August 13th 1961 until November 9th 1989 – This is the period, in which the Berlin Wall divided our city. If you go through Berlin, you will find indications in different places that you are currently on the former border area at the Berlin Wall. There are small signs here and there or even large cultural institutions such as the former border crossing Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstraße, which you can find south of our hotel CALMA Berlin Mitte. North of, only one kilometre from the hotel, the Berlin Wall Memorial is located.
It extends along Bernauer Straße and waives deliberately dramatic effects. The Berlin Wall Memorial is content with plain simplicity and its own expressive power to represent the tragic fate of the people along Bernauer Straße and und shows you the entire story of the Construction until the Fall of the Berlin Wall in a very special way.
The Monument was opened in 1998 and it consists of several sub-areas. The Wall ran at that time along Bernauer Straße and shared the road in East and West Berlin. Suddenly roads were cut off and families and friends were separated from each other mercilessly. To illustrate this separation of example, the area of the border strip and a 60-metres section of the border fortifications were built on the site of the former Eastern part of the city. Representing the course of the Wall rusting steel pillars were anchored in the ground. You can get along the steel pillars a unique and intensive insight into the situation at that time. Because despite the area of the former border strip is wide and not built-up, it shows the erstwhile dramatic situation. With the aid of information boards, you can trace the history of the Berlin Wall along Bernauer Straße. The Chapel of Reconciliation and the Window of Remembrance with portraits of the victims complete the place of reflexion.
On the former site of West Berlin, you can go into the visitor centre and into the documentation centre with its five-story observation tower and study more about the history of Berlin and the Berlin Wall Memorial. Only from the observation tower, you can see how the original boundary system was constructed, because visitors cannot access it.
On November 9th, Berlin celebrates the Fall of the Wall. The Berlin Wall Memorial celebrates this with readings, guided tours and exhibitions. If you are in the capital on this day , it might be an alternative way to get to know Berlin, right? However, the Memorial is also open on all other days of the year.