Tag Archives: Brandenburg Gate

Snapshot: Brandenburger Tor – The Brandenburg Gate At Night

Brandenburger Tor - Brandenburg Gate at Night

The Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is arguably one of the world’s most recognisable structures and has become a symbol for the city of Berlin.

I remember visiting the Brandenburg Gate on my first morning in Berlin and looking up at the stonework marvelling at the fact that it was completed in 1791.

Throughout history, the Brandenburg Gate has been the backdrop to political upheaval, flashpoints and celebrations.

In 1806 Napoleon removed the Quadriga, the statue of the goddess Victoria driving a chariot drawn by four horses that sits atop the gate, and took it back with him to Paris.

In 1987 Ronald Reagan delivered the line “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall” from a podium set up near the gate.  The spot is now marked by a memorial.

And who could forget the images beamed around the world in 1989 of the celebrations atop the wall here when travel restrictions between East and West were lifted.

Berlin Festival of Lights 2012

The 8th annual Festival of Lights is taking place in Berlin 10 – 21 October.  During the festival, a number of Berlin’s most famous landmarks and some lesser known buildings have been transformed with light installations, laser animations and video projections.

I started my tour of the Festival of Lights locations on Saturday in the Gendarmenmarkt, which I chose as there are 3 buildings taking part in close proximity.

Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral)

One of a pair of similar, though not identical, churches on the Gendarmenmarkt, the Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral) is on the southern side of the square.

The Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral) lit up during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Konzerthaus Berlin (Berlin Concert House)

Nestled between the two churches on the Gendarmenmarkt is Konzerthaus Berlin (Berlin Concert House).

A video projection on the Konzerthaus Berlin (Berlin Concert House) during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Französischer Dom (French Cathedral)

The Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) certainly looked very different from when I climbed it in January.

Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) lit up in many colours during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

It wasn’t just the fronts of some buildings that were lit up.  This statue lit up in orange on the side of the Französischer Dom caught my eye.

A statue on the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) lit orange during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

The Fernsehturm (TV Tower)

The Fernsehturm has to be one of my favourite buildings in Berlin.  Dominating the city skyline, at 368m it is visible from almost everywhere.  The views from it are also spectacular and I was fortunate enough to watch the sunset from the Fernsehturm recently.

Fernsehturm (TV Tower) and in the foreground a boat streaks past on the Spree during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

A bus streak past the Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall) and the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) lit up during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

On Sunday, I was lucky enough to be invited by my friends Bine and Gilly (of Gilly’s Playground) to take a tour of a number of West Berlin locations for Festival of Lights.  After an excellent Lasagne, we headed off in the car with Bine driving.

This allowed me to see some installations beyond the centre of Berlin that I wouldn’t otherwise have got to.

Siemens AG had lit up a number of buildings in the Siemensstadt.

Siemens AG Turbinenfabrik

A light projection on the Siemens AG Turbinenfabrik during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Siemens Technopark

A light instillation in the Siemens AG clock tower at Technopark during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Siemens AG Siemensdamm 50

A light projection on the Siemens AG building at Siemensdamm 50 during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Siemens AG Nonnendammallee 101

A light projection on the Siemens AG building at Nonnendammallee 101 during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

RBB Fernsehsendezentrum (RBB TV Broadcasting Centre)

The roof terrace of the RBB Fernsehsendezentrum (RBB TV Broadcasting Centre) was transformed by its light installation.

The roof terrace of the RBB (Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg) building lit up during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Funkturm

The Funkturm was West Berlin’s TV Tower and whilst dwarfed by its counterpart in the East is still an impressive building, especially when it’s lit up against the night sky.

A bus streaks past the Funkturm (West Berlin TV Tower) and Messe Berlin lit up during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Funkturm (West Berlin TV Tower) lit up during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Elefantentor am Zoologischer Garten (The Elephant Gate at Berlin Zoo)

The larger of Berlin’s two zoos, the Zoologischer Garten is said to be the most visited zoo in Europe.  It is located within The Tiergarten, which is certainly worth a visit in its own right.

Elefantentor am Zoologischer Garten (The Elephant Gate at Berlin Zoo) lit up during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

The Siegessäule (Victory Column)

Known by Berliners as Gold Else, the Siegessäule (Victory Column) towers over the Tiergarten and affords spectacular views of Berlin, as you can see from my post here.

The Sigessäule (Victory Column) lit up during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

The light projections at the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) are sponsored by Urlaubsland Österreich (Tourist Country Austria) and had what I originally assumed was a ‘Winter’ theme.

When I first went here on Saturday there was a silent disco taking place on the Lustgarten so the area was incredibly crowded with people so I went back on Monday for some clearer shots.

The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) with a snowflakes projection by Urlaubsland Österreich (Tourist Country Austria) during the Festival of Lights

The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) with a wintry projection by Urlaubsland Österreich (Tourist Country Austria) during the Festival of Lights

The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) with a Christmas Tree projection by Urlaubsland Österreich (Tourist Country Austria) during the Festival of Lights

Brandenburger Tor (The Brandenburg Gate)

Brandenburger Tor (The Brandenburg Gate) is probably Berlin’s most internationally recognised landmark and a symbol for the city.

A video projection spectacularly transforms the gate into a busy apartment building.

Brandenburger Tor (The Brandenburg Gate) made to look like apartments during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

But a more simple light projection is also effective.

Brandenburger Tor (The Brandenburg Gate) lit up in many colours during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

With light shows at 68 locations across Berlin during Festival of Lights 2012, I still have more to see and recommend that anyone in Berlin between now and 21 October finds time to take in the lights.

Demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Sunflower - A protester near the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) in Berlin during a demonstration over cuts in Solar Power subsidies

There was a demonstration in progress when I was walking near the Brandenburg Gate yesterday.

From what I could gather from the placards being waved and this article on the website of Berlin newspaper, Beliner Morgenpost, the issue seems to be proposed cuts in funding for Solar Energy production, including cuts in subsidies for Solar Panel installations.  It would appear that the economic effects of the cuts in the form of job losses and concern over the alternatives were as much a factor in the protest as the environmental impact.

Some of the roads immediately to the West of the Brandenburg Gate had been closed to accommodate the rally.  Those fortunate enough to be climbing the ramp inside Norman Foster’s cupola, on the roof of the Reichstag, at the time of the demonstration were afforded a bird’s eye view of proceedings.

Job Killer - Protesters near the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) in Berlin during a demonstration over cuts in Solar Power subsidies

Nuclear Power No Thanks - A protester near the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) in Berlin during a demonstration over cuts in Solar Power subsidies

And it seems that Darth Vader was on hand in case things got out of control.  He was milling around on the other side of the Brandenburg Gate having his photo taken with tourists and monitoring for signs of disturbances in the Force.

A street performer dressed as Darth Vader in front of the Brandbenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) on Pariser Platz in Berlin