'Sie verlassen den Amerikanischen Sektor'. You are leaving the American sector. Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the famous Berlin Wall crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War (1947–1991). It is located in the very center of Berlin, close to Potsdam square, at the Kochstrasse. Soon after the construction of the Berlin Wall, a standoff occurred between U.S. and Soviet tanks on either side of Checkpoint Charlie. This incident ended happily due to the political measures taken. Unfortunately, there were numerous tragic attempts of the common citizens of East Berlin to flee from the Soviet Empire controlled 'GDR' - The German Democratic Republic. The open-air museum next to the Checkpoint tells a lot of such stories, mostly mortal:( Currently the Checkpoint is the well-known tourist attraction. The 'border control' booth is established here and you can make pictures with the 'soldiers' guarding the 'border':)
Do you like the technical inventions, mechanisms, steam locomotives, airplanes? Then you should visit the Technical museum, located in the center of Berlin. It was founded in 1982 and occupies the extensive 5-storey building close to Potsdamer Platz. The Museum has the permanent exhibitions of maritime and aviation collections. The real airplane (Bomber 'Douglas C-47') is set on the roof of the building, from which you will also have the nice city view. The distinguishing feature of the Technology Museum is its energy-saving policy, since the building was projected to consume as much solar energy as possible and supply the natural light.
The religious symbol of Berlin is the City Cathedral, located on the banks of Spree, next to the Lustgarten (the 'Garden of Joy'). The history of the Cathedral began in 1465, and currently it is the biggest Protestant church in Berlin. The Hohenzollern Crypt underneath the cathedral is the most important dynastic sepulchre in Germany. The Cathedral was partly destroyed by the Allied aviation's bombing in 1944. In 1949 the temporary roof was established and in 1967 the decision was adopted by the GDR Government to completely renovate the Berlin Cathedral. During the reconstruction the Northern wing (the Memorial Church) was demolished. The pro-communist government also demanded to remove as many crosses as possible. But the pipe organ, built by Wilhelm Sauer, was fully restored during reconstruction. The Dome has the observation desk at the very top (the use of it is included into the entrance fee). The nice view over Spree river and the Museum island opens from it.
The lively Alexanderplatz is located in Eastern Berlin, close to the Dome. The modern shopping malls, high-rise building of the Park Inn hotel and 'Bahnhof' (train station