The Gendarmenmarkt ranks among Berlin’s most famous squares and many people insist it to be the most beautiful one.The name of this baroque square constructed as the “Friedrichstädtischer Markt” originates in the currassier regiment “Gens d’ Armes” which had its stables there. The development into an urban showpeace happened later under Frederic the 2nd who abolished all military usage and commissioned Karl von Gontard to erect two identical dome buildings, pure decorative architecture without any practical function. Although the twin towers never served any religious purpose they are known to the present as the French Dome and the German Dome framing the Schauspielhaus (theater) by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel finished in 1821. They are landmarks in the skyline and can be seen from a considerable distance.
Like no other square in Berlin the Gendarmenmarkt has a cosmopolitain atmosphere. The classy flair is enhanced by the immediate neighborhood to such extraordinary adresses like the States Opera, the Humboldt-University and the boulevard Unter den Linden. Fine shops and restaurants and numerous institutions of business, politics and culture provide an exciting and stimulating scenery.