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 Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall: A Symbol of Divided Germany

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

For over a quarter of a century, the Berlin Wall stood tall, separating the city of Berlin into East and West. It became an iconic symbol of the Cold War division between the communist Soviet bloc and the capitalist Western nations. But when exactly was the Berlin Wall finished and how did it come to be? Let’s delve into the history of this monumental structure and its eventual demise.

The Construction of the Berlin Wall

The construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 13, 1961, and it was completed within a few days. The barrier was erected by the German Democratic Republic (GDR), commonly known as East Germany, to prevent its citizens from fleeing to West Berlin, which was under the control of the Allied powers.

As tensions rose between the East and the West, East Germany implemented stricter border controls, making it increasingly difficult for its citizens to leave. Many East Germans sought political asylum, higher living standards, and increased personal freedoms by crossing into West Berlin. This led to a mass exodus of skilled workers and professionals, draining the East of its resources and talent.

To counter this emigration crisis, the GDR decided to construct a physical barrier that would effectively separate East and West Berlin. The initial wall was made of barbed wire and quickly evolved into a complex network of concrete walls, watchtowers, and anti-vehicle trenches, extending approximately 96 miles.

The Impact of the Berlin Wall

The construction of the Berlin Wall had a profound impact on the people and the city itself. Families were torn apart, with loved ones stranded on either side. The wall became a harrowing symbol of the Cold War division, encapsulating the struggle between democracy and communism.

For the people of East Germany, the wall represented their entrapment within an oppressive regime. They were subjected to strict surveillance, limited access to information, and restricted travel. The wall stifled their aspirations and destroyed their hopes of a better life.

On the other hand, West Berlin became a beacon of freedom and opportunity, attracting scores of individuals seeking refuge and a chance at a better future. The stark contrast between the two halves of the city became a tangible reminder of the ideological conflict between the East and the West.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall and German Reunification

The Berlin Wall stood for 28 years as a physical embodiment of the division between East and West. However, it ultimately crumbled in the face of mounting pressure from the people and the changing geopolitical landscape.

Mass protests against the GDR regime, along with the reforms implemented by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, set the stage for change. The pressure for greater freedom and democracy led to significant civil unrest in East Germany, and on November 9, 1989, the government announced that travel restrictions would be eased.

That fateful evening, thousands of East Berliners flocked to the wall, overwhelming the border guards. Overjoyed and emboldened by the turn of events, they began tearing down sections of the wall, symbolizing the end of an era and the pursuit of reunification.

The Reunification of Germany

The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of the reunification of Germany. On October 3, 1990, just under a year after the wall’s demise, East and West Germany formally reunified, merging into a single nation once again.

The reunification process was complex, involving political negotiations, economic reforms, and a significant reconfiguration of the social and cultural fabric of East and West Germany. Although challenges remained, reunification represented a triumph of democracy and a new chapter in German history.

The Legacy of the Berlin Wall

Today, the Berlin Wall stands as a memorial to both the pain and the triumph of the German people. Several sections of the wall have been preserved as historical landmarks, serving as a poignant reminder of the division and the struggle for freedom.

The fall of the Berlin Wall symbolized the end of the Cold War and the dawning of a new era in international relations. It showcased the power of collective action and the resilience of those who longed for freedom.

Visiting the Berlin Wall Memorial and learning about its history provides a somber and thought-provoking experience. It serves as a reminder of the importance of unity, freedom, and the enduring human spirit.


The Berlin Wall, completed in August 1961, stood as a divisive barrier between East and West Berlin for almost three decades. Its construction aimed to stem the flow of emigration from East to West Germany, but it ultimately led to immense hardships for the people and a stark reminder of the ideological divide.

The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, sparked a wave of hope and led to the reunification of Germany the following year. Today, the wall’s remnants stand as a testament to the resilience of the German people and the triumph of freedom over oppression.

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