Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden, Standbilder
Unter den Linden, statues of General August Wilhelm Anton Neidhardt von Gneisenau, 1855; General Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, 1819-24; General Hans David Ludwig Graf Yorck von Wartenburg, 1855 by Christian Daniel Rauch
The rear section of the garden between the Kronprinzessinnenpalais and the Opera is the setting for the statues of three generals from the Wars of Liberation against Napoleon in 1813-15.
The first, Count Yorck von Wartenburg, forced to participate in the Russian campaign, brought about Prussia's secession from Napoleon through unauthorized action against the will of the king. The other two, Blücher and Gneisenau, conquered Napoleon in the Battle of Nations at Leipzig, leading to the decision at Waterloo. Blücher's march into Paris ended the Napoleonic era in 1815 and perfected the victory of the Allies.
Schinkel originally allotted these three heroes a place of honor on the converted "via Triumphalis", Unter den Linden. They constituted the vis-á-vis to the monuments of the Generals Scharnhorst and Bülow erected on either side of the Neue Wache (New Guard House). It was not until after the Second World War that they were exiled from their location between the Opera and the Kronprinzenpalais to the garden.
With these effigies, the most important Prussian sculptor of the nineteenth century not only succeeded in evoking the period during which Prussia overcame a bitter phase of foreign rule through consequent reforms, especially in the military, but also produced an artistic masterpiece.
Narrative reliefs on the base of the Blücher statue describe the most important stations of the Wars of Liberation in many-figured, picturesque images. The culmination is Blücher's march through Paris and the return of the Brandenburg Gate's quadriga, which the Emperor of the French had taken to Paris as a spoil of war.