I was actually on my way to somewhere else when I passed through Platz der Luftbrücke, so this is a particularly hastily taken picture, but it at least gives you something to look at...

Platz der Luftbrücke

The Platz der Luftbrücke is named to commemorate the Berlin Airlift.

Platz der Luftbrücke (U6)
Passing by the memorial to the Berlin Airlift, I give a brief history of the events it commemorates, plus a few words on Tempelhof airport and Hitler's plans for Berlin.

The 'festival of freedom' yesterday was interesting, though not particularly exciting. It rained a lot, too! It was a long night though and quite tiring overall, so I've spent the day so far taking it easy and trying to clear the backlog of things to post here...not that I've succeeded yet! I'll post a full report about the festival of freedom later.

Anyway, it's time for me to get out there before it gets dark...and I think that now the wall has symbolically been knocked down a second time, it's time to take a look at the west.

Update 2013: The watchtower has been bought by a private investor, restored and is now open to the public Tuesday - Sunday, from 11:00 - 16:00, except for when it's raining.

Hidden in a backstreet by Potsdamer Platz, the past is lurking among all the new buildings...

Potsdamer Platz (S1, S2, S25)
Potsdamer Platz (U2)
A cold war relic hiding behind a new development.

This particular watchtower was situated outside the wall's 'death strip', intended for watching people approaching the eastern side of the border. It's actually been moved a few metres to make way for the new buildings here on Erna-Berger-Straße, but it's now a listed monument, the last watchtower of its type (BT-6 for all you watchtower fans out there) still standing in Berlin. This type was designed to give a good view through all 360 degrees around it. They replaced these with larger, square watchtowers later, as it was difficult for the troops to get out quickly if they needed to.

There used to be a small section of the wall remaining on the corner where Erna-Berger-Straße meets Stresemannstraße. It's gone now, unfortunately, so this watchtower is now all that remains of the traces of the border in this area.

The area surrounding the Brandenburg Gate swarmed with umbrella monsters as the Fest der Freiheit (Festival of Freedom) got underway. These vicious beasts may look pretty, but will take out an eye without any hesitation...ducking down underneath them seemed to be the safest way to get through the crowd.

Brandenburger Tor (S1, S2, S25)
Brandenburger Tor (U55)
My report from the event staged to mark 20 years since the fall of the wall.

This is where Malmöer Straße meets Bornholmer Straße:

The sign at the corner of Bornholmer Straße

Twenty years ago, there was a border crossing point here, stretching from Malmöer Straße to the Bösebrücke, the bridge which crosses the S-Bahn tracks.

Bornholmer Straße (S2, S25, S8, S85, S9)
On a dark, wet November afternoon, I take a trip up to Bornholmer Straße, the first Berlin border crossing to open on November 9th 1989.

Eberswalder Straße (U2) - the U2 comes above ground here and the Imbiß is under the railway lines, just across the road from the station exit.
Berlin's oldest Imbiß!

Warschauer Straße (S3, S5, S7, S75)
Ostbahnhof (S3, S5, S7, S75)
Warschauer Straße (U1)
The longest remaining section of the wall, turned into an outdoor art gallery by artists from across the world.

Karl Marx Allee was East Berlin's first big building project, planned as "Berlin's first socialist street", with building work beginning in 1952.
The street was originally called Große Frankfurter Straße (and, further towards the east, Frankfurter Allee), but renamed Stalinallee on December 21st 1949, for Stalin's 70th birthday. Stalin fell out of favour after his death and, in a process of de-Stalinisation initiated by Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev, it was renamed Karl Marx Allee, the eastern portion reverting to Frankfurter Allee.

Strausberger Platz (U5)
Frankfurter Tor (U5)
A walk along East Berlin's showpiece street, ending up at an intriguing café.

Yesterday's mist has gone, replaced by drizzle. Still, it's not enough to put off a seasoned Berlin explorer. See you all later!

Kunsthaus Tacheles closed on September 4th 2012. The building remains - empty for now - but the site is currently being redeveloped.

After visiting the Fernsehturm, we take a tram to Hackescher Markt, then wander down Oranienburger Straße.

The Neue Synagoge (new synagogue) in Oranienburger Straße, designed by Eduard Knoblauch, was built between 1859 and 1866 and was the largest of Berlin's synagogues.

Oranienburger Straße (S1, S2, S25)
Oranienburger Tor (U6)


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