comes under suspicion as a possible culprit.
In its uncertain stance toward inside and outside, residents and visitors, the Brandenburg Gate resembled nothing so much as its newer neighbor, the Berlin Wall. With the Wall’s presence, the poignancy of the gate as symbol became stronger than ever. On its Eastern side, Pariser Platz starkly illustrated the desolation brought by the Wall. Once among Berlin’s most elegant squares, a place of palaces, the French and U.S. embassies, the Academy of Arts, and the city’s premier hotel, the Adlon, it was now bare except for the gate and the Wall. Tourists were restricted to its far end, but distinguished guests and officially invited delegations were brought to the gate and asked to admire the work of the border guards. From the Western side, the gate was now entirely inaccessible, and could only be seen from a dead-end street in the middle of the Tiergarten. Nevertheless, tourist buses regularly came by, and state visitors were brought there too. In 1963, when John F. Kennedy came to see it, he found that the East had hung red banners

i.e. five perpendicular flags, four of them were red (symbolizing the four-power-status of Berlin), the fifth in the main-gateway was black | red | golden signed with the GDR-coat of arms. klp }
between the columns that blocked any view beyond the gate—interpreted as a Cold War gesture with more figurative meaning than the East had intended. In 1987, the gate served as the backdrop for Ronald Reagan’s speech, with bulletproof glass erected behind the rostrum. (Bill Clinton, in 1994, was the first U.S. President privileged to speak on Pariser Platz, under the heads of the quadriga’s horses instead of their posteriors.)
Both East and West Berliners claimed the gate as the symbol of their city and of their version of German unity. But it may have been the foreign media from the West that made the gate the preeminent symbol of the less telegenic Berlin Wall. During the days after November 9, 1989, the TV networks made the Brandenburg Gate the backdrop for their cameras. It was a fortunate coincidence that the semicircular barrier blocking the gate was the only section of the Wall wide and flat enough to stand (and dance) on. Since the Brandenburg Gate was not a functioning gate, however, the hordes of East Germans actually passed through the Wall elsewhere for several weeks. Finally, on December 22 , 1989. West German chancellor Helmut Kohl led a phalanx of politicians in a ceremony reopening the Brandenburg Gate. Evidence later surfaced that Kohl had in fact pressured the East Germans to delay the opening for five weeks so that he could be present.
A few days later. New Year’s revelers climbed up to the newly accessihle quadriga and left it seriously damaged. Soon afterward, while the gate was being restored, the quadriga. too, was taken down for a careful restoration. Thereupon controversy erupted anew. The summer of 1991 saw a reprise of the 1958 debate about the quadriga, this time without the Cold War to define positions. A young Christian Democratic member of the Bundestag, Friedbert Pflüger, called for the Iron Cross and Prussian eagle to be left off the restored quaclriga. (They had been preserved since 1958 in an East Berlin museum; the reunification of the quadriga coincided with that of Germany.) His campaign found supponers across the political spectrum, only some of whom could be dismissed as leftists antipathetic to any sign of German national pride. The Berlin press anti public was nonetheless hard on Pflüger. He argued that symbols of Prussian patriotism had no place in the new Germany; but others suspected that his real motive was bitterness over the decision to move the governmcnt from Bonn. He was, more pointedly, accused of wanting to falsify history “à la Ulbricht”. Little attention was paid to his claim that he wanted to restore the original “Gate of Peace” and the original quadriga as it had existed up to 1806. It was easy for Pflüger’s supporters to conclude that Berlin was rejecting historical authenticity in favor of patriotic nostalgia.
