C for Charlie - Berlin's most famous border crossing

A superstar among Berlin's border crossing points, Checkpoint Charlie was one of three allied checkpoints in Germany and one of eight border crossing points between East and West Berlin. The other two allied checkpoints were on one of the Autobahns leading into West Berlin from West Germany - Checkpoint Alpha at Helmstedt and its partner Checkpoint Bravo at Dreilinden. The checkpoints were mainly for military personnel, rather less concerned with the movements of civilians, unlike the GDR border control points on the other side. This was something reflected in the name - checkpoint, rather than border control point - highlighting the fact that the western allies didn't officially consider it an international border.

Checkpoint Charlie started life as a small wooden hut and though it was replaced by larger ones over the years of its existence, it was never as large as the border control point on the East Berlin side. Checkpoint Charlie was removed in 1990 and the checkpoint building was moved to the AliiertenMuseum (Allied Museum) in Dahlem. So as not to disappoint the tourists looking for a piece of history, this was put up in its place in 2000:


The reproduction Checkpoint Charlie


This is a reproduction of the first hut that stood on the site and is one of Berlin's biggest tourist attractions. The unfortunate thing is that just beyond it, behind the Christmas tree in the picture, was a genuine GDR watchtower, which was knocked down by a developer not long after the reproduction hut went up, to make way for...a patch of bare earth. Something seems slightly cockeyed about the whole thing.

Still, there's at least a plentiful supply of Russian hats (and beyond them, behind the placards, the space where the watchtower used to be):


Russian hat sellers


These stalls crop up all over former East Berlin, selling various communist souvenirs. I suppose on the plus side, they're no less genuine than the checkpoint...

U-Bahn: 
Kochstraße (U6)
Location: 
Checkpoint Charlie
Friedrichstraße
10969 Berlin

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