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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Brandenburg Gate

For some reason and I'm not sure why this was the place I wanted to see. Perhaps it was the one place that I recall various political figures always visited when they were in Berlin, so a real iconic part of Berlin. The Brandenburg gate has a lot of historical significance.  It was built in 1791 as a gate/triumphal arch. Napoleon marched under the arch in 1806 and took with him the horse drawn chariot which adorned the top of the arch although this was returned a few years later. The gate was also a favourite place for Nazi marches and when the Wall was built the Gate became part of it, placing it in the Eastern sector and so a symbol of the city's separation.

After the wall came down, the Brandenburg gate was reopened on 22nd December 1989 and now stands as the symbol of reunification of Berlin.

JF Kennedy looking at the Gate in 1963. It was during this visit that Kennedy made his famous speech on the Cold War outside the city hall to 300,000 people

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' sic nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin........... 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!"

It was later said that there was laughter at Kennedy's use of the word Berliner as it can be translated as jam doughnut although that is probably just an urban myth as in Berlin jam doughnuts are usually called Pfannkuchen.


  1. Kennedy in Berlin I remember so well and the excitement it gave when he made his speech with the famous words. It all seems so short ago, but it was in the sixties! Interesting history.

  2. Last time I was there the place was full of East Europeans selling Russian army memorabilia and tat.
    This is the road leading up to the gate on the west side before the wal came down.

  3. I bet you said that to yourself at some point when you were there.

  4. More than true ! People can't imagine how life was before the wall fell !

  5. It's beautiful and historical! Hopefully when people see it, that they would be reminded of how life was back then and appreciate what they have now!

  6. I lived for a year(and hubby 3y.) in Berlin, so I understand what you're saying. To really understand you have to visit Berlin to get a glimpse of it!


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