Carl Gotthardt Langhans, often known as Carl Gotthardt Langhans, the Elder, made an enduring mark on architectural history. Renowned for his iconic masterpiece, the Brandenburg Gate, he left an indelible legacy in Berlin and Germany, born in 1732 and passing away in 1808. Brandenburg Gate Carl Langhans
Shaping Berlin’s Landscape: Langhans’ Role Brandenburg Gate Carl Langhans
As Chief Director of the Royal Building Authority in Berlin, Langhans played a pivotal role in shaping the city’s late 18th-century landscape. His architectural prowess extended well beyond the Brandenburg Gate, with significant contributions to numerous public and private buildings.
Langhans’ enduring legacy stands as a testament to his visionary acumen, unparalleled expertise, and lasting influence on Berlin’s architectural heritage.
A Document of Historical Significance Brandenburg Gate Carl Langhans
A document of particular historical significance reads, “Excise, customs, and sluice-free pass for His Royal Majesty of Prussia’s Royal Building Authority in Berlin, for the acquisition of all materials required for His Majesty’s various constructions”; in this case: “Twenty Thousand Five Hundred Rathenau bricks, Forty-Five Thousand akin roof tiles, Three Hundred hollow bricks, and Eight Hundred and Fifty tiles.
These are to be conveyed to the immediate vicinity for the Royal constructions, specifically designated for the construction of the Maison d’Orange.” An array of annotations and corroborations from customs officers adorns the reverse side.
The Esteemed Signatories Brandenburg Gate Carl Langhans
The laissez-passer bears the signatures of three eminent figures from the Royal Building Authority: Carl Gotthardt Langhans, Georg Christian Unger (1743-1799), and Friedrich Becherer (1746-1823), a protege of Gontard. G. Chr. Unger, as the Director of the Immediate Building Commission, oversaw various structures in Berlin and Potsdam from 1763 to 1798. Notably, he designed the “Kommode” in Berlin (the former Royal Library at today’s Bebelplatz) and the “Brandenburger Tor” in Potsdam (Brandenburg Gate).
This document, given its relevance to the transportation of stones for the illustrious Maison d’Orange, the orphanage of Berlin’s French community, assumes a remarkable place in Berlin’s architectural chronicles during Friedrich Wilhelm II’s reign.
Additional Historical Artifacts
Intriguingly, two additional customs exemption passes surface, both graced with the signature of Georg Christian Unger. These passes relate to building materials for the “Maison d’Orange”: “Ten dozen pine planks, boards, and laths” and “Twenty-Five dozen boards of various lengths and thicknesses… for the construction of the Oranian Charité-House.” Brandenburg Gate Carl Langhans
Impressively, wax seals of impeccable preservation accompany these documents. Autographs bearing the names of Langhans and Unger are cherished rarities.
A Glimpse into the Past
The document, a historical treasure, showcases the signature of “Langhans” on a printed Laissez-Passer with annotations and wax seals. It also bears the signatures of two other prominent luminaries of the Royal Building Authority. This two-page, double-sheet relic hails from Berlin, dated July 17, 1793.
Honoring a Visionary Architect
This recollection pays tribute to Carl Langhans, the Prussian architect, and Chief Director of the Royal Building Authority in Berlin. Renowned as the mastermind behind the construction of the iconic Brandenburg Gate (1732-1808).
Brandenburg Gate Carl Langhans
FAQ Passport History pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट
1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
Question? Contact me...
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