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The Top 11 Places to See What Remains of the Wall

Remains of the Wall at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin
Remains of the Wall at Potsdamer Platz © visitBerlin, Foto: Fragasso

The division of Germany, the confinement of an entire people, the centre of the Cold War: there was hardly any other structure in the 20th century that was such a symbol of oppression and inhumanity as the Berlin Wall. A quarter century after the peaceful revolution that led to its fall, there's barely anything left of the Wall. The few original pieces of wall that remain standing are popular attractions.

Here is a selection of places where you can still see remnants of the Berlin Wall:

1. Old St Hedwig Cemetery, Liesenstr. 8

An approx. 15 metre section of the final version of the Berlin Wall (known as "Border Wall 75" after the year it was erected) can be seen along the northern edge of the St Hedwig Cemetery, Berlin's oldest Catholic cemetery. This stretch of the Wall is under historic preservation and runs along the so-called "Liesen Bridges" that crossed what was once the border between West and East Berlin.

Prenzlauer Berg
Prenzlauer Berg © visitBerlin, Foto: Janine Blechschmidt

2. Bösebrücke, Bornholmer Straße 70

The Bornholmer Straße border crossing, at the eastern end of this bridge, was the first to open when the borders were opened on the night of 9 November 1989. There is a brownfield site along the north side of Bornholmer Straße, bordered by the former hinterland Wall and some garden allotments. More than 100 Japanese cherry trees line the Mauerweg (Wall trail) here. As the process of German unification was widely followed in Japan, the trees were a gift and a sign of sympathy in 1990.  

3. Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstraße 43-45

The Americans controlled three border crossings in Berlin. The most famous by far is Checkpoint Charlie, named after the third letter of the international spelling alphabets (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie...). One last bit of the hinterland Wall is located not far from the museum at the corner Schützenstraße and Friedrichstraße.

"Bruderkuss" at East Side Gallery Berlin
East Side Gallery "Sozialistischer Bruderkuss": Dimitri Vrubel "Mein Gott hilf mir, diese tödliche Liebe zu überleben" © visitberlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

4. East Side Gallery, between Oberbaumbrücke and Ostbahnhof

The longest extant section of the Wall runs for 1.3 kilometres along the River Spree. In 1990, after the Wall had ceased to be functional, the eastern side of the wall was painted by 118 artists from 21 countries, resulting in the longest open air gallery in the world.

5. Berlin Wall Memorial, Bernauer Straße 111

The Berlin Wall ran along the entire southern edge of Bernauer Straße during the years of Berlin's division. Part of this former border strip together with the watchtower are now home to an open air exhibition offering historical audio and video material as well as a visitor centre with videos and a viewing tower.

6. Gutspark Groß Glienicke, Spandau

The Groß-Glienicker See is a popular swimming lake due to its crystal-clear water. During the years the city was divided, this pleasure was exclusively available to West Berliners: the border between East and West ran right through the middle of the lake and was marked by buoys. The Wall's fortifications were erected on the lake shore. You can read about what remains here!  

7. Invalidenfriedhof, Scharnhorststraße 33 The East German government devoted more and more space over the years to its border installations and the Invalidenfriedhof, established in 1748, fell victim to this hunger for land. More than 90 per cent of the graves were removed to make room for the death strip with its watch towers, control strips, runs for the watchdogs and patrol roads. Some segments of the hinterland Wall and the patrol road remain here as a reminder of the recent past.

Mauerpark Berlin
Mauerpark Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Martin Gentischer

8. Mauerpark, Bernauer Straße 63-64

This remnant of the hinterland Wall found in this park established in what was once no-man's land has become a favourite canvas for graffiti artists.

9. Puschkinallee/Schlesischer Busch, Berlin-Treptow

The East German border installations once ran in parallel to the Flutgraben channel. This former border strip between Treptow and Kreuzberg has become a green zone along the length of the Flutgraben. A few metres of the hinterland Wall painted after the fall of the Wall have been preserved. The Schlesischer Busch watch tower also remains and now hosts a changing series of exhibitions.

10. Potsdamer Platz

The last original segments of the Wall at Potsdamer Platz and Stresemannstraße were torn down in 2008. Six sections were later erected in front of the entrance to the Potsdamer Platz station. Just around the corner is one of the last Watchtowers left standing in the city.

11. Topography of Terror, Niederkirchnerstraße

The border between Berlin-Mitte (formerly East Berlin) and Kreuzberg (formerly West Berlin) runs for some 200 metres along Niederkirchnerstraße. Behind what remains of the Wall here is now home to the permanent exhibition Topography of Terror on the site of the most important institutions of the Nazi persecution and terror apparatus between 1933 and 1945.  

Written by Anna Bockhoff

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