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Home> Destinations> Europe> Berlin> See> Historical

Unter den Linden

Updated: 2014-06-12 / (visitberlin.de)

Berlin's most beautiful boulevard

Unter den Linden – © Scholvien

Berlin’s elegant boulevard is found in the old heart of Berlin, going all the way from the Brandenburg Gate to the Schlossbrücke bridge. On the boulevard Unter den Linden, there are many important institutions such as the Humboldt University and the State Opera as well as attractions such as the Neue Wache memorial and the Zeughaus (Armoury).

History of Unter den Linden

Initially, it was a bridle path, which from 1573 onwards led from the city palace to Lietzow and then later on to the Charlottenburg Palace, which was named after Queen Sophie Charlotte, and from there all the way to Spandau. Starting in 1701, Unter den Linden was beautified with the help of royal pomp and new architecture.

In the course of time, the Armoury and Friedrichstadt were added and, under the rule of Frederick the Great, the Kronprinzenpalais, the Prinzessinnenpalais, the Opera House and the Prince Heinrich Palace, which is now home to the Humboldt University, were all built. Karl Friedrich Schinkel's great architectural achievement was to bring together the various buildings and styles present so as to create an unifying aesthetic concept. On the basis of this, there arose the Neue Wache, the Schlossbrücke and the redesigning of the Lustgarten which, taken together, formed an aesthetic ensemble centred around Unter den Linden. At the end of the 19th century, the Berliner Dom was rebuilt in the eclectic style of the Wilhelmine era.

After the Second World War, Unter den Linden was a desert of rubble. That is, with the exception of the City Castle. In 1950, however, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED, Walter Ullbricht, blew up the City Castle because he regarded it as a symbol of Prussian absolutism. The other surviving buildings were gradually reconstructed. The actual construction began, however, only in 1958. Typical building from the 1960’s with uniform facades were constructed.

Unter den Linden today

Where the City Castle once stood, the Palace of the Republic was built, which was then closed after German reunification when it was discovered that it was contaminated with asbestos. It was subsequently torn down. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, many buildings have been restored and rebuilt. Thus, the Lustgarten, which previously served as a parade ground, was redesigned according to the plans inspired by Lenné’s garden architecture. The rebuilding of the former City Castle is planned. Currently the State Opera is under renovation.

Sights on Unter den Linden

Brandenburg Gate

Museum Island

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)




Unter den Linden

10117 Berlin Mitte


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