Thursday “Tors”: Brandenburg

So I am here in Berlin, and I have wifi. Woot!

“Tor,” which sounds a lot like “door,” is the German word for gate. (It’s also the German word for “goal,” which you’ll be hearing a lot of with the World Cup about to start). The most famous Tor in Berlin, and perhaps in all of Europe, is the Brandenburger Tor. According to wikipedia, “the Brandenburg Gate was often a site for major historical events and is today considered not only as a symbol of the tumultuous history of Europe and Germany, but also of European unity and peace.”

I lived in Germany for 8 months in 1983. I graduated from high school young and took a gap year between high school and college, living with my family while my professor father took a sabbatical at the Freie Universitaet in Berlin.

This is what the Brandenburger Tor looked like back then, in a picture I took with a Kodak Instamatic. You could only see the back of the chariot on top, from a distance, behind the Berlin Wall, and the whole structure was pretty dirty.

“Achtung! Sie verlassen West-Berlin”

“Attention! You are leaving West Berlin,” the sign informs you, in case you were confused about the concrete wall, the no-man’s land, and the guard towers nearby.

Brandenburg Gate from the West, May 1983

(Admittedly, the faded color printing doesn’t help, but it’s held up surprisingly well for 35 years.)

This is what it looks like today, from the other side, on the famous avenue, “Unter den Linden.” The gate itself has been cleaned up, the wall is gone, and there are tourists everywhere.


This souvenir shop now hangs the opposite sign over its door: “ACHTUNG Sie verlassen jetzt Ost-Berlin” (Attention you are now leaving East Berlin). Our kids, who weren’t yet born when the wall fell, don’t remember anything different. To them, Berlin’s Tor has always been open.


Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time) at Norm 2.0’s blog here.


6 thoughts on “Thursday “Tors”: Brandenburg”

  1. Hi Karen – interesting to see both photos and to do a brief comparison – yes so much has happened since then … and yet more is still churning – wish we could get peace – but in the meantime enjoy your time in your 2nd home – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, wonder how it felt to be back there after so long! The first year of being married I spent there, because hubby worked in Berlin. The culture shock was challenging, but this city grows on you! Have been back several times after that to visit.
    Once I stood there with a sea of people, after having visited a day in the East, very pregnant. They picked me out, which was nice so I could stand in the shade because it was hot that day, but then …I had to wait for hubby (can’t remember now – but it was a long time) – but it speaks of the unpractical-ness of the you know who.

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  3. It is good to remind ourselves that–once in awhile–things do go right. The fall of the wall was one of those happy occasions that I can remember in my life, along with the banning of cigarettes in public places and the defeat of polio.

    Liked by 2 people

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