Located in the Mitte district, the Gendarmenmarkt has gone through a few name changes. After being used from 1736 to 1782 by the military for sentry duty and housing their horses, it was known as the Gendarmenmarkt. After being damaged in the war, the square was renamed “Platz der Akademie” in 1950 in honor of the 250th anniversary of the Academy of Science. In 1991, it got its original name back.
The Gendarmenmarkt is arguably Berlin’s most magnificent square. It is best known for the triple architectural force composed of the German and French cathedrals (Deutscher und Französischer Dom) and Schinkel’s Konzerthaus (concert hall). The ‘domes’ refer to the domed tower structures erected in 1785 by architect Carl von Gontard were mainly intended to add stature and grandeur to the two buildings.
Some of the most high-end restaurants, businesses and hotels are located around the Gendarmenmarkt, especially around the streets of Charlottenstrasse.
Gendarmenmarkt is home to the grandest of the Christmas markets you will find in Berlin around the holiday season. There is also an ice rink available. Admission for the Christmas markets here is 1 Euro. The market stays open for Christmas Eve and the days after Christmas. You can even spend New Year’s Eve here, and enjoy a festive gala with various bands, fireworks, and a waltz dance after midnight.