Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden is the most famous Berlin boulevard, several of the city’s most famous sights are concentrated here. It stretches for about one and a half kilometers in the very center of the city – from the Brandenburg Gate to the Museum Island.
Today Unter den Linden is Berlin’s main “calling card”.
The name of the street in literal translation from German means – “Under the lime trees.” It appeared after the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm decided to improve the road on which he regularly traveled to his Tiergarten hunting grounds in the 17th century. According to the Dutch model, a thousand lindens and a thousand walnut trees were planted in three rows along the road. At that time, almost the entire road was outside the city walls.
Excursions in Berlin
Excursions in Berlin with professional Russian guides. Sightseeing tours. Excursions to the Reichstag, to the museums of Berlin.
Over 20 guides and companies
As the city was constantly growing, the border moved further and further, the enterprising wife of the Elector Dorothea divided the uninhabited area along the road into parts, and began to sell land. So the suburb of Berlin grew, and later – the district of Dorotheenstadt (the city of Dorothea) with the houses of courtiers and wealthy citizens.
Unter den Linden reached its heyday under the rule of King Prussia Friedrich the Great (Friedrich der Große). The King’s court architect, Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, built here the Forum of Frederick (Forum Fridericianum), today’s Bebelplatz, the Opera House (Opernhaus), the Catholic Cathedral of St. Jadwiga (Royal Sankt-Hedwigs-Kathed) the library and palace of Prince Heinrich (Palais des Prinzen Heinrich).
In the XIX century, after the victory over Napoleon, King Frederick William III decides to make Unter den Linden a triumphal alley. The Unter den Linden architectural ensemble included the Brandenburg Gate with the famous quadriga and Paris Square, as well as the equestrian statue of Frederick the Great, installed in the center of the street.
In the XIX century, the street was rapidly filled with new buildings, fashionable shops, hotels, restaurants, office premises appeared here. In 1880, even a special “Lindniy” law was issued prohibiting building houses on the street above 22 meters, prescribing a street width of 60 meters and a minimum number of linden trees growing on the street of 297 pieces.
Since the end of the 19th century, Unter den Linden has been transformed from a boulevard to the central thoroughfare of Berlin. In 1916, for aesthetic reasons, the emperor ordered the construction of a tunnel under the street.
In Nazi times, troops marched along Unter den Linden, so the obstructing lindens were simply torn down.
During World War II, the street was almost completely destroyed. In 1950, the Hohenzollern palace-residence was blown up; later, the GDR authorities built an asbestos Palace of the Republic in its place. After the reunification of Germany, the Palace of the Republic, in turn, was demolished, and work is currently underway to restore the Royal Palace.
In the days of the GDR, the townspeople called Unter den Linden “the most chic dead end of the world” – there was a border zone between east and west Berlin. Most of the historic buildings on the street were restored in the sixties.
Today on Unter den Linden street linden trees are planted again, under which citizens and many tourists walk. In addition, there are museums, a theater, several embassies, including the Russian one, the building of the Humboldt University, hotels, shops.
Attractions on Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the German capital. There really are a lot of interesting things here.
The Brandenburg Gate is the only, to some extent preserved, of the 18 city gates of Berlin. They were rebuilt in the form of a triumphal arch in 1793 by order of King of Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm II c. classicism style. Unter den Linden begins at the gate.
The Brandenburg Gate is crowned by the famous sculptural composition Quadriga – four harnessed horses, controlled by the goddess of victory Victoria. This is the most popular attraction in Berlin. Many historical moments of the city and the country as a whole are connected with it.
Paris Square adjoins directly to the Brandenburg Gate. Initially, several palaces of the city aristocracy overlooked the square. Today, it houses official buildings such as the US Embassy, the United Nations Office, the French Embassy and banks. Paris Square is completely freed from traffic, flowerbeds are laid out here, benches and fountains are installed.
The Adlon Hotel closes the south side of Paris Square. This is one of the most fashionable and most famous hotels in Berlin; today it belongs to the Kempinski hotel chain.