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The Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie

From the Wall Memorial at the north to Checkpoint Charlie at the south
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3.7 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  The Berlin Wall split the city from Aug. 13, 1961, to Nov. 9, 1989. West Berlin became a walled-in island surrounded by the German... more »

Tips:  To get to this section of the wall, the nearest subway stations are S Nordbahnhof (S1, S2, S25) and U Bernauer Str (U8). You also can ... more »

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Points of Interest

The Berlin Wall Memorial consists of the Chapel of Reconciliation, the Documentation Center, the outdoor exhibition, the exhibition at the S-Bahn Station Nordbahnhof and the Visitors' Center.

The Berlin Wall Memorial was built "in memory of the city's division from 13 August 1961 to 9 November 1989 and of the victims of communist tyranny."

Here... More

2. Station S Nordbahnhof

A consequence of the division created by the wall was that underground transit lines were cut into many pieces. Consequently, the Nordbahnhof subway station was a "ghost station" for 28 years since it was located in the border strip.

Interestingly, during the almost three decades that the wall was in place, the line continued its service but... More

3. Border Crossing

One of the border crossings was located here on the Sandkrugbrücke, where people once tried to escape.

Just 11 days after the wall went up, Günter Litfin became the first victim of the wall. The border troops shot him while he tried to flee by swimming through the Humboldthafen next to bridge. Find the memorial stone for him in this location,

... More

4. Marked Line of the Wall

A double wall of cobblestones mark where the wall once stood. On certain spots you will find information boards and pillars with audio sequences.

5. White Crosses

A few people tried to cross the border by swimming through the river Spree or the canals. Here you will find a memorial for those who were killed in their attempts. Seven crosses are inscribed with the names of victims and their dates of death. The one missing cross stands as memorial for all of the unknown victims of the wall.

The Brandenburg Gate serves as the representative entrance to the historical part of Berlin. The gate was constructed out of sandstone between 1788 and 1791 and designed by architect Carl Gotthard Langhans. The gate was then crowned in 1794 by the sculpture quadriga and the goddess of victory, which were created by Johann Gottfried Shadow.

When ... More

The first Soviet war memorial in Berlin was erected in November 1945. It is located precisely at the point where Albert Speer (the main architect of the Third Reich) planned the cross of two axes. The east-west axe you see here starts at the Brandenburg Gate and continues the other way behind the victory column. It is around 6.5 miles (10... More

8. Lenne Dreieck

Lenne Dreieck is a neighborhood located between the Tiergarten Park and Potsdamer Platz. On July 1, 1988, one of the most curious and irrational things took place at the border here: 200 people attempted to climb over the Berlin Wall--but in the opposite direction, from the west to the east!

To understand why requires a brief look into history.... More

This is an original watchtower (Typ BT 11) that was part of the former border construction of East Germany. It was used by the border troops to monitor the border. You will find more information about it in the next POI.

With the establishment of the German Democratic Republic in 1949, a new political and economic system was set up. The start of the dictatorship resulted in a mass migration to the west. From 1949 to 1961 East Germany had lost a sixth of its population. To stop the migration the GDR decided to close the last loop hole of the border with the Berlin ... More

Between 1945 and 1989, Checkpoint Charlie was the most well-known checkpoint in Berlin. It was one of three controlled by the United States. The name was derived from the alphabet since the three checkpoints were named A, B and C, and in military vernacular became known as checkpoints Alpha, Bravo and Charlie.

Checkpoint Charlie was used by... More

12. Memorial to Peter Fechter

Peter Fechter became one of the first victims of the Berlin Wall. While trying to escape he was shot by GDR border guards. It happened on Aug. 17, 1962, in the neighborhood of the Checkpoint Charlie.

With his friend Helmut Kulbeik, Fechter jumped out of a window and into No Man's Land. They ran across it and were climbing the wall when guards... More