Under the Lime-Trees Avenue Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden in Berlin's Mitte district is the famous broad avenue some 1,400 m/1,517yd long reaching from Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate to the Lustgarten. From 1573 there was a riding track here, used by the Elector on his way to the Tiergarten to hunt. In 1647 the Great Elector caused six rows of nut trees and limes to be planted along the road, but when it was surfaced in 1675 these were removed, and it was 1946 before more young limes were planted here.
Under the Lime-Trees Avenue Map
Modeled after the Acropolis of Athens, the Brandenburg gate is a monumental structure made from Sandstone.
Former German State Library
The first "Electoral Library at Cölln on the River Spree" was housed from 1661 in the Apothecaries' Wing (as it was known) of the Berlin Palace. In 1780 it was moved to the Old Library, popularly known as the "Chest of Drawers" (Kommode). Where the present library now stands was, until 1902, the site of the old royal stables built between 1687-1700 by Johann Arnold Hering and Martin Grünberg, and contained the Academy of Science and the Academy of Arts. In its Red Hall Johann Gottlieb Fichte gave his famous "Addresses to the German Nation" between 1807-08. Built between 1903-14 to plans by Ernst von Ihnen in the Neo-baroque style, this library was originally known as the Royal Library, but renamed Prussian State Library after the end of the First World War, a name it kept until 1945 when the East Germans changed it to German State Library. In 1939 the library boasted some 3,820,000 volumes. During the Second World War they were evacuated to more than 30 places throughout Germany. Today the collection has grown to more than six million books and 600,000 manuscripts, maps and incunabula. Twelve reading rooms, 430 desks and 130,000 volumes in a reference library are available to the public.
Equestrian Statue of Frederick the Great
After having been temporarily transferred to the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, the 13.5 m/44ft high statue of Frederick the Great by C. D. Rauch (1851) was re-erected here in the middle of Berlin's Unter den Linden, between Humboldt University and the State Library, in 1980. The statue, one of Rauch's masterpieces, depicts the king riding on his favorite horse, Condé, wearing his coronation robes, three-cornered hat and topboots and holding a stick. On four large tablets on the lower part of the base are the names of 60 of the leading men from Frederick's reign. Above these are life-size figures of generals, on the west side men of politics, art and science, with cavalry commanders at the corners including Prince Henry of Prussia, Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick and Generals Friedrick Wilhelm von Saydlitz and Hans Joachim von Ziethen. Above these again are bas-reliefs of scenes from Frederick's life and allegorical figures.
Humboldt University is a small university in Berlin with memorials to the founder, whom the university is named for, and various scholars such as Brothers Grimm, Einstein, and Planck.
The New Guardhouse was built in 1818 by K. F. Schinkel, but was altered in 1969. It is now a memorial dedicated to victims of Fascism and Militarism.
The German State Opera House has been rebuilt many times, most recently in the early 1950s. It was fully restored in the 1980s.
St Hedwig's Cathedral
The building of the Baroque St Hedwig's cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Berlin and modeled on the Pantheon in Rome, began in 1747 (architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff). The money required to build it was collected in Roman Catholic countries by a Carmelite monk named Mecenati. The site was provided by Frederick the Great. Apart from the Cathedral, St Hedwig's is the only church built in Berlin during the time of Frederick the Great. After the end of the Seven Years' War, building continued in 1772 under the direction of Johann Boumann the Elder, and the church was consecrated in November, 1773. It was named St Hedwig's Cathedral after the wife of Duke Henry of Silesia, who was much revered in Silesia. (The conquest of Silesia by Frederick the Great had for the first time incorporated large Roman Catholic territories in Prussia). The relief on the pediment was carved by Nikolaus Geiger in 1898. The church was destroyed by fire in the Second World War and was rebuilt between 1952-63. The rather plain interior is modern, (architect Hans Schwippert), but the original structure of the dome has been preserved. In the crypt below the church are graves of bishops.
Crown Prince's Palace
The Crown Prince's Palace at the beginning of Unter den Linden in Berlin was built by the architect Johann Arnold Nering in 1663-64 by converting an existing stately home. In 1732 it passed to King Frederick William I who intended it should be the residence of the Crown Prince and had it converted by Philipp Gerlach in the Baroque style. It was subsequently occupied by Prince August William, the brother of Frederick the Great and then by Crown Prince Frederick William and his wife Luise from 1793. In 1811 the master-builder linked the Crown Prince's Palace with the Princesses' Palace by means of a bridge. After further conversions had been made and floors added by Johann Heinrich Strack, the future Emperor Frederick III and his wife Victoria took up residence in 1856. This was where William II, the last of the German Emperors, was born on Jan. 27, 1859.The building suffered severe damage in the Second World War. As no plans and specifications were still in existence, Richard Paulick reconstructed it in 1968-69 with the aid of some old engravings, and it became a new culture center and restaurant under the name "Palais Unter den Linden." It was here that the Treaty of Unification between West and East Germany was signed on Aug. 31, 1990.At the rear of the Palais is the historical "Schinkelklause" restaurant.
Freiherr vom Stein, the Prussian reformer and statesman, is memorialized in bronze along with four other statues that depict his virtues. The statue was restored after the Second World War.
The Baroque, Berlin Arsenal, contains the German Historical Museum. It was the armory during the 18th and 19th C.
The Palace Bridge is the most recent of several to stand on this spot. On the pillars are mid 19th C sculptures in white Carrara marble, designed by Schinkel.
The Lustgarten lies on the far side of the Schlossbrücke (Palace Bridge) in Berlin. Originally laid out in 1573 as a herb and kitchen garden, it was transformed in 1643 into an ornamental garden, in which the first potatoes in Prussia were grown in 1649. Thereafter it gradually changed its aspect. In the reign of Frederick William I it became a military parade ground. The first trees were planted in the 1830s and thereafter the first large buildings were erected. The Lustgarten lay at the center of the old Berlin. After 1945 the square was enlarged by the demolition of the old Berlin palace. From 1951 it was known as Marx-Engels-Platz and was used for mass rallies and parades. The square on the far side of the street in front of the Palace of the Republic is still called Marx-Engels-Platz, while the Lustgarten has been given back its original name. The main buildings on the Lustgarten are the Cathedral on the east side and the Old Museum on Museum Island to the north.
Former Soviet Embassy
The upper part of Unter den Linden in Berlin is occupied by administrative buildings and embassies, the most noteworthy of which is the former Soviet Embassy, now the Russian Consulate, at Nos. 63-65. This was once the site of the palace of Princess Amalie, built in 1734, which from 1832 was the residence of the Russian Ambassador. Tsar Nicholas I purchased the house and had it altered by Eduard Knoblauch in 1840-41. It was destroyed during the Second World War. After the war this was the first building in Unter den Linden to be rebuilt (1950-53) and then became the Soviet Embassy in the GDR. Immediately east of the building are the offices of the travel agency Intourist, the Aeroflot airline and Russian trade delegations.
Map - Under the Lime-Trees Avenue
Map of Berlin Attractions