Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Brandenburg Gate, with its six banks of neo-classical columns, the triumphal arch at the start of Berlin's major central thoroughfare, seemed like a gate in Roman times, a clear boundary between the city and the countryside. In front of the Gate, the wide empty expanse of the start of Unter den Linden stretched away. On the right, buildings were crammed together, as though crowded within the walls of an over-populated and rapidly growing city, the square towers and shallow central dome of the Reichstag rising above everything else. Behind the Gate, as though it were wild and open countryside, were the trees of the Tiergarten. Beyond these was Charlottenburg, and the other fashionable western suburbs, safe, middleclass, comfortable. From amongst the trees of the Tiergarten, Victory rose up on her column, and above the Gate another figure of Victory, in a chariot pulled by hour horses, faced down Unter den Linden.

--Peter Rushforth, Kindergarten

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