Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

The Fascinating Journey of the Berlin Wall

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

The Berlin Wall was an iconic structure that divided the German city of Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed as a physical barrier between East and West Germany during the Cold War, this wall carried immense historical and political significance. One of the frequently asked questions about the Berlin Wall is: “How long was this formidable structure?” In this article, we will explore the length of the Berlin Wall and delve into its profound impact on the city and its people.

The Length of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall stretched an impressive 155 kilometers (96 miles) around West Berlin, enclosing the entire city except for a few areas. This concrete structure, standing at an average height of 3.6 meters (12 feet), was a formidable presence that separated families, friends, and communities.

155 kilometers

However, it’s important to note that the actual length is not a simple straight line. The Berlin Wall comprised numerous sections and segments, including walls, fencing, ditches, and watchtowers. These variations account for the slight discrepancy in the calculated length.

The History and Purpose of the Berlin Wall

To fully understand the significance of the Berlin Wall, we must explore the historical context that led to its construction. After World War II, Germany was divided into four occupation zones controlled by the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, and France. In 1949, tensions grew between the Soviet-controlled East Germany (German Democratic Republic, GDR) and the Western-aligned Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). This tension eventually escalated into the Cold War, an ideological struggle between the Soviet Union and Western powers.

The construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 13, 1961, as a response to the increasing number of East Germans fleeing to the prosperous West. The primary purpose of the wall was to prevent mass defections, mainly skilled workers and intellectuals, who were creating an imbalance in the country’s socio-economic structure.

The Berlin Wall was a chilling symbol of the Iron Curtain, representing the division between communist and capitalist ideologies. It was not solely intended to protect East Germany from the influence of the West but was also a means to display the power and control of the Soviet Union over its satellite state.

Structure and Features of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall was comprised of several elements, each serving a specific purpose within its complex architecture.

1. Concrete Walls and Barriers

The central component of the Berlin Wall was a series of concrete walls and barriers. These reinforced structures stood as a physical obstacle, making it challenging for individuals to cross from East to West Berlin. Guards patrolled the top of the walls, and these barriers were further fortified with barbed wire and anti-vehicle trenches to prevent unauthorized access.

2. Watchtowers

Strategically placed watchtowers acted as observation points, providing clear views of the border areas. Armed guards stationed in these towers monitored the wall and its surroundings for any signs of escape attempts.

3. Checkpoints and Border Control

The Berlin Wall had numerous checkpoints and border control stations. These locations were heavily guarded and served to control the movement of individuals between East and West Berlin. Checkpoints like Checkpoint Charlie, Checkpoint Alpha, and Checkpoint Bravo became famous landmarks and symbols of the divided city.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall symbolized the division of Germany and its people. However, the fall of the wall on November 9, 1989, served as a catalyst for change and marked a significant milestone in history.

Mass protests and political changes in Eastern Europe, along with increasing pressure on the East German government, led to the opening of border crossings. This historic event resulted in the joyous reunification of families and friends who had been separated for decades.

In the years that followed, the Berlin Wall crumbled, and fragments became sought-after souvenirs and reminders of a painful era in history.


The Berlin Wall stood as a physical and symbolic representation of the division between East and West during the Cold War. Spanning 155 kilometers, this imposing structure restricted the freedom of the people of Berlin for nearly three decades. Its fall in 1989 paved the way for the reunification of Germany, marking the end of an era and the triumph of human resilience.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.


  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free