The Brandenburger Door

If Berlin is the heart of Germany, then the Brandenburger Door is the heart of the city. The Family and I have walked through it every time we were in Berlin. We like the idea that we add to the throng of tourists who stand round to gawk at the late 18th century relic of the Prussian state: ordered by Frederik the Great, and designed by Karl Langhans.

I love the history of the chariot atop the gate, which was sculpted by Johann Schadow. It was supposed to depict Irene, the Greek goddess of peace. Napoleon captured Berlin and took the sculpture to Paris. It was supposed to have been placed atop the Arc de Triomphe, but Napoleon was defeated before the arch could be completed. The sculpture was recovered in 1814 by the Prussian general Bluecher, and put back in its place in Berlin. It was blown to bits during the second world war, and only the head of a horse survived. The most recent quadriga was completed in 1990 after the reunification of Germany.

I liked the gray sky and the warm lights in the featured photo. I wonder what that unmarked white van is doing there: it looks like something out of a cold war spy story.