Ber­lin’s Other Wall

Where Berlin - - SIGHTSEEING -

The in­fa­mous Ber­lin Wall stood for 29 years, but from 1737 to 1860, the city was sur­rounded by an­other wall, one which served both as for­ti­fi­ca­tion and as a means of fa­cil­i­tat­ing the levy­ing of taxes on im­ports and ex­ports. Many of the U- Bahn sta­tions to­day are named af­ter the city's toll­gates, the most im­por­tant hav­ing been the Bran­den­burg Gate, while the south­ern­most part of the for­ti­fi­ca­tion fol­lows to­day’s U1 line, with gates lo­cated at Hallesches Tor, Kot­tbusser Tor, and Sch­le­sis­ches Tor. The toll­gate on the Spree River block­ing the wa­ter­way to dis­cour­age smug­glers was a gi­ant boom made of spiked tree trunks. This bar­rier, called an was what gave the Ober­baum­brücke (pic­tured) its name. .‚‚ camp, Sach­sen­hausen saw mainly po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers in its first years, while Jews, gyp­sies, ho­mo­sex­u­als, and peo­ple con­sid­ered “in­fe­rior” ar­rived a few years later. Daily 8:30am– 6pm (midOct– mid- Mar un­til 4:30pm); Mon mu­se­ums and ex­hi­bi­tions closed. Free. Guided tours avail­able. www.stiftung- Straße der Na­tio­nen 22, Oranien­burg. T: 03301.200200. S Oranien­burg or RE Oranien­burg train from Haupt­bahn­hof. Off Map

Stasi Pri­son

MUST SEE Be­tween 1945 and 1989, more than 20,000 peo­ple sus­pected of op­pos­ing the East Ger­man po­lit­i­cal sys­tem were ar­rested by the Stasi (se­cret po­lice) 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 lined with in­ter­ro­ga­tion rooms. Tours in English on Wed, Sat, and Sun at 2:30pm. € 5/2.50. en.stiftung- Gensler­str. 66. T: 030.98608230. S Landsberger Allee, then Tram M5 to Freien­walder Str., then 10- minute walk. Off Map

To­pogra­phie des Ter­rors

MUST SEE 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 ex­hi­bi­tion grounds. To Jan 3: Ger­many 1945: The Last Months of the War. Daily 10am– 8pm. Free.­pogra­ Niederkirch­n­er­str. 8. T: 030.2545090. U Kochstraße, S+U Pots­damer Platz. E4

Trä­nen­palast (Palace of Tears)

Un­til 1990, the de­par­ture hall of the Friedrich­straße sta­tion was also a bor­der cross­ing for West Ber­lin­ers on their way home af­ter vis­it­ing rel­a­tives and friends in the East. The many painful farewells brought lo­cals to re­name the build­ing the “palace of tears.” The per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion Bor­der Ex­pe­ri­ence: Ev­ery­day Life in Di­vided Ger­many re­counts the ef­fects of the bor­der on Ger­man res­i­dents of the time. Tue– Fri 9am–7pm (Sat–Sun un­til 6pm). Free. Re­ich­stagufer 17. T: 030.46777790. S+U Friedrich­straße. E3 MUST SEE One of the city’s main at­trac­tions and the old­est zoo in Ger­many in­cludes pavil­ions that pro­vide am­ple in­door space, mak­ing the venue suit­able for rainy days. The zoo boasts the largest num­ber of species and to­tal an­i­mal res­i­dents in the world. The aquar­ium, one of the largest in Europe, fea­tures large tanks with pi­ra­nhas, sharks, and al­li­ga­tors. Daily 9am– 6pm. Zoo or aquar­ium: €13/6.50, un­der-5s free. Com­bined Zoo-Aquar­ium ticket: € 20/10. www.aquar­ium- ber­, www.zoo- ber­ Har­den­berg­platz 8. T: 030.254010. S+U Zool­o­gis­cher Garten. C4

Botanis­cher Garten

This large park was de­signed in the Ro­man­tic English style, with hills, lakes, and pretty green­houses. There is a palm house and a whole sec­tion ded­i­cated to ex­otic plants, in­clud­ing or­chids, cacti, and car­niv­o­rous plants. Daily 9am– ca. one hour be­fore sun­set. Mu­seum closes at 6pm. €6/3. Köni­gin- Luise-Str. 6- 8. T: 030.83850100. S Botanis­cher Garten. Off Map

Cur­ry­wurst Mu­seum

Learn about Ber­lin’s most fa­mous street food at this small but en­ter­tain­ing mu­seum. Delve into Cur­ry­wurst his­tory, dis­cover the se­crets of its yel­low sauce in the "spice cham­ber," and watch movies star­ring the de­li­cious sausage. Daily 10am– 8pm. €11/ 7, un­der- 6s free. www.cur­ry­wurst­mu­ Schützen­str. 70. T: 030.88718647. U Kochstraße, U Stadt­mitte. E4

Deutsches Tech­nikmu­seum

MUST SEE At the mu­seum for all things tech­nol­ogy, the old lo­co­mo­tives and avi­a­tion rooms are the most pop­u­lar at­trac­tions, while a Rosi­nen­bomber, a 1948 Ber­lin Air­lift air­craft, is mounted on the mu­seum’s roof. A hands- on sec­tion al­lows kids to con­duct ex­per­i­ments. Mon– Fri 9am– 5:30pm, Sat–Sun 10am– 6pm. €6/3.50. Treb­biner Str. 9. T: 030.902540. U Möck­ern­brücke, U Gleis­dreieck. E4

Domäne Dahlem City Farm

A real farm in the Ber­lin sub­urbs, with a manor house from the 1600s, boasts farm grounds that are still in use, com­plete with all the usual barn­yard an­i­mals. There’s also a small ex­hi­bi­tion of an­cient agri­cul­tural tools and a Satur­day- morn­ing farm­ers’ mar­ket. Wed– Mon 10am– 6pm in sum­mer. Farm: Free ex­cept dur­ing spe­cial events. Mu­seum: € 3/1.50.­ Köni­gin- LuiseStr. 49. T: 030.6663000. U Dahlem Dorf. Off Map

Madame Tus­sauds

Have your pic­ture taken with An­gela Merkel, Al­bert Ein­stein, One Di­rec­tion, or a host of other fa­mous names in en­ter­tain­ment and pol­i­tics. And, yes, there's even a wax Adolf Hitler, de­picted as a lit­tle man stand­ing in de­spair in his bunker dur­ing his fi­nal days. The leg­endary wax mu­seum also has a sec­tion ex­plain­ing how the fig­ures are made.

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