One of the most visited spots in Berlin is Checkpoint Charlie, a symbol of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Best known for its check booth and sign, there are a few things you should learn before your visit.
The Checkpoint was one of the crossing points between East and West Berlin. This was the only place where foreigners and Allied forces could cross from one side to the other. Its name comes from the NATO phonetic alphabet, as there was also a Checkpoint Alpha, this junction of Friedrichstrasse with Zimmerstrasse and Mauerstrasse was given the letter”C”, or Charlie.
During its 28 years in use, this checkpoint has witnessed many trying to escape and even a standoff between soviet and American tanks in 1961, which made the world, fear a new war.
After the Wall was demolished, the booth and sign were removed and, although you can still find the original booth in the Allierten Museum in Berlin-Dahelm, nowadays we can see the iconic booth and the “You are now leaving the American sector” sign at the spot where it used to be. The place where the wall used to stand is marked by Cobblestones, and a picture of an American and a Soviet soldier by Frank Thiel is also a reminder of Berlin, pre-unification.
The Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museum is a privately run museum founded in the sixties by activist Dr.Rainer Hilderbrand as an exhibition on the Berlin Wall. It is now the perfect place to learn the history of this element and its relation to the city. We can find objects created and used to escape from one side to the other, stories of those who lived on one side of the wall on a daily basis and also wants to reflect on today’s challenges regarding freedom and human rights worldwide.
The museum opens every day from 9:00 to 22:00.
Tickets cost 12.5€, 6.5€ for pupils between the ages of 7 and 18 or 9.5€ for Students
Friedrichstrasse Bahnhoff: S1, S2, S25, S5, S7 and S75
Friedrichstrasse Bahnhoff U6 or Französische Strasse U6
Unter den Linden/Friedrichstrasse 100,200,N2,N6 and TX