Holocaust Memorial

Berlin, Germany

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial is dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. It consists of a 19,000 m2 site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. They are organized in rows, 54 of them going north-south, and 87 heading east-west at right angles but set slightly askew. An attached underground 'Place of Information' holds the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims, obtained from the Israeli museum Yad Vashem.

Building began on April 1, 2003 and was finished on December 15, 2004. It was inaugurated on May 10, 2005, sixty years after the end of World War II, and opened to the public two days later.

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Founded: 2003
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Germany

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Adam Lucy (3 months ago)
It felt strange to give a star rating to something so poignant. The memorial is very thought provoking. The deeper you move into its centre, the higher the concrete blocks become, blocking out view and sound. Until you are surrounded by massive tomb stone structures, towering above your head. I experienced a deep period of introspection while at this monument. My mind attempted to comprehend the horrors perpetrated on the Jews and others and to experience in silence the strangely peaceful atmosphere of the monument itself. It was a profound experience and one I undertook with humble respect and a conscious appreciation of the significance of this memorial. Those that do not learn from history, are destined to repeat it.
Mark James (3 months ago)
Wasn't impressed. On ground level it's a load of different sized blocks of concrete. Underneath there's a very average history lesson with exhibits and video/sound. Definitely get the audio guide. I would have liked to have seen something beautiful and impressive. This is depressing concrete.
Helen (3 months ago)
You should visit here!! U can feel real experience of Jewish by writings and many documents. At a short time you can learn how the Third Reich of Deutschland had strong effects over all the European countries and how many people and nations are related to it. History is not to be forgotten and we should definitively know it exactly.
Wing Ying Chow (4 months ago)
It is hard to express how astounding it is to walk in this memorial and photos do not do justice. From afar, it looks like piles of coffins or bodies, but the feeling almost lessens as you walk up and walk in. Then the regular concrete blocks, first innocuous, creep over and become suddenly taller, and it becomes ominous, repressive, and dark. A place to reflect on how rights of a group of humans can be stripped away, step by step, and how it can easily happen again if we do not take the lessons of the past. The exhibition is very worthwhile for understanding both the overreaching historical setting as well as more personal entries and the damage to families.
Corissa George (4 months ago)
Absolutely phenomenal. A crazy mood altering experience. So well done. It has a massive impact on the mind & heart. Definitely have to experience it. As I left, I spotted a beautiful bright red lady bug (featured in the picture attached) in a crack that brought peace to my heart & mind. Emotional roller coaster!
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.