HIS­TORIC SITES

Where Berlin - - SIGHTSEEING -

DID YOU KNOW? The Bauhaus Archiv was built in the 1970s after a de­sign by Wal­ter Gropius.

Asisi’s Wall Panorama

Artist Yade­gar Asisi cre­ated a panorama of di­vided Berlin pre­sent­ing every­day life against the back­drop of the Berlin Wall on an imag­i­nary day in the 1980s. His aim was to show how the pop­u­la­tion came to terms with the sit­u­a­tion and the cir­cum­stances, and the re­sult gives on­look­ers a very in­ter­est­ing glimpse of GDR life. Open daily 10am–7pm. €10/4. www.asisi.de. Friedrich­str. 205. T: 0341.3555340. U Kochstraße. E3/E4

Berlin Wall Doc­u­men­ta­tion Cen­ter

MUST SEE Walk along one of the few sur­viv­ing stretches of the Berlin Wall, then have all your ques­tions an­swered at the in­for­ma­tion cen­tre, of­fer­ing de­tailed ex­pla­na­tions on the Wall’s his­tory and pol­i­tics. Doc­u­ments, photographs, and orig­i­nal ra­dio broad­casts from the East and the West doc­u­ment one of Ger­many’s sad­dest his­tor­i­cal pe­ri­ods. Open Tue–Sun 9:30am–7pm (un­til 6pm Nov– Mar). € free. www.ber­liner-mauerge­denkstaette.de. Bernauer Str. 111. T: 030.467986666. U Bernauer Straße. E2

Check­point Charlie

Dur­ing the Cold War, Check­point Charlie was the main gate­way be­tween East and West. Shortly after the Wall went up, US and USSR tanks faced each other on this spot. To­day, this Cold War sym­bol is mainly the back­drop for tourist photographs. U Kochstraße, U Stadt­mitte. E3/E4

East Side Gallery

While West Ber­lin­ers loved to ex­press their cre­ativ­ity by draw­ing graf­fiti and paint­ing on the Wall, East Ber­lin­ers were never al­lowed to use the di­vid­ing struc­ture as their can­vas. To make up for all the art­less years, artists from 21 coun­tries were called upon in 1990 to dec­o­rate one mile of the east­ern seg­ment of the Berlin Wall with their work, cre­at­ing what is now known as the East Side Gallery. Müh­len­str. S+U Warschauer Straße, S Ost­bahn­hof. G4

Gleis 17

Be­tween 1941 and 1945, 50,000 Berlin Jews were packed into the freight and cat­tle cars of 186 trains leav­ing from Track 17 of the Grunewald Sta­tion, des­tined for the con­cen­tra­tion camps and ghet­tos of Auschwitz, There­sien­stadt, Riga, and Lodz. The track is no longer in use, and a plaque com­mem­o­rates the tragic events. The small square in front of the S- Bahn sta­tion also fea­tures sculp­tures and in­stal­la­tions ded­i­cated to the de­por­tees. S Grunewald. Off Map

Holo­caust Memo­rial

MUST SEE Berlin’s trib­ute to the vic­tims of the Shoah is as big as a soc­cer field and con­sists of 2711 tomb­stone-like slabs of equal size and vary­ing heights placed on an un­even ground to con­vey a sense of claus­tro­pho­bia and dis­ori­en­ta­tion. The un­der­ground in­for­ma­tion cen­tre pro­vides a time­line of Jewish per­se­cu­tion. Ac­ces­si­ble 24 hours a day. € free. www.holo­caust-mah­n­mal.de. Cora- Ber­liner Straße. T: 030.2639430.

U Bran­den­burger Tor. E3

Karl-Marx-Allee

Berlin’s best ex­am­ple of GDR- era neo- re­al­ist ar­chi­tec­ture. Built be­tween 1950 and 1960, the 90-m-wide boule­vard was meant to pro­vide hous­ing for thou­sands of peo­ple and a back­drop for mil­i­tary pa­rades, and quickly be­came a source of na­tional pride for the GDR. The res­i­den­tial tower blocks were in­spired by Moscow and by Stalin’s ideal style, na­tion­al­is­tic in form but so­cial­ist in con­tent. The boule­vard is an im­por­tant ar­chi­tec­tural showcase. Karl- Marx-Allee. U We­ber­wiese, Straus­berger Platz. F3/G3

