In 2009, Berlin and the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which came down on the historic evening of November 9th, 1989. Thanks to a peaceful revolution, the border between East and West Germany fell, the Cold War ended, and Germany was reunited.
You can still feel Berlin's turbulent yet hopeful history when you walk through its streets; many of its landmarks are closely connected to the Berlin Wall, its fall, and the reunification of Germany. For an in-depth understanding of Berlin and its unique and moving history, pay a visit to the monuments listed below.
"Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Former President Ronald Reagan spoke those moving words in front of the Brandenburg Gate. During the Cold War, the gate stood between East and West Berlin and symbolized the division of the city, the country, and the world.
Read more in the Profile of the Brandenburg Gate.
The East Side Gallery is a colorful section of the Berlin Wall, which has been turned into the largest open-air gallery in the world. It displays more than 100 paintings and murals by international artists.
Read more in the Profile of the East Side Gallery.
Checkpoint Charlie was the most infamous border crossing between East and West Berlin; it became one of the focal points of the Cold War, with a military stand-off between U.S. and Soviet tanks and dramatic escape attempts by East German citizens.
Today, a copy of a former guard house and the sign „You are now leaving the American sector“ commemorate the former crossing. You can trace back its history in an open-air exhibition and in the fascinating Checkpoint Charlie museum.
The Memorial Site on Bernauer street consists of the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Chapel of Reconciliation, and the Documentation Center.
The Documentation Center offers one of the best in-depth views of the historical and political background of Berlin's division and the construction of the Wall.
The modern Chapel of Reconciliation commemorates a former church, which once stood in the death strip of the border and was eventually blown up by the East German Regime.
After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the former border was quickly dismantled. Today, it is sometimes difficult to trace back the path of the Iron Curtain, which once cut Berlin in half. But the new "Walk the Wall" Tour, a self-guided, multimedia guide, makes it easy to explore the former course of the Berlin Wall. It offers a touch screen and a headset and comes with the latest technology: an integrated GPS navigation system, especially designed for walking, digital city maps, and historical film and sound clips.
Read more about the Walk the Wall Guide.