Bernauer Str., Berlin, Germany
The Berlin Wall MemorialMany people consider the East Side Galley, a 1.3-km long stretch of the Berlin Wall that's become an open-air art gallery - to be a memorial for the city's former dividing wall. But the real Berlin Wall Memorial is located in the Mitte district on Bernauer Straße.
Here, several monuments, including a Monument in Memory of the Divided City and the Victims of Communist Tyranny and the Window of Remembrance, as well as exhibitions at the visitor's center show the impact of the Wall on daily life and honor those who lost their lives trying to escape the East.
Remains of the actual wall line some of the 1.4-km stretch, while the rest is marked by tall metal poles; being able to see into the gap between the poles, to understand how hard it must have been for families to know their loved ones were just on the other side yet so far out of reach, makes the memorial all the more moving.
Criss-crossing the open park on the other side of the wall, stone markers show where tunnels helped people escape to West Germany, while photos enlarged and displayed on nearby buildings put a human face on the history of this spot where the city was once divided in two.