Architect of the Brandenburg Gate – Carl Langhans

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

Laissez-passer Germany 1793 Carl Langhans
Frankfurt/Berlin 1793

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


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