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The Berlin Wall divided Germany for 28 years, standing as the most potent symbol of the Cold War. Decades since its fall, little remains of the barrier, euphemistically called the ‘Anti-Fascist Protection Barrier.’ Stretching across 155 kilometres, the symbol of oppression was potentially most felt in the German capital, where West Berlin existed as an island of democracy amongst Eastern Germany. Now, the city has the largest remaining stretch of the wall, which along with other spots dotted around the city give an insight into this iconic structure.
The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall. Considered the largest open-air gallery in the world, the 1.3-kilometre section is also the best spot in Berlin to see the colourful, famous murals on the wall. A tribute to freedom, visitors can explore the gallery on their own, or by following an informative tour.
Mauerpark is best known for its weekly flea market and open-air karaoke session, however, this park also houses a remnant of the Berlin Wall. Established in what was once no-man’s land, the small stretch of the wall here has since become a favourite canvas for graffiti artists. Opposite the park are large images and information points on the wall.
The most famous American controlled border crossing, Checkpoint Charlie, is now a top sight when visiting Berlin. Along with this well-known sight, visitors can also see a small remaining part of the Berlin Wall in this area. As a portion of the structure is located close to the Checkpoint Charlie museum at the corner of Schützenstraße and Friedrichstraße.
When it stood, the Berlin Wall ran along the entire southern edge of Bernauer Straße. Part of this former strip, along with a former watchtower is now home to an open-air museum offering historical audio and video material about the Berlin Wall. There is also an informative visitor centre with videos and a viewing tower to see the sight from a new perspective.
The East German border once ran parallel to the Flutgraben channel. This former strip between Treptow and Kreuzberg has since become the intersection of two of Berlin’s trendiest suburbs. A few metres of the wall have been preserved here, along with Schlesischer Busch, a preserved watchtower that now hosts a series of changing art exhibitions.
The last original segments of the Berlin Wall in Potsdamer Platz were torn down in 2008. However, six sections were preserved and later erected at the entrance to the Potsdamer Platz station. Now, they can be seen by visitors, along with information points and just around the corner is one of the few remaining watchtowers in the city.
At the eastern end of the Bösebrücke bridge, is what was formerly known as the Bornholmer Straße border crossing. One of the first crossings to open when the wall fell on November 9, 1989. Today more than 100 Japanese cherry blossom trees line the Mauerweg, or wall trail, the trees were a gift from Japan as a sign of sympathy and encouragement in 1990. Small remnants of the wall can be found here today.