As Germany celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall I am sharing my memories and some very old photos from my visits before the wall came down.
There was no access to the Brandenburg gate as it was in between the two zones. You can see the East German
TV Tower through the gates.
A closer view of the Tower from a different part of the wall. You can see how the wall cut through areas which had previously been neighbours, at sharp angles in some cases to reflect the division between the zones of control.
A view of one of the Guard Towers located in the zone between the walls. These were situated so that the guards could see the whole wall area within the City.
The German Parliament is recognisable as having been unchanged to today. There were more bullet holes in the fabric of the building, and of course the actual Government was in Bonn at the time. Only after unification did it return to Berlin.
Now fully in the East these images show the base of the TV tower at Alexanderplatz. You can read my review of a stay at a hotel close by from earlier in the year.
At Potsdamer Platz, where the Grand Hyatt now stands you could go up the steps (in the background) and look over the wall. A poster charts the history of the area.
An ordinary East German street scene (note the Trabants) :
A last view over the wall, looking towards the East German trams:
I still remember the evening that what, but all accounts was a mistake, opened the Berlin Wall. People streamed across and then the ad-hoc demolitions started. It remains to me one of the most extraordinary examples of what people can do. I still remember German friends telling me that a united Germany was something that they always believed in, but never expected to happen.
25 years ago today, it became reality.