17 Famous Gates Around The World: Their History And Significance | Kidadl


17 Famous Gates Around The World: Their History And Significance

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Do you know that many of the famous gates in the world are not only architectural symbols but also historical symbols?

Arches and famous gates that define cities and have now become the identity of these cities were built in ancient times usually to commemorate a historical loss. Gates were built in order to symbolize a historical event or to commemorate the sacrifice, valor, and honor of people who have lost their lives.

Often these gates are erected to represent unity or mark the entrance to a particular city or a region or stand tall as a mark of the formal boundary between disputed regions. The most famous gates in the world are situated around many countries and continents that have an interlinked history among them. Let us study some of the most famous gates in the world on different continents and understand their historical background. Famous gates that are originally built near old city walls symbolize the divided city. Gates and arches around the world are now well maintained by authorities and the government of the respective countries to preserve the rich heritage of these famous gates and introduce the historical memory to the new generation.

Did you know that the Golden Gate is the only eastern gate of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem? Read on to know more about famous gates of the world. Afterward, also check out facts about Pablo Picasso and facts about Michelangelo.

The First Gate In The World

An ancient neoclassical era monument is the famous Puerta de Alcalá situated in Madrid, Spain. The construction of the gate began in 1778 by an Italian architect named Francesco Sabatini.

He devoted his work to the Spanish royal family. The Puerta de Alcalá is a complete monument made of brick during the reign of King Charles III. Earlier the gate was dedicated to prior kings and was situated near the city center. The name of the gate denotes the old path from the city of Madrid to the town of Alcala de Henares. The term Puerta means gate. The arch is termed Puerta because it used to be a royal gate that gave a royal entrance into the Madrid city for royal members.

Another famous gate is called the Victory Gate, or Siegestor, which is located in Munich. It is also a triumphal arch placed with a Bavaria statue made up of a lion quadriga. It marks the beginning point of the Schwabing district in Munich and the end of Ludwigstrake. It was constructed by Friedrich von Gartner in 1852. During those times lions were often used instead of horses because lions were considered to be favored among royal houses of Madrid and the Bavarian ruling family. The gate also symbolizes the glory achieved by the Bavarian army for the army's sacrifice in the Second World War.  After the damage caused by the war, the gate was reconstructed and converted to a memorial site representing peace.

Famous Gates In Europe

Gates in the world are often symbols of historical events and often have significance back in ancient times. European powers had a major contribution in erecting such gates and monuments to represent their rule and dominance among western powers.

The capital of France is home to many such landmarks and treasures of historical significance. Some of the major bloodshed events were the World Wars. The French revolutionary was led on the battlefield under the leadership of Napoleon. In order to represent his victories and the sacrifices made by the French soldiers and army, the Arc de Triomphe has been constructed. The construction of this gate is more than 200 years old. The arc serves as a symbol of the lost lives of the French army.

The Arc de Triomphe is approximately 165 ft (50.3 m) tall and marks a sign of honor in the memory of the French. The arc further has been a place for important historical events. One of them was Napoleon's funeral. The occupation of the Nazis was also carried out on this site. The World War I victory parade was also conducted at the Arc de Triomphe. The construction of this wall was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon himself in order to celebrate all his victories of Napoleonic wars and valor. Since then it has been the main focus of all French historical events, military parades, and celebration of major historical victories.

One of the famous European landmarks is the iconic architectural site called the Brandenburg Gate. It is of historical importance and has a significant story attached to it. It is a symbol of the Cold War in Berlin that led to the division of the east and west. The war ended in reunifying Germany. The gate stands to represent unity among Germans. This gate was constructed somewhere between 1788 and 1791. The design and structure of the Brandenburg Gate are inspired by that of the grand entrance gate situated in the Athens acropolis.

The Brandenburg Gate has historic importance to the people, especially Germans. However, the construction of the Berlin Wall had cut off access to the gate for the locals. Therefore, after the wall was broken down, the gate was reopened for visitors and Germans continued to celebrate the historical event on that site.

The Brandenburg Gate was built by the King of Prussia and was completed in 1791. King Frederick William II was the ruler who initiated the construction of the gate. The gate was a means of an entryway into the capital of Berlin. There were several military talks engaged for many centuries which has led to the alterations in the gate. This has also damaged the gate structure to some extent. The gate suffered severe damage in the Second World War. In order to restore this damage, the Berlin Wall was built. The Berlin Wall also symbolizes the last collaborated effort between East Berlin and West Berlin.