KPM Berlin

Once upon a time in Berlin, a Ger­man king bought a lo­cal porce­lain fac­tory, and Königliche Porzel­lanMan­u­fak­tur was born. To­day known as KPM Berlin for short, the company still makes ex­quis­ite, worl­drenowned porce­lain table­ware and dec­o­ra­tive goods. At its Tier­garten head­quar­ters, the old­est still- run­ning man­u­fac­tory in the city, vis­i­tors can take a tour, take a break in the café, and – of course – shop for beau­ti­ful hand- painted porce­lain. www.kpm- berlin.com. Wegelystr. 1. T: 030.390090. S Tier­garten. C3

Mauer Mu­seum (Haus am Check­point Charlie)

This pri­vately-run ex­hibit ex­plores the means and tools used by East Ger­mans to es­cape the GDR un­til 1989: Tra­bant cars with hid­den doors, hot air bal­loons, tun­nels, and chair­lifts were just some of the crafty in­ven­tions de­vised by GDR res­i­dents. Open Mon–Sun 9am–10pm. €12.50/6.50. www.mauer­mu­seum.de. Friedrich­str. 43- 45. T: 030.2537250. U Kochstraße. E3/E4

Sach­sen­hausen Con­cen­tra­tion Camp

Built by pris­on­ers as a model con­cen­tra­tion camp in 1936, Sach­sen­hausen’s first in­mates were mainly po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers, whereas Jews, gyp­sies, ho­mo­sex­u­als, and peo­ple con­sid­ered “in­fe­rior” were brought here a few years later. The iron gate bears the in­fa­mous “Ar­beit macht frei” sign, and the bar­racks host a num­ber of exhibitions about ex­ter­mi­na­tion meth­ods, daily life of pris­on­ers and the med­i­cal ex­per­i­ments per­formed on them. Open 8:30am– 6pm (un­til 4:30pm mid- Oct– mid- March). Mu­se­ums and exhibitions closed on Mon­days. € free. Guided tours avail­able. www.stiftung-bg.de. Straße der Na­tio­nen 22, Oranien­burg. T: 03301.200200. S Oranien­burg or RE Oranien­burg train from Haupt­bahn­hof. Off Map

Stasi Prison

Be­tween 1945 and 1989, more than 20,000 peo­ple sus­pected of op­pos­ing the GDR’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem were ar­rested by the Stasi and brought to this cus­tody build­ing. In its first and dark­est years, the prison’s cel­lars, known as “the sub­ma­rine,” were used to in­flict psy­cho­log­i­cal tor­ture on the in­mates, while the rel­a­tively more hu­mane cells are on the up­per floors, next to a seem­ingly never- end­ing cor­ri­dor filled with in­ter­ro­ga­tion rooms. Tours in English on Wed, Sat, and Sun at 2:30pm. € 5/2.50. en.stiftung- hsh.de. Gensler­str. 66. T: 030.98608230. S Landsberger Allee, then Tram M5 to Freien­walder Strasse, then 10-minute walk. Off Map

To­pogra­phie des Ter­rors

On the site of the for­mer head­quar­ters of the SS and the Third Re­ich’s most im­por­tant of­fices, this per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion re­counts the tragic his­tory of Nazi forced la­bor, fo­cus­ing on the cen­tral in­sti­tu­tions of the SS and Third Re­ich po­lice and the crimes they com­mit­ted through­out Europe. A pre­served seg­ment of the Berlin Wall runs along the ex­hi­bi­tion grounds. Open daily 10am– 8pm. € free. www.to­pogra­phie.de. Niederkirch­n­er­str. 8. T: 030.2545090. U Kochstraße, Pots­damer Platz. E4

Trä­nen­palast (Palace of Tears)

Un­til 1990, this de­par­ture hall of the Friedrich­strasse sta­tion was also a bor­der cross­ing for West Ber­lin­ers on their way back home after vis­it­ing rel­a­tives and friends in the East. The many painful farewells brought lo­cals to re­name the build­ing “palace of tears.” The build­ing now hosts the per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion Bor­der ex­pe­ri­ence.

Every­day life in di­vided Ger­many, which re­counts the ef­fects of the bor­der in Ger­man every­day life. Open Tue– Fri 9am–7pm, un­til 6pm on Sat and Sun. € free. www.hdg.de. Re­ich­stagufer 17. T: 030.46777790. S+U Friedrich­straße. E3

Gen­dar­men­markt: con­sid­ered to be Berlin’s most beau­ti­ful square.

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