One of the main tourism attractions is the Wall of Berlin, but what happened to the Wall when it came down? Although most traces of the the Berlin Wall were removed in the years following German re-unification there are a number of locations around the city where it is possible to see, touch and learn about this once hated symbol of a divided city. This post is dedicated to the Watchtowers with a special thanks to the Berlin Wall Foundation (Stiftung Berliner Mauer) for the photos and information provided.

As part of the border fortifications that were the Berlin Wall, there used to be over 300 watchtowers – only three of these survived the dismantling of the border between West and East Berlin: two 'command towers' at Kieler Eck and Schlesischer Busch, as well as a round watchtower near Potsdamer Platz. (Further surviving towers can be found on the former 'outer ring' around Berlin and on the former inner-German border.)

On Erna-Berger-Straße, just a short walk from Potsdamer Platz, you will find a "BT 6" Guardtower, introduced into the Berlin Wall in 1966. This is the last preserved example of more than 200 such towers which guarded the Berlin Wall and one of the oldest preserved relics of the Berlin Wall. The tower is now manned by volunteers who are happy to talk about the history of the tower and the area, and for a small donation will let you climb the ladder to the lookout. Your donation goes towards the restoration and maintenance of this historic site so we think it is well worth it!

The Kieler Eck command tower is today in the hands of a private society headed by Jürgen Litfin, the brother of Günter Litfin, who was shot dead by GDR border guards at this stretch of border in 1961. Inside, the building houses a small museum about the border and its victims, but the interior and its exhibition are only seasonally accessible, and by guided tour only.

In the Puschkinallee there is no piece of original wall, but there is a watch tower. The watchtower is located in the Schlesischer Busch park in the district of Treptow and is much more easily visible from approaching the park on Puschkinallee or from the bridge across the Flutgraben canal which marks the border to the district of Kreuzberg.

Memorial of the Berlin Wall Memorial. Source: Berlin Wall Foundation / J. Hohmut

The memorial Günter Litfin in the watchtower at Kieler Eck. Source: Berlin Wall Foundation / Michel van Rijnberk

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