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What you should know about the Berlin Wall

Highlights on the day the Wall fell on November 9

Fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989: Bösebrücke
Bösebrücke on the night of the fall of the wall on 9.11.89 © Foto: Brian Harris/Alamy Stock Photo

Has it really been that long? On the night of November 9-10, 31 years ago, the border crossings between East and West Berlin were opened. The Wall fell. The path to reunification was clear. Thousands of people poured across the borders. The peaceful revolution had led to a coup that went down in history books - and can be experienced on the spot in Berlin.

Come with us on a journey into the past, find out more about the historical background and get tips on where and how you can learn more about the day the Wall came down live in Berlin and, of course, digitally.

Please show responsibility, wear your masks and follow the hygiene rules of the organizers. Only with your support will Berlin - by far - remain the best!

Tip 1: History meets present

Mauerpark Berlin
Mauerpark Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Martin Gentischer

The new entrance area to Mauerpark will be opened just in time for the day the Wall falls. As part of an open-air exhibition, you will see remains of the former border fortifications, including a vehicle barrier and an entrance to the escape tunnel. Both were discovered during construction work by Berliner Wasserbetriebe in 2018. They were found at the entrance on Eberswalder Straße. The exhibition, which is accessible free of charge around the clock, can be reached via Bernauer Strasse.

Mauerpark

Tip 2: Berlin Wall bike tour

Mauerradweg bei Hohen Neuendorf
Mauerradweg bei Hohen Neuendorf © visitBerlin, Foto: Martin Gentischer

Where exactly did the wall actually run? While the course in the city center is marked out over 5.7 kilometers with a double row of cobblestones, you can follow the former Wall on the Berlin Wall Trail for about 160 kilometers around the former West Berlin. You will pass numerous sights and memorials, pass historic border crossings, and sometimes simply drive through the Berlin countryside.

Berlin Wall bike tour

Tip 3: East Side Gallery

"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

At 1,316 meters, the East Side Gallery on the banks of the Spree in Friedrichshain is the longest continuous section of the Wall. Here you can see originals by over 100 artists, including the Brotherly Kiss by Dimitrji Vrubel, but also works by Thierry Noir and Jim Avignon. Meanwhile, the longest open-air gallery in the world is a listed building.

East Side Gallery

Tip 4: Berlin Wall worldwide

Remains of the Wall at Potsdamer Platz
Remains of the Wall at Potsdamer Platz © visitBerlin; Foto: Arthur F. Selbach

Do you have wanderlust? Then follow where the remains of the Berlin Wall can be seen all over the world by now. It's hard to believe how far the painted pieces of the Wall have made it in some places, for example to the Vatican, to Hawaii and even to Mars.

Berlin Wall worldwide

Tip 5: About Berlin App

Mauerspechte November 1989
Mauerspechte November 1989 © Foto: Justin Leighton / Alamy Stock Photo

You can also travel back in time with our ABOUT BERLIN Story App. Using the map function you can quickly find the stories that fit your location along the wall. Dive into the past. Through tours, texts, videos, audio books and historical pictures, you will learn about the history of the fall of the Wall and the City of Freedom. Tip: You can also find a tour of the Wall Cycle Path including exciting multimedia content.

ABOUT BERLIN App

Tip 6: Audioguide - The Wall

tourists taking pictures at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin
Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin Friedrichstraße © visitBerlin, Foto: Artfully Media, Sven Christian Schramm

With Storytude's audio guide you can immerse yourself in the time before the fall of the Berlin Wall during a walk on location. You will listen to interviews and original recordings from the time of the Cold War and from the time of the division of the city. How did people live back then? What kept them busy? The walk leads from Checkpoint Charlie to Potsdamer Platz and back along Leipziger Strasse - and ends with an eyewitness account of what actually happened behind the scenes when the Wall came down.

Tip: Many other memorial sites are currently open to the public, such as the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse.

Audio Guide - The Berlin Wall

Tip 7: DDR museum online

DDR Museum in Berlin
DDR Museum © © DDR Museum, Berlin 2017

If you would like to know more about the former GDR, please visit the website of the DDR Museum. In a video series, Dr. Wolle answers questions and shares stories and facts about the German Democratic Republic and its dissolution. The videos deal with the reappraisal of the Stasi documents, political backgrounds, but also with topics such as the consecration of young people, Western parcels or how it was like back then in the vacation camp in the GDR.

DDR museum

Tip 8: MauAR

Augmented Reality: Virtual watch tower MauAR-App Berlin
MauAR App © Beta Room UG, Foto: Stefan Vincent

With the MauAR, you can get an impression on the screen of your smartphone of what it looked like in the border strip at the time of the occupation forces. Dive into the past via the augmented reality function and see scenes from the time when the German-German border was still overshadowed by watchtowers.

MauAR

Tip 9: Facts about the fall of the Berlin Wall

Infographics 30 Years of the Fall of the Wall in Berlin
© visitBerlin

Once again summarized for you: In our infographic about the fall of the wall we have collected all important facts and some curiosities. How high and how wide was the wall? Did you know that there were 39 escape tunnels? But how many people actually managed to escape and how many had to pay for their escape attempt with their lives? Do you remember how many people took to the streets at that time? And how expensive was the demolition of this symbol of German division?

Infographics about the fall of the Berlin Wall

Tip 10: Remains of the Berlin Wall

Remains of the Berlin Wall
Remains of the Berlin Wall © iStock.com; Foto: Yuriz

So that you don't have to cycle the whole Wall cycle path, we have selected the 11 top places in Berlin's districts where you can see remnants of the Berlin Wall. Among them, of course, such famous places as Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall Park. But there are also some cemeteries with listed wall remains.

Top 11 places to see remnants of the Berlin wall

Tip 11: The wall in movies

Former boarder crossing of the Berlin Wall
Former boarder crossing at Bornholmer Straße © visitBerlin, Foto: Janine Blechschmidt

If you can't come to Berlin at the moment, why not get a Berlin series or an exciting Berlin movie on TV on the day the Wall came down? Of course the Berlin Wall can also be seen in numerous comedies, dramas and thrillers. Especially in spy films the Wall and the border crossings (in the picture the border crossing at Bornholmer Straße) are a popular motif. We have selected a few particularly exciting highlights for you here.

The Berliner Wall in movies

Here you can find important information about the current situation in Berlin.

Josefine Köhn-Haskins

Josefine

ist in München aufgewachsen, hat dort studiert und bei der SZ volontiert. Auf der Suche nach neuen Abenteuern entdeckte sie erst New York, dann Miami und berichtete als Trendscout und Korrespondentin für verschiedene Publikationen. Ihr Zuhause fand sie dann aber in Berlin. Fasziniert von den vielen Facetten der Stadt ist sie kreuz und quer in den Kiezen unterwegs und beschäftigt sich gerne mit Zukunftsideen und Smart City Konzepten für ein innovatives Berlin.

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