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Where is the Berlin Wall?

Perspectives on Different Locations in Berlin

March 16th, 2015

25 years ago, the Berlin Wall was torn apart by the East German population, who took the announcement of ‘open borders’ very literally. People gathered, danced and sang by the wall that had divided Berlin for 28 years. Nowadays, the remaining parts of the wall are put into use in many different ways. Each of the remaining parts offers a different perspective on the Berlin Wall and its history. From an artistic message for peace, to a self-constructed house, the past is captured across an incredibly wide spectrum.

Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, Bernauerstrasse

This memorial was unveiled in 2004 on Bernauerstrasse and serves as the central memorial for the division of Berlin. A long green strip next to the road marks the place of the no man’s land between the two walls, also marked in the ground. A few meters of the wall are even preserved in its original state, including the guard tower and patrol road on the no man’s land between the walls, which can only be overlooked from an observation deck.

East Side Gallery, Mühlenstrasse

A more artistic view of the Berlin wall can be seen at the East Side Gallery. A 1.3km long piece of wall was appointed directly after the fall of the Wall, in 1989, with the intention of becoming a street art memorial to the division of Germany, and to peace. Famous ‘murals’, such as the Trabant crushing through the Berlin Wall, or the kiss of Honecker and Brezhnev can be found on this spot.

Topograhy of Terror, Niederkirchnerstrasse

When the Berlin Wall was built in this street, it was built on the location of the former headquarters of the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police. Nowadays, it is an important part of a memorial to history of the Second World War. The basement of the Gestapo buildings have been excavated, so now together with the Berlin Wall on top of it, it gives a literal and physical demonstration of the layers of Germany’s troubled history.

Baumhaus am Berliner Mauer, Bethaniendamm

In 1983, a Turkish Immigrant stood near a piece of wasteland. Although the Wall was behind the plot, the wasteland belonged to East Germany. Knowing this, Osman Kalin started building his own house upon the wasteland. The West Berlin authorities had nothing to say about these activities, and the border guards from East Berlin only complained when Kalin’s sunflowers were growing taller than the wall. It remains today a powerful statement about life in divided Germany.

Parliament of Trees against War and Violence, Schiffbauerdamm

On the pre-1989 river Spree border near the current Reichstag, pieces of the wall remain to remember its victims. It was built exactly one year after the fall of the Berlin wall, on November 9th 1990. In front of the wall, monumental stones are engraved with all 258 names of the people who died while trying to cross the border. The stones are placed under 16 trees, planted by different prime ministers. The monument is the second longest remaining segment of Berlin Wall, after the East Side Gallery.


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