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 Iconic Berlin Wall: A Symbol of Division and Unity

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

As you delve into the rich history of Berlin, one significant landmark that holds great historical and cultural importance is the Berlin Wall. Built in 1961 and demolished in 1989, the Berlin Wall stood as a physical embodiment of the division between East and West Germany during the Cold War period. Let’s dive into the details of where the Berlin Wall was located and its impact on the city and the world.

The Location of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall ran through the heart of Berlin, effectively dividing the city into two separate parts: East Berlin, belonging to the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and West Berlin, under the control of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).

The Wall stretched approximately 155 kilometers (96 miles) in total length, encircling the western part of West Berlin. Notably, it did not just follow a straight line across the city but rather meandered in a jagged pattern, encompassing various neighborhoods, streets, and even buildings. Its construction aimed to prevent people from escaping from East Germany to the free and prosperous West, effectively becoming a stark symbol of the ideological divide between the East and the West.

The Inner City Border

Within the city center of Berlin, the Wall often followed major streets and landmarks. One well-known section of the wall was the Berlin Wall Memorial, located at Bernauer Strasse. This site served as a poignant and somber reminder of the wall’s existence.

Another notable area is Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous border crossing between East and West Berlin. Though the original checkpoint no longer stands, a replica serves as a tourist attraction and a symbol of the former division.

Outer Areas and the Berlin Wall “Death Strip”

Beyond the city center, the Wall extended into the outer areas of Berlin, running through neighborhoods like Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg. It divided families, neighborhoods, and even cemeteries, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of Berliners.

Running parallel to the Wall was an area known as the “Death Strip.” This area included a stretch of land between two walls, often filled with obstacles such as barbed wire, mines, and patrolled by armed guards. This space served as a kill zone and a deterrent for anyone attempting to cross the border.

The Construction of the Berlin Wall

The construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 13, 1961, with the sudden erection of barbed wire fences along the border between East and West Berlin. Over time, these fences were reinforced with concrete segments, evolving into a formidable barrier.

Initially, the Wall consisted of simple wire fences, but as the days and weeks passed, it transformed into a more substantial structure. Concrete segments weighing several tons replaced the wire fences, equipped with watchtowers and fortified with various security measures.

Around 20,000 border guards were tasked with ensuring the security of the wall, enforcing strict border control, and preventing any attempts to escape to the West.

A Symbol of Division and Unity

The Berlin Wall was a representation of the immense division that existed during the Cold War era. Families were torn apart, and the free movement of people and ideas was heavily restricted.

However, the fall of the Wall on November 9, 1989, marked a pivotal moment in history. It symbolized the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany. The Wall became a symbol of hope, unity, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Today, remnants of the Berlin Wall serve as reminders of the city’s troubled past. The East Side Gallery, one of the most famous remnants, features a long stretch of paintings by artists from around the world, celebrating peace, freedom, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Visiting the Berlin Wall and its remnants allows us to reflect on the atrocities of the past and appreciate the progress made toward unity and peace. Understanding the history of this remarkable barrier provides a powerful lesson on the importance of freedom, unity, and the value of coming together as a global community.

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