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Berlin, Germany — Northeast German Plain (The European Plain)
 

Pariser Platz

 
 
Pariser Platz Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 26, 2012
1. Pariser Platz Marker
Inscription.
[English text]

Pariser Plaz (Paris Square) is one of Berlin’s most distinctive squares and occupies a unique place within the groundplan of the city. Its planning is attributed to Philipp Gerlach (1697-1738), the architect commissioned by Frederick William I to extend the city’s development westward, which had begun in 1688. In 1732, at the request of the “Soldier King”, Gerlach extended Friedrichstrasse to intersect with Lindenstrasse, where he laid out a circus (now Mehringplatz) at its southern end. Two years later, in 1734, the construction of Wilhelmstrasse and the squares to the west of it defined the entire western boundary of the city: the octagonal Leipziger Platz and the rectangular Pariser Platz.
Thus the city gained three unique baroque piazzas, each in the form of a different geometric figure. A common feature is that all three were designed as squares at gates in the city wall and thus represented “reception rooms” to the royal capital. The monarchs’ influence on the architectural surrounding corresponded to each square’s hierarchical significance within the city structure.

As of 1735, baroque palaces were built on all sides of Pariser Platz, which was topgraphically the most significant of the three, establishing its noble appearance. Both the type of buildings and the
Inside Pariser Platz - view westward toward Brandenburg Gate image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 26, 2012
2. Inside Pariser Platz - view westward toward Brandenburg Gate
fact that Unter den Linden boulevard ended there – the thoroughfare that soon became the central axis of the city’s expansion – indicated the special importance of Pariser Platz among the newly constructed squares. Its direct proximity to the Stadtschloss, which Andreas Schluter’s extensions had turned into the dominant feature of the city, enhanced further the significance of Pariser Platz.

The construction of the Brandenburg Gate in 1788-1791 to plans by Carl Gotthard Langhans (1732-1808 brought architectural eminence to Pariser Platz, already anticipated by its position within the topography of the city. Langhans’ Brandenburg Gate set a new benchmark in style and its dimensions introduced a new scal. The two-storied baroque palaces could not compete with the towering, elegant architecture of the Gate. From the early nineteenth century onwards, subsequent redevelopment of the square took as a model the more block-like, three-storied palace architecture of the Italian Renaissance. This lent Pariser Platz the generous spaciousness, which is still associated with its name today.

The simple paving of the square remained until 1880, when park elements were added by the second Berlin City Parks Director Hermann Mächtig (1837-1909). His design, in which prestige was the supreme consideration; aligned two decorative parterres with central fountains in
The Hotel Aldon in Pariser Platz image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 26, 2012
3. The Hotel Aldon in Pariser Platz
such a way that the neutral orientation of the square was redefined to emphasise its function for traffic. Mächtig wrote “The two halves of Pariser Platz, in keeping with its form and surroundings, are laid out discreetly in parterres; the beds contain mainly low bushes, such as box, low perennial flowering roses on ivy banks high enough to rise above the level of the lawn, and a number of higher-growing plant groups in the lawns on either side of the fountains.” Essentially, this layout was retained until the destruction caused by the World War II, as confirmed by archaeological excavations in 1992. Pariser Platz is still Berlin’s most impressive entrance and reception room. Until the 1940s, not only Langhans’ Brandenburg Gate but also other important buildings, such as the American and French embassies, Hotel Adlon, and the Palais Liebermann gave the square its characteristic aspect, famous all over the world, and after the United States Embassy is completed, will do so again.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Pariser Platz has regained its old importance as a public attraction; however, at first the totally derelict and ruined square represented a poor calling card for the city. In the spring of 1992, there was an opportunity to secure financial aid for re building the square from the “Upswing East” funds of the European Regional Development
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, inaugurated May 10, 2005 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 26, 2012
4. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, inaugurated May 10, 2005
- view from one block south of the Pariser Platz. Note the Brandenburg Gate and the U.S. Embassy, visible on the Platz, upper left and center)
Fund and special aid from the EU for “the development of infrastructure, land improvement for public tourist facilities”. This was gratefully taken up by the Historic Gardens section of Berlin’s Department for Urban Development and Environmental Protection and, in cooperation with the Mitte District’s Office for Nature Conservation and Parks, the park elements of the square were completely restored the same year

Ten years later, in September 2002, the extensive restoration of the entire area of the square was completed. The work was carried out by the Senate of Berlin’s Construction Office in cooperation with the Civil Engineering Department and the Historic Gardens section, based on the traditional design principles used for Unter den Linden boulevard. The pavements beside the parterres with fountains were widened – exactly a century after the first time, in 1902. Three rows of granite flagstones side by side flanked by cobblestone mosaics now form the pavements. Granite blocks were used for re-surfacing the square and a raised, mounded central island create. Replicas of Schupmann’s distinctive candelabra street lanterns, which have belonged to Unter den Linden since 1888, were installed to illuminate Pariser Platz.

[Russian text ...]

Photo captions, English: ...
Pariser Platz and Brandenburg Gate, ca. 1820 ...
North side
The Reichstag (German Parliament Building) at Platz der Republik, northwest of Pariser Platz image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 26, 2012
5. The Reichstag (German Parliament Building) at Platz der Republik, northwest of Pariser Platz
"Dem Deutchen Volke"
of Pariser Platz, right; French Embassy, 1810
South Side of Pariser Platz, 1906
Aerial view of Pariser Platz, ca. 1915
South side of Pariser Platz, ca. 1931
Pariser Platz and Brandenburg Gate, ca. 1936
Pariser Platz, right, the ruins of the Reichstag, 1947
Aerial view: Strasse des 17 Juni - Pariser Platz Unter den Linden, 1963
Pariser Platz before Restoration, August 1992.
 
Erected by Vattenfall Berlin.
 
Location. 52° 30.983′ N, 13° 22.733′ E. Marker is in Berlin, Berlin. Marker is on Unter den Linden just east of Ebertstraße. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Berlin 030, Germany.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Legend of Hitler’s Bunker (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Soviet War Memorial (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Max Planck (approx. one kilometer away); Remains of the Berlin Wall (approx. 1.1 kilometers away); Baudenkmal Berliner Mauer (approx. 1.1 kilometers away); Topography of Terror (approx. 1.1 kilometers away); a different marker also named Baudenkmal Berliner Mauer (approx. 1.1 kilometers away); Checkpoint Charlie Site (approx. 1.3 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berlin.
 
Also see . . .  Michael Jackson at Hotel Adlon, Pariser Platz, 2002
Pariser Platz Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 26, 2012
6. Pariser Platz Marker
. Jackson's infamous dangling of his son "Blanket" from one of the hotel's windows during a visit to Berlin, November 2002. (Submitted on June 15, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.) 
 
Additional keywords. urban renewal; Brandenburger Tor; Bundestag; Reichstag; Holocaust Museum; Michael Jackson
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesNotable EventsNotable PlacesWar, Cold
 
Brandenburg Gate - entrance to Pariser Platz off Ebertstraße image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 26, 2012
7. Brandenburg Gate - entrance to Pariser Platz off Ebertstraße
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 14, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 606 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 14, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   4, 5. submitted on June 15, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   6, 7. submitted on June 20, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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