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Where East Meets West
The Brandenburg Gate is an intermediate wooden building puzzle with 131 pieces. It's designed for ages 8 and up. Assembled, the Brandenburg puzzle measures 14.25" x 4.75" x 14" (36.2 x 12.06 x 35.56 cm).
3D wooden puzzles come die-cut on 3mm-thick sheets of high-grade wood, complete with sandpaper. They include a picture of the final assembled model and a numbered chart to help you out if you get stuck -- but remember that it's a puzzle, not a model. It's supposed to be a little challenging. Painted, varnished, or left as natural wood, historical puzzles deliver an educational and creative activity. No tools or glue are necessary, although you might want to use a bit of white glue if you're assembling your puzzle for permanent display. Some pieces may come pre-painted.
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Are You Curious...?
In the 1600s Berlin was a small walled city with several named gates. The Brandenburg Gate wasn't one of them. The city gradually outgrew its original walls while Prussia was relatively peaceful and prosperous. In the 1730s the Prussians built a new wall (the Berlin Customs Wall) to enclose the old city and many of its newer suburbs. The Brandenburg was one of 18 portals in that new wall. Between 1788 and 1791 the original simple guardhouse was replaced with the current arch, which was meant to represent peace. Not long after that, Napoleon's conquering army used the Brandenburg as a triumphal arch. The rising Nazi Party used the Brandenburg Gate as its symbol. Although it took a lot of damage, the Brandenburg was still standing at the end of World War II. During the Cold War it became part of the Berlin Wall and a symbol of the impasse between East and West; free passage through the Brandenburg didn't resume until the revolutions of 1989. Restorations and design changes followed over the years until the gate was reopened in its present form in 2002.