House at ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ / Wall Museum

Checkpoint Charlie

A place in which the history of Berlin is particularly vivid is the house at ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and the connected ‘Wall Museum’. After the war during the time of Berlin’s occupation, the ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ represented one of the cities most important border crossings. Today next to the aforementioned house, one will find a replica of the control-hut in which former border officials would sit.

In the adjacent house at ‘Checkpoint Charlie’, the ‘Wall Museum’ was opened in 1963 by the Berlin Historian – Rainer Hilderbrandt. Today this museum is one of busiest in the capital and is visited by approximately one million people each year.

The museum covers the entire period from the construction of the Wall to the reunification. It describes the border control system of the former DDR in detail and reports of all the spectacular escape attempts - whether successful or not. In this context original ‘aides’ used by the escapees are displayed such as e.g. home-made submarines, specially prepared get-away cars and even hot-air balloons. In addition to this the over-a thousand victims of the wall are remembered here, who in attempting to escape from the DDR were either killed in accidents or by the border officials.

bigger map view

However, it is not only the cases of actual DDR refugees in connection with the wall that are detailed. Other people whose death was in some way related to the wall or the inner-German border are also mentioned in the Wall Museum, including soldiers who deserted the DDR and the Soviet Union in addition to people who managed to successfully cross over the German border but who were then later captured and killed by the Stasi in Germany.

A visit to the wall museum at ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ should be a must for all Berlin tourists. The border crossing and the period of the Berlin wall are very important elements in the history of the capital and should interest almost everyone.

The Wall Museum ensures that people who had to leave their lives at the wall and its sphere of influence are not forgotten. For this reason, an additional memorial was erected some time ago – built by the widow of the museum’s founder Rainer Hildebrandt. Initially this monument initiated controversy however this has now subsided. Its aim is to exemplify the inhumane methods employed by the DDR and the Soviet Union against its citizens and show how they defended their state borders.


Adress: Friedrichstrasse 43-45, 10969 Berlin

Openings: daily 9am to 10pm


Another tip for a museum visit: Allied Museum Berlin

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