The ultimate symbol of the Cold War that divided Europe and the world for four decades, the Berlin Wall is still the main ... More
Berlin Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie
The ultimate symbol of the Cold War that divided Europe and the world for four decades, the Berlin Wall is still the main tourist attraction in the German capitol. And Checkpoint Charlie, the former border crossing, is the place many tourists head for first. Yet this world-famous monument is slightly disappointing on first sight. The original border post was demolished and all that remains nowadays is a signpost bearing the words, 'You are now leaving the American sector' and a replica of a watchtower from 1961. The Haus am Checkpoint Charlie museum is also located here.
Reviews for Berlin Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie: 4
By A Yahoo! Contributor, 8/30/07
The first time I saw Checkpoint Charlie, West Berlin was surrounded by the wall. All along the wall were crosses indicating were people was died trying to escape to the west. Seeing the museum, just made the whole experience of crossing into East Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie even more emotional. As I crossed back into West Berlin, I really understood why so many had died trying to escape. And it gave the success stories a bigger impact. I realize that since the wall has come down, most tourist have great difficulty understanding the significance of checkpoint Charlie and the museum. But I found nothing redundant or boring about it. And I will be taking my kids to see it in the spring.
Worth a visit if you're in the area for the image of the actual checkpoint and the facsimile sign (the real one is in the museum). The museum is, if anything, too comprehensive, often repetitive, and it appears that some of it hasn't been updated since the Wall came down. I wouldn't recommend skipping it if you're in the area, but it would be greatly improved by some skillful curation.
We saw Checkpoint Charlie in 1994, and at that point it had not yet been made into a museum, so we could imagine crossing the bridge as it was. I hope it's still the same and not "built up" - we were humbled by the image in its true state. There were still large pieces of the wall lying around, as if it had just been torn down.
Much smaller than you would imagine...however standing in front of the small building, I could only imagine what my mother felt like looking at it from the East, prior to her escape to West Germany. The museum nearby is well worth the visit and tells the tales of many of the escapees and makes one think...
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