While travelling abroad isn’t on most people’s to-do list right now, it’s nice to think of all the places we’ll visit once worldwide travel is back in full swing. If it isn’t already, Germany should be one of the places you’re dreaming about. There is so much to see and do if you’re looking to immerse yourself in German history and culture. Here are six emblematic monuments you won’t want to miss:
- Brandenburg Gate
Located in Berlin’s Mitte district, this neoclassical structure was built for King Frederick William II in 1791. It is modeled after the Acropolis and upon first sight, you might think you’re in Athens, Greece instead of Germany. While this iconic city gate once formed part of the Berlin Wall, today it’s a symbol not only of German unification, but of peace across all of Europe.
- Monument to the Battle of Nations
In Leipzig, Germany you’ll find the monument known as Völkerschlachtdenkmal or Völki for short. This towering structure is the Monument to the Battle of Nations, which memorializes the Battle of Leipziq. In 1813, Napoleon’s French army was defeated, marking the beginning of the end of the War of the Sixth Coalition. Those who can climb the 500 steps to reach the viewing platform are rewarded with expansive views of the city and its lush surroundings.
- Berlin Wall Memorial
If there’s one structure in Germany that most people recognize immediately, it’s the Berlin Wall. The infamous division between East and West Germany is commemorated with 1.4 kilometers of the original wall on Bernauer Strasse. Unlike other sections of the wall, this memorial still maintains the grounds as they were during the division, allowing visitors to truly appreciate the stark contrast between the two sides. It’s a must see for anyone eager to understand this significant period in history.
- Buchenwald Memorial
Today, on the site where the Nazis ran the Buchenwald concentration camp, there now stands a memorial to the 280,000 people who were held prisoner there and the 56,000 people who died there. The permanent exhibition tells the complete history of the camp, from its construction in 1937 to the memorial built in 1958 by the East German government commemorating the Communist resistance to the Nazis and the camp.
- Imperial Baths of Trier
You will be transported back in time when visiting these remarkable ruins in Trier. Built in the fourth century AD, this complex of Roman baths is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These ruins make up part of the Roman Monuments and are just a fraction of what was once the largest bathing complex in the Roman Empire.
- Holocaust Memorial
On almost five acres of land in the middle of Berlin, you’ll find the “Field of Stelae.” This memorial consists of over 2,500 geometrically arranged concrete pillars. These somewhat disorienting structures bear witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust. Although there are many Holocaust memorials throughout Germany, this one, known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, is one of the most striking and most visited monuments in the country.