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Historical Sites to See in Berlin

The German capital is flourishing with contemporary culture in the wake of a tumultuous 20th century. However, there are also a number of historical sites to see in Berlin: echoes of proud Prussian monarchs, the horrors of the Nazi days, and the divisive chokehold that overtook this place during the Cold War. In order to understand the context of this city, consider visiting the various monuments and memorials that serve as reminders for what has happened here.
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Bernauer Str. 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany
The city’s official memorial to the Berlin Wall is along Bernauer Strasse, where the wall once divided the eastern districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte from the West Berlin district of Wedding. The half-mile stretch functions as a kind of...
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Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Napoléon and his armies marched through it; revolutionaries and Nazis gathered beneath it; the Berlin Wall ran right behind: It’s safe to say that Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, completed in 1791, has pretty much seen it all. Designed by Carl...
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Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Occupying a prominent space between Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz, this memorial (also known as the Holocaust-Mahnmal, or Holocaust Memorial) has almost 3,000 gray oblong pillars (stelae), arranged at varying heights, that form a kind of...
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Potsdamer Platz, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Once one of the busiest squares in Europe, Potsdamer Platz became ano-man’s-land during the cold war years when the Berlin Wall sliced right through it. It reemerged in the 1990s as the shiny face of the New Berlin, though its commercial glitz...
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Museum Island, Berlin, Germany
Visiting at least one of the five museums that make up Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must for any serious culture-seeker in Berlin. A pioneering concept, this ensemble of public institutions brimming with exquisite artworks and...
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14473 Potsdam, Germany
Another group of UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be found just to the southwest of Berlin in Potsdam. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a number of palaces were built in the area between Berlin and the capital of the state of...
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Str. der Nationen 22, 16515 Oranienburg, Germany
Just over a half-hour from central Berlin, Sachsenhausen was one of Nazi Germany’s most infamous concentration camps. Intended primarily as a camp for political opponents of the Nazi regime, some 200,000 people were sent to Sachsenhausen and...
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10969 Berlin, Germany
When Berlin was divided, Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous of the border crossings between the eastern and western halves of the city. It was here that Allied soldiers registered before crossing over into the Soviet-controlled sectors. Thanks...
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Spandauer Damm 20-24, 14059 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s showpiece schloss is one of the main sights in the Charlottenburg neighborhood. Initially a country house built for (the future) Queen Sophie Charlotte in 1695, it served as a summer residence for Prussian kings throughout the 18th...
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Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin, Germany
The broken spire of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is almost as iconic a symbol of Berlin as the Brandenburg Gate. The original church that stood here was constructed in the 1890s but it was severely damaged in World War II. Rather than remove...