Walk through the Gendarmenmarkt and admire some of Berlin’s most attractive architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. This square features an imposing central statue depicting poet Friedrich Schiller and is overlooked by three landmark Berlin buildings: the French Cathedral, the German Cathedral and the Konzerthaus.
Originally built in 1688, Gendarmenmarkt was redeveloped in the late 18th century. Its unique name is derived from the Gens d’armes, referencing a Prussian military regiment who used the space to store their horses and perform sentry duties. During World War II, the square was heavily damaged but inspect today and you’ll find little evidence of this; it has been impeccably restored.
The square is a pleasant place for a rest stop while sightseeing. Look for the striking domes of the French and German cathedrals, which sit facing each other on the north and south sides of the square. In between them lies the Konzerthaus, home to the Konzerthausorchester Berlin symphony orchestra.
Venture to the center to examine the huge Schiller Monument. This large statue honors legendary poet, philosopher and historian Friedrich Schiller. Below him sit four female allegorical figures, representing poetry, drama, history and philosophy. This iconic monument, just in front of the Konzerthaus steps, was dismantled during the Nazi era and put back together in the 1980s.
When hunger hits, head for one of the nearby cafés for a hearty meal. This area is a fashionable location for dinner. Various seasonal events are held here throughout the year. Shop for gifts, eat traditional German sweets and sip mulled wine during the annual Christmas markets on the square, before showing off your skating skills on the ice rink.
Gendarmenmarkt is located in the Mitte district of Berlin and is lively at all hours. Take the U-Bahn to Französische Strasse, Hausvogteiplatz or Stadtmitte stations, all of which are within easy walking distance of the square.