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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Berlin Wall

Berlin was divided into two when the wall went up overnight on August 13th 1961. At 2am that morning 40,000 East German soldiers closed the underground and overground lines and strung barbed wire across streets leading into West Berlin. Over the next few days work began to build a permanent, impenetrable wall. It was continually being reinforced during the whole of its life. The wall was 155km (96 miles) long with 302 watchtowers spaced every 250 - 300m apart along its length. It was 3.6 metres high and was patrolled by armed guards and dogs. There was also a 'No-Man's land' running alongside the wall, varying in width from 40 to 300 m given soldiers a clear view of anyone trying to escape .
The purpose of the wall was to prevent workers leaving the Soviet zone of Berlin to move into the British,French or American zones to live. During its existence more than two hundred people died trying to escape over the wall. It became the most hated border in the world.

The only remaining example of this type of watchtower.

Check point Charlie as it was during the seventies and eighties. This formed the main gateway between East and West Berlin for non-Germans.

This is how it looks today. The original Checkpoint is in the museum and a replica now stands in its place making it probably one of the most photographed areas in Berlin.

The end came on November 9th 1989 when the East German Government lifted travel restrictions for GDR citizens making the wall superfluous. Today there is little left of the wall except for a 1300m section which has been covered in paintings.

For those of you who may never get the chance to visit Berlin and see the wall these are some of the paintings which now adorn the remains of the wall.


  1. Would love to see it one day. I just finished school as the wall fell, and only recently read "After the wall", about a girl just younger than me.
    Amazing to see the changes through the eyes of someone who came over from the eastern side - it was difficult for them.

  2. Beat you to that one, here is the real thing when it was there.
    Never had a chance to look round the time I went after the wall came down. Driving along the corridor was the scary bit after going through the checkpoints. Never seen so many guns and barbed wire.

  3. The art work is rather good. I thought the last section was demolished a week or so ago.

  4. Some of these I had seen before, but some, never! I am so glad to have been able to see these before the are destroyed. That IS what is happening to them, isn't it? So sad. :-(

  5. What a bizar history it was, I remember the raising of the wall and it's demolishing. The murals are amazing, very good art.

  6. An awful part of world history. Thanks for showing me around.

  7. A very sad bit of history. I love the art, though.

  8. Great photos of the Wall! I'd love to see it some day! I saw a section of it in Mainz by the river... I think many of the pieces that were torn down were set up in other German cities as a reminder.

    I have vague memories of when it came down, I do remember that I understood the significance of the event.

  9. Great street art !
    Best regards from France,


  10. That is a great article with colorful pictures. Berlin wall!!

  11. The worst thing is that after all these years the difference between East and West Germans is still not equal. And unfortunately the Western people don't like the Eastern once and vice versa. There is a huge gap between the cultures, having lived since 1933 under dictators and no freedom at all, has left traces ! Imagine to get a telephone you had to wait for at least 5 years unless you knew somebody in the government. And that's only a little example.

  12. Beeing german and having lived in Berlin for many years you captured its history quite wll The Holocaust memorial is contoversial and I went there the first time on a gloomy November evening and felt desperation and isolation...very gripping.Did you know that Berlin was destroyed by 80 percent after the war? Sometimes I am surprised to see amy historical buildings at all....


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