The position of the Brandenburg Gate was
"of its kind undisputedly the most beautiful in the whole world" and
therefore he took the Propylaeum on the Acropolis in Athens "as the model", as Carl
Gotthard Langhans wrote on his design which was implemented in 1789-91. The
present emblem of the city was only one of a total of 18 city gates; the
position and names of the other gates can often still be seen on a street map.
But this gate was by far the most elaborate - most gates just consisted of two
Construction work began in the year of the French Revolution,
and it was the first building in Berlin's
architectural history to be based on models from Greek antiquity - a trend
which eventually led Berlin to be called
"Athens on the Spree".
The gate with its angled side wings (the guard houses) originally joined
directly onto the city wall, but when the city wall was demolished in 1867-68,
pedestrian passages were created in the side halls and column halls were built
in front of the plain western front.