Walking the Berlin Wall

Possibly one of the most exciting and fulfilling things there is to do in Berlin, walking the Berlin wall and learning about its history is imperative whilst on a trip to Berlin. This guide aims to show you how to make the most out of your visit to the Berlin, by booking your Berlin apartment or Berlin hotel early, and seeing the bits of the Berlin wall that are still left!

Understandably, most of the wall was demolished between June and November of 1990 after reunification. The wall represented separation, desperation and the inhumanity of the East German regime and it was for this reason that the wall was crushed and reused for road fill.

However, starting at the wall on the southern border of Wedding, you can get a feeling for what the wall was like. On the way you will see some of the remnants including the restored segment at the Gedenkenstätte Berliner Mauer and gain an impression of just how dividing this monstrosity was.

Although the wall divided the city and particularly during the first 20 years, strict patrolling of the wall to stop residents coming was high, towards the end of the Cold War, Berliners increasingly saw the wall as a joke and a symbol of the backwardness of the USSR which eventually crumbled in 1991. With this in mind, people became less and less scared of the authorities and graffiti began appearing on the wall at the start of the eighties. As well as this, the wall they painted on was a wall erected in 1976 by East German Border Troops, known as the ‘Border Wall 75’. This concrete Wall was 3.60 metres high and painted white. Although painting was not allowed, the complete Wall system was on the territory of East Berlin many artists begun to paint on the Western side. There is lots of Berlin accommodation available, make sure you book in advance though!

Start at Invalidenstrasse, continue eastwards, a little further on is the Sandkrugbrücke, a former border crossing into East Berlin. A stone by the bridge commemorates the death of Günter Litfin, the first person to be shot dead attempting to escape to West Berlin. Turn left down the promenade by the canal continuing to the Invalidenfriedhof. The wall once ran through this graveyard and you will notice that the headstones of many graves are missing, done so as not to impair the sightlines of border guards. Victims of air raids and the Battle of Berlin are buried here and it is also the sight that West Berlin police shot dead an East Berlin guard to save a 15 year old boy who was in the process of escaping in 1962. Between here and Chausseestrasse there are few traces left of the wall, which ran roughly parallel to the canal before veering right. At the end of the street, pavement markings indicating the Wall’s former course. A short section of the wall appears before the railway bridge at the junction with Gartenstrasse and left on to Bernauer Strasse is where many desperate escapes took place.

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