Unter den Linden
Schlossbrücke, Unter den Linden, Mitte;
1821-24 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, reconstruction from 1950
The construction of the Schlossbrücke was part of the new city plan for the entire area between the castle and the Opera Square so forcefully championed by Schinkel. Through the widening of the bridge to the entire width of the street and the erection of monumental ornamentation with statues, for the first time the street Unter den Linden appeared as an uninterrupted axis from the Brandenburg Gate all the way to the castle. In combination with the simultaneous redesign of the Lustgarten and the new construction of the Neue Wache, Schinkel created a generous and harmonious city layout and thus brought to bear the grandest monuments of the city in accordance with their importance. The groups of figures and reliefs extended the artistic agenda of the Neue Wache as a memorial for the victorious conclusion of the Wars of Liberation and, in combination with the statues of the generals, constituted a part of the main street of the city in its new conception as "via Triumphalis". The figures depict young heroes whose struggles and deaths are attended by the victory goddesses Nike, Iris and Athena. Between the pedestals, wrought iron railings are mounted with sea horses, tridents and dolphins in reference to the water below. The eight groups of warriors projected by Schinkel and executed in Carrara marble by sculptors of the Schadow and Rauch schools, were not completed until 1842-57. The sculptures were stored in safety during the war and finally re-erected at their original location in 1983-84.