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 Story of the Berlin Wall: Past and Present

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

Understanding the Historical Significance

When discussing the length of the Berlin Wall, it’s essential to first understand its historical significance. The Berlin Wall was a physical barrier built by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1961 to separate West Berlin, occupied by Western Allies, from East Berlin, controlled by the Soviet Union.

Spanning a distance of approximately 155 kilometers (96 miles), the Berlin Wall stood as a symbol of the Cold War and the division of Germany. It was designed to prevent East Germans from escaping to the West and served as a poignant reminder of the ideological differences between the East and West.

The Length of the Original Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, which consisted of concrete segments and barbed wire fencing, reached a maximum height of 3.6 meters (12 feet). It extended not only through the city of Berlin but also along the German-German border. The length of the original wall that encircled West Berlin’s borders was approximately 43 kilometers (26.7 miles).

However, it’s important to note that this length doesn’t account for the numerous other barriers, including secondary walls, trenches, and guard towers, that were part of the overall border fortifications.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Freedom and Reunification

The Berlin Wall became a powerful symbol of the Cold War and the division of Europe until its dramatic fall on November 9, 1989. The event marked a pivotal moment in history when the people of East and West Berlin, fueled by a desire for freedom and reunification, came together to dismantle the wall.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, celebrations swept through the city, and Germans on both sides reunited with their friends and families for the first time in decades. This event was not only significant for Germany but also symbolized the end of the Cold War era.

The Remains of the Berlin Wall Today

Today, more than three decades after its fall, only fragments of the Berlin Wall remain. Some sections serve as reminders of the city’s tumultuous past, while others have been transformed into memorial sites and open-air galleries.

The most well-known preserved section of the Berlin Wall is the East Side Gallery, a 1.3-kilometer (0.8-mile) stretch along the Spree River. This open-air gallery showcases over a hundred murals painted by artists from around the world, depicting political and artistic expressions.

Other Significant Sites and Memorials

Aside from the East Side Gallery, several other locations in Berlin feature remnants of the Berlin Wall:

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie, once the most famous border crossing between East and West Berlin, is now a popular tourist attraction. The checkpoint’s replica sign and a small museum provide insights into the history of the Berlin Wall and the events surrounding it.

Bernauer Strasse

Bernauer Strasse, located in the northern part of Berlin, was one of the most affected streets during the division. Today, it serves as a memorial with preserved sections of the wall, a documentation center, and an outdoor exhibition on the wall’s history.

The Palace of Tears

The Palace of Tears, officially known as the Friedrichstrasse Train Station, was a border crossing where East Germans said goodbye to their relatives from the West. It now stands as a memorial and museum, providing insights into the emotional farewells that took place during the time of division.

In Conclusion

The Berlin Wall, once a symbol of separation, has transformed into a symbol of unity and resilience. While its physical length is diminished, its historical and cultural significance remains strong.

Visiting the remnants and memorials of the Berlin Wall allows us to reflect on the past and gain a deeper understanding of the struggles and triumphs that shaped modern Germany.

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.

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • 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