The triumphal arch is a gateway built in the city of Rome. This monument has the Roman style of architecture and resembles the significant sacrifices of the military and the triumphs of the new emperor. Examples of triumphal arches are the Arch of Constantine and the Arch of Septimius Severus. Both of them are in good condition in Rome.

The triumphal arch had no practical utility and hence this monument was decorated with rich architectural designs and carvings. The sculpture had a bronze inscription. The oldest example of triumphal arches belongs to the second century BCE. It was erected by the L. Setinius near Circus Maximus in 196 BCE.

The Rua Augusta Arch is one of the famous gates of Portugal known for its distinct architecture. The upper part of the arch is decorated with a group of figures made by the French sculptor Célestin Anatole Calmels.

Famous Gates In Asia

One of the most famous gates in Asia is that of the Gateway of India. Since India was formerly colonized by European powers, the Gateway of India marks historical evidence of the existence of the country.

The Gateway of India is located in the capital city Mumbai formerly known as Bombay. It is located in the area of Colaba at the Apollo Bunder. The gate is a massive arch facing the Arabian Sea. It is one of the popular tourist attractions in India, especially for visitors who enter the city through the sea route. The gateway is a place to welcome visitors and the first thing to notice in Mumbai. The historic resemblance of the construction of this gate dates back to December 1911. The Gateway of India was constructed to mark the visit and welcome the honor of King George V and Queen Mary.

They were visiting India for their official proclamation as the emperor and the empress. The Governor of Bombay, Sir George Sydenham Clarke, laid the first foundation stone of this site. The final design was approved and sanctioned by Scottish architect George Wittet. The actual process of construction was started in 1919 and the monument was finished in 1924. The official inauguration was conducted by the viceroy of India. However, the approach to this gateway was never built due to insufficient funds.

The central arch is 85 ft (25.9 m) tall. The central dome is filled with intricate and elegant latticework. The gateway arch frames a perfect expanse of the entire view of the massive Arabian Sea. The sea is often lined up with boats of fishermen and yachts for traveling to Elephanta Caves and boat rides to different places.

Jerusalem is an old city located in west Asia. The entire city is surrounded by an extended wall that has around eight gates. One of these gates is the Eastern Gate that faces the Mount of Olives. The Eastern Gate is now completely sealed and shut. Some historians believe that the Eastern Gate was erected as a biblical reference and a fulfilment of some prophet. Currently, the Eastern Gate is the oldest of all gates in the old city of Jerusalem.

The gate is an ancient construction dating back to the sixth or seventh century AD. Initially, the gate was direct access to the Jewish temple. It is believed that when Jesus had to enter the Mount of Olives he used the same gate in that location which is now known as the Eastern Gate.

In 1540 AD, the Eastern Gate was ordered to be sealed. It was shut by the magnificent sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman. The Eastern Gate has thus remained shut for the last 500 years. Suleiman felt the gate was an entranceway for Jewish messiahs who were coming to rule. In an attempt to terminate their possible entrance the great Suleiman ordered his people to close the gate with cement and seal it.

Another famous gate is the Meridian Gate situated in China. The Meridian Gate is considered the prime spot of entrance into the forbidden city. The name Meridian was given to it because the Chinese emperor believed that the Line of Meridian was passing right through this forbidden city and the residence of the emperor. If you follow the old Chinese compass the south is indicated by the Meridian.

The gate serves as a southern entrance gate to the forbidden city. This gate also holds immense historical significance. The Meridian Gate was the exact location where the Chinese emperor made an announcement of the new lunar calendar. There was also a ritual of a victory ceremony called Accepting War Captives where the emperor was offered captives from the war. The sacrifices before such ceremonies took place near the altars of the Meridian Gate.

The India Gate is situated in the national and historic capital of Delhi. It is an archway in the center of a crossroad. It is built in honor of the 70,000 Indian soldiers and army personnel who lost their lives in the Second World War. The memorial has the names of many Indian and British soldiers who were killed in the Northwest Frontier Region War. The design of the India Gate was done by Edwin Lutyens. The Duke of Connaught laid the foundation stone of the India Gate.

This monument was later dedicated to India by Lord Irwin who was the viceroy. After the independence of India, a second memorial was added to this site named Amar Jyoti which commemorates the sacrifices of Indian soldiers in the Indo-Pak War of 1971. The area surrounding the Rajpath is denoted as the India Gate and the actual monument stands at one side of the Rajpath. The site is surrounded by fountains and bushes and green lawns which is also a popular picnic spot on summer evenings.

