Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery and Checkpoint Charlie – Berlin

The Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer) was a city wall that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989 during the Cold War years. Built on 13th August 1961, it was intended to separate the western part of the city (controlled by American, French and British forces) from the Soviet-controlled eastern part.

On 13th June 1990, the East German army officially began dismantling the Berlin Wall. The fall of the Wall marked the first fundamental step towards German reunification. 

The East Side Gallery is a 1 km long stretch of the Berlin Wall near the River Spree, in the former east of Berlin. It is considered as a kind of open-air museum, an art gallery that houses more than a hundred works of mural painting. Some works made on the East Side Gallery have become very famous such as The Mortal Kiss which represents Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev kissing each other.

Checkpoint Charlie was the border point between the two areas east and west of Berlin, the first controlled by the Soviets and the other by the Americans. It was the only passage between the two parts of the city for foreigners, diplomats and members of the allied forces; over time it has become the symbol of the Cold War. 

Where Checkpoint Charlie was originally located, an identical replica of the first American control booth was created, where there is a copy of the sign containing the phrase in English, Russian, French and German warning that “you are leaving the American zone”.

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