In fact, no one was proposing the return of the goddess’s original staff, gone since 1814, when Schinkel had not merely added the Iron Cross and Prussian eagle but had redesigned the entire staff. The quadriga Napoleon took, for example, had a Roman eagle where the Prussian one later perched. And that had actually been the goddess’s third staff: Schadow’s first two designs had proved so unpopular that he was obligated to replace each of them within months. In other words, the debate in 1991 was between restoring the 1814 quadriga and the 1958 version. Since the latter’s repudiation of Prussian militarism had been the work of Ulbricht’s regime, it found few defenders. Amid good words for Prussian symbols—the Iron Cross, it was pointed out, came out of the wars of liberation against Napoleon, not World War I or II—Berlin’s leaders ceremonially rededicated the restored quadriga, with the staff of 1814-1945 as well as an artificial patina, on August 6, 1991, the two hundredth anniversary of the gate.
The gate itself could thus claim its traditional place as the symbol of Berlin as well as its newer status as the preeminent symbol of unity. Yet it stood in the middle of the city’s main east-west thoroughfare; the symbol of unity physically separated the two Berlins. The relationship between the gate and the all-important circulation of traffic sparked another debate. The attachment many Germans have to their cars has always stopped short of the American practice of tearing down cities to make way for cars, but the passion of Gennan car lovers seems to arouse in Green-thinking Germans the same kind of suspicion that passionate patriotism does. Happily the question of driving through the Brandenburg Gate did not create clear battle lines. Some car haters wanted to reserve the gate for pedestrians and bicyclists, but others thought that the gate could serve to limit and slow auto traffic. Car lovers’ favourited solutions were a tunnel under the gate or a scheme to circumvent it. The latter, in fact, had first proposed at the tum of the century, and Nazi planners as well had sought to remove the buildings on each side of the gate to make way for traffic. In the 1990s, those buildings were long gone, but plans to direct traffic away from the gate were nevertheless opposed by some who thought it should serve as a gate, a symbol or German unity, not a traffic island, and by others who wanted to rebuild Pariser Platz as the enclosed space it once had been. An initial compromise permitted only buses and taxis through the gate, and they were restricted to the wider central passage, once reserved for the emperor’s carriage.
When the monarchy ended in 1918, that central passage was not the only place that lost its identity. For all the turbulence of Berlin’s history under the Hohenzollerns, they arguably presided over a degree of stability that has not been approached in the rest of the twentieth century. Many Berliners are understandably reluctant to frame their identity in terms of the troubled eras that followed: the weak Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the divided city. Hence the wish to reach back to the relatively placid era of monarchs. How can that nostalgia possibly be satisfied? Since hardly anyone actually wants a king, it is difficult to know just what to salvage from the royal past. The much-restored but never removed Brandenburg Gate, with its twice-removed and thrice-reconstructed quadriga, is as authentic a symbol as Berlin can offer. Other buildings, visible or remembered, embody too rich a variety of meanings to permit any consensus about the legacy of old Berlin, or about how to restore it.

NOTES
   {N23. Michael S. Cullen and Uwe Kieling, Das Brandenburger Tor: Geschichte
eines deutschen Symbols
(Berlin: Argon, 1990), 108.
   {N24. Jürgen Reiche, “Symbolgehalt und Bedeutungswandel eines politischen
Monuments,” in Das Brandenburger Tor: Eine Monographie, ed. Willmuth
Arenhovel and Rolf Bothe (Berlin: Arenhövel, 1991), 304.
   {N25. Peter Möbius and Helmut Trotnow, “Das Mauer-Komplott”, Die
Zeit
(overseas ed.), Aug. 16, 1991.
   {N26. Friedrich Morin, Berlin und Potsdam im Jahre 1860 (reprint, Braunschweig:
Archiv-Verlag, 1980), 16.
   {N27. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 18, 1991.
   {N28. Ulrike Krenzlin, “Eisemes Kreuz und Preussen-Adler: Ja oder
Nein?” in Hauptstadt Berlin-wohin mit der Mitte? ed. Helmut Engel and
Wolfgang Ribbe (Berlin: Akademie, 1993), 104-7.
SOURCE: The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape. Brian Ladd. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997, pp70-81, UCSB: HT169.G32B4127 1997}