The Ishtar Gate complex was excavated in the year 1940. The following excavations after that exposed the interiors of the Southern Gate. The German Oriental Society carried out excavations with the Berlin Museum and unearthed the Northern Gate. German archaeologists later traced the Southern Gate to discover the final plan of the gate. The remains of the Ishtar Gate can be found on the site of Babylon.

The original facade that was damaged for so many years was repaired using modern bricks. These excavations by the Germans gave the necessary information about the walls and decorations of the gate. This supported the Berlin Museum authority to reconstruct and rebuild the damage of the gate. The Ishtar Gate is one of the most famous gates in present-day Iraq. It was considered one of the main gates in the ancient capital of the Mesopotamian kingdom.

References to the Ishtar Gate can be found in archives and documentary texts dated around 1600 BCE which were made under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar II. The Ishtar Gate was a double gate that was constructed with unbaked bricks of mud and mud mortar. It was also rebuilt many times back in the olden days with baked bricks. There are around nine layers of relief animals documented on the walls of the Ishtar Gate. It is believed that they protect the city from demons and evil spirits.

The Arc de Triomphe is located in Paris and is one of the most famous buildings in the world.

Famous Gates In North America

One of the most famous gates in North America is the Golden Gate. It is an actual strait built on the western coastline of North America. This strait is built to connect the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay.

From 1937, the Golden Gate also resembled the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate is marked by the San Francisco Peninsula and the Marin Peninsula. The official charge and administration of the entire coastline and the nearby waters within the strait are under the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

During summer, the Golden Gate is clouded with fog. The California Central Valley generates heat that causes a low-pressure area which then pulls in cold air from the Pacific Ocean. The name Golden Gate symbolizes the discovery of gold in California and an opportunity by American merchants and traders to trade with the east.

The Washington Square Arch in New York, also known as the Washington Arch, is an example of a triumphal arch. It is made of marble and is placed in the center of Washington Square Park. An architect named Stanford White designed the arch in 1892. The arch was built to honor the centenary celebration of the inauguration ceremony of George Washington.

White-colored marble called tuckahoe was used in the construction and the arch was a replica of the Roman triumphal arch. The height of the Washington Arch is 77 ft (23.5 m). The piers are 30 ft (9.1 m) apart standing from the main dome and the arch opens with a height of 47 ft (14.3 m). Images of war and peace are depicted on the arch.

The Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, USA is another example of a triumphal arch. It is situated in the Yellowstone National Park. Hiram Martin Chittenden was an architect who realized that the surrounding area of Gardiner was not aesthetically pleasing and needed a definite architectural statement at the entrance of the famous park. Hence the arch was built in a hexagonal block shape which is made of basalt columns.

The arch is 52 ft (15.8 m) tall and has dual towers in the main archway. The pedestrian channels with wooden doors are merged by the towers. The arch has a border of curvy walls made up of basalt stone. The entire arch is around 50 ft (15.2 m) high and is still visible from many miles away. The construction required massive amounts of basalt which were excavated from the nearby area.

Famous Gates In South America

Although there are not many gates in South America, there are certain important landmarks that will definitely interest you. One of the most iconic sites to visit in South America is the Machu Picchu. It is also designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

It is one of the oldest archaeological and mysterious sites in South America. The civilization site is situated in the Urubamba Valley. The site is located 7,874 ft (2,400 m) above sea level. The Machu Picchu came into existence in the 15th century. The site utilized dry stone walls without mortar to build perfectly carved stones in the entire construction. These stones are placed in perfect alignments depending on the astronomical details of the site. The design and the structure formation have amazed architects and archeologists around the world for many centuries.

Another famous site is the Atacama desert located in the north of Chile. This desert is situated between the coastal range of Chile and the Andes Mountains. This arid desert land has a stretch of about 621.4 mi (1,000 km) from the north. This deserted land is also the ancient and most dry desert on our planet. It receives rainfall of less than 0.04 in (1 mm) every year. The Atacama Desert is also the prime destination on the bucket list of many tourists for its unique and odd landscape beauty.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 17 famous gates around the world then why not take a look at finger monkey lifespan or a famous artist to know about: facts about Michelangelo for kids.

Hemant Oswal
Written By
Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

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