Checkpoint Charlie, one of Berlin's primary tourist attractions, represents one of the lat symbols of the Cold War that opposed USA and URSS during the second half of the XX century. Checkpoint Charlie has to be considered as the strongest symbol of the division of Germany and of the political world situation of those years.
The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 for decision of East Germany Government. Shortly after, the U.S. President John F. Kennedy decided that American forces in Berlin had to open in the wall three checkpoints. These checkpoints gave the possibility to diplomatic corps and allied forces to pass and enter the Western Part of Berlin and back. Checkpoint Charlie became the most famous and got its name from the American alphabet: the others were named Alpha (A) and Bravo (B). This is the reason why this Checkpoint Charlie is also simply known as "Checkpoint C".
Checkpoint Charlie is a real historic spot: here many important historical facts during the Cold War took place. For example, in 1961 Soviet and American tanks faced each other here and both Kennedy and the Soviet president Nikita Khrushchev visited the checkpoint after its building.
Its location is right in the central part of Berlin, at the connection of Friedrichstraße with Zimmerstraße and Mauerstraße which for other older historical reasons means 'Wall Street'. The neighbourhood is Friedrichstadt. This checkpoint is also famous today because it appears in many spy movies, as true symbol of the Cold War. By 1962 it was the only gate for foreigners visiting Berlin giving the opportunity to cross from one part to the other.
Checkpoint Charlie was removed in 1990, a year after the Berlin wall fall, when the reunification of Germany was already almost complete. As it has been removed, visitors can find a replica in the same exact place where Checkpoint C was located and also a line of bricks tracing the Wall path. You can visit the original structure in the Allied Museum in the city of Zehlendorf. The watchover, another part of Checkpoint C, has been removed only in 2000 and now stores and offices are occupying that space.
Another suggestion is also to visit the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, the museum built after the erection of the Berlin Wall and expanded in the 90s. It is located just a yard from the original position and its meaning is to be a call to freedom. So, during your next Berlin trip, don't miss the Checkpoint Charlie and experience the great city history.
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