The Brandenburg Gate is one of the most significant landmarks in Berlin, symbolizing German and European history, as well as peace and unity.
The Brandenburg Gate was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia and built from 1788 to 1791 in Neoclassical style. It marked the start of a road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg an der Havel. A quadriga conceived by the sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow was added to the ensemble in 1793. This sculpture of a chariot drawn by four horses was driven by Eirene, the Greek goddess of peace. During World War II, the Brandenburg Gate was badly damaged, but remained standing. As it was located in the sector occupied and administered by the Soviet Union, the Soviet flag was flown atop the gate from 1945 until 1957, when it was replaced by an East German flag. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and Germany was reunified shortly thereafter, the gate became a symbol of freedom and unity.