Walk The Wall

Where Berlin - - SIGHTSEEING -

Walk­ing the 7km (4.35mi) Ber­lin Wall Trail ( be­tween Nord­bahn­hof and Pots­damer Platz is a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to un­der­stand how the for­mer bar­rier di­vided the city and its in­hab­i­tants. Start­ing right out­side of Nord­bahn­hof, fol­low the dou­ble line of cob­ble­stones to the Ber­lin Wall Doc­u­men­ta­tion Cen­ter (Ber­liner Mauer Ge­denkstätte, this page), which has nu­mer­ous ex­hi­bi­tions de­tail­ing the Wall’s history and im­pact. Far­ther south by the Hum­boldthafen water­side is a watch­tower that now serves as a me­mo­rial to the first vic­tim of the GDR, Gün­ter Litfin. Fol­low the trail down to the bank next to the Re­ich­stag build­ing to visit the White Crosses ( me­mo­rial, set up in 1971 by West Ber­lin ten years af­ter the build­ing of the wall. And at the Friedrich­straße sta­tion, the Palace of Tears ( Trä­nen­palast, p. 37) is a for­mer bor­der cross­ing, so named be­cause of the tear­ful farewells be­tween fam­i­lies and friends from East and West. Ad­di­tional route and his­tor­i­cal in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on www.ber­lin.de. MUST SEE In the last 100 years, the mas­sive neo- Re­nais­sance build­ing, now the seat of Ger­man Par­lia­ment, has been bombed, set on fire, wrapped by artist Christo, and ren­o­vated by Lord Nor­man Foster. Climb the glass cupola for a 360- de­gree view of the city, then gaze down at par­lia­ment in ses­sion. The ple­nary hall can be vis­ited only on guided tours. Cupola: Daily 8am– mid­night by ap­point­ment only. Free. Register on web­site. Au­dio tours avail­able. www.bun­destag.de. Platz der Repub­lik 1. T: 030.22732152. U Bun­destag. D3/E3

Siegessäule ( Vic­tory Col­umn)

The tri­umphal col­umn on the Straße der 17. Juni, in the mid­dle of Tier­garten park, com­mem­o­rates vic­tory in the Prusso- Dan­ish war, while the an­gel on top was added af­ter two fur­ther war vic­to­ries against Aus­tria and France. The ter­race of­fers great vis­tas. Daily 9:30am– 6:30pm (week­ends un­til 7pm); win­ter 10am– 5pm (week­ends un­til 5:30pm). € 3/2. Großer Stern 1. T: 030.3912961.U Hansaplatz. C3/D3 where its im­pact was par­tic­u­larly dra­matic, then delve into its sto­ried history at the doc­u­men­ta­tion cen­ter. Doc­u­ments and orig­i­nal ra­dio broad­casts from both East and West chron­i­cle one of Ger­many’s sad­dest his­tor­i­cal pe­ri­ods. Grounds and open-air ex­hi­bi­tion: 8am-10pm daily; doc­u­men­ta­tion cen­ter: Tue–Sun 10am– 6pm. Free. www.ber­liner-mauer- gedenkstaette.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 Soviet tanks faced each other on this spot. To­day, the cross­ing point acts pri­mar­ily as a 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 a can­vas. To make up for all the art­less years, artists from 21 coun­tries were called upon in 1990 to dec­o­rate one mile of the Wall's eastern seg­ment with their work, cre­at­ing what is now known as the East Side Gallery. Müh­len­straße. 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 Grunewald Sta­tion, des­tined for the con­cen­tra­tion camps and ghet­tos of Auschwitz, There­sien­stadt, Riga, and Lodz. The track is no longer in use, but a plaque there 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 un­even ground to con­vey a sense of claus­tro­pho­bia and dis­ori­en­ta­tion. The un­der­ground in­for­ma­tion cen­ter 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

The Ber­lin Zoo is the largest in the world, with more than 1500

species.

Karl-Marx-Allee

Ber­lin’s best ex­am­ple of GDR- era Ne­o­re­al­ist ar­chi­tec­ture is a 90m- (295ft-) wide boule­vard built be­tween 1950 and 1960 to pro­vide hous­ing for thou­sands of res­i­dents and to act as a back­drop for mil­i­tary pa­rades. The street quickly be­came a source of na­tional pride for East Ger­many, due to its residential tower blocks inspired by Moscow and by Stalin’s ideal style: na­tion­al­is­tic in form but so­cial­ist in con­tent. The boule­vard is an im­por­tant ar­chi­tec­tural show­case. 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, the com­pany still makes ex­quis­ite, worl­drenowned table­ware and dec­o­ra­tive goods. At its Tier­garten head­quar­ters, the old­est still- run­ning man­u­fac­tory in the city, visi­tors can take a tour,

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