Tracing the division of Berlin
On November 9, 1989 the border separating East and West Berlin suddenly opened, and the Berlin Wall became history. DW traces the remnants of the wall that divided the city.
The Berlin Wall divided Berlin for 28 years, two months and 27 days, from August 1961 to November 1989. The Brandenburg Gate had long been the symbol of the division of Germany. Even after the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, there was no passage here. That changed on December 22, 1989. Since then, Berliners have been able to walk unhindered through the landmark of their city again.
East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery on the River Spree in Friedrichshain is a 1.3-kilometer-long section of the so-called Hinterland Wall, which artists from all over the world painted in 1990. It was located in front of the death strip and a second wall. The area near the Oberbaumbrücke is a tourist attraction, but several wall elements have already been removed in the course of construction projects.
Berlin Wall Memorial
Nowhere is the former "death strip" as vivid as it is here. An 80-meter-long segment of the Wall, including a guard tower, has been reconstructed. The authentic border fortification complex serves as a central reminder of the division of Germany. It pays homage to the victims who died or were killed at the Berlin Wall.
Traces of the route of the Wall
The Berlin Wall has disappeared almost everywhere in the city. East and West have now grown together. A strip of cobblestones in the city center marks where the Wall used to run.
This border crossing is among the best-known sights in Berlin. Only foreigners and diplomats were allowed to pass through this checkpoint. In October 1961, shortly after the Wall was built, there was a standoff here as armed Soviet and American tanks stood face-to-face. The situation very nearly escalated.
The Palace of Tears
It was a place of tearful farewells. Hundreds of people crossed this border post at Friedrichstrasse station when leaving East Germany for West Berlin. The former departure terminal now serves as a reminder of the forced separation of friends and families. Visitors can walk through an original cubicle where passports were checked and relive the border clearance procedure for themselves.
This former Stasi prison has been a memorial to the victims of communist dictatorship since 1994. Visitors are informed about the detention conditions and interrogation methods in communist East Germany. Former inmates lead the guided tours.
The former listening station at Teufelsberg
After World War II, this area was used to deposit debris. Rubble from the war was collected to form the Teufelsberg, the highest elevation in West Berlin. During the Cold War, the US National Security Agency used the hill as a listening station. From here, military radio signals from the Warsaw Pact countries could be intercepted, monitored and jammed.
You might imagine that the exchange of captured spies only took place on the silver screen, but this bridge between Berlin and Potsdam was actually the scene of three such operations. Steven Spielberg used this historic place as a setting in his feature film "Bridge of Spies."
German Spy Museum
This interactive museum right near Potsdamer Platz takes visitors into the world of espionage. Special emphasis is placed on activities in Berlin during the Cold War. Among the more than 300 exhibits is an East German Trabant car with infrared cameras hidden in its doors.
Berlin Wall Trail
The Berlin Wall Trail follows the path of the former division of the city and covers some 160 kilometers. The Japanese donated some 10,000 cherry trees "to bring peace in the hearts of the people." They were planted in different sections of the former Wall. This avenue is right by Bösebrücke, the first crossing to open on the day the Wall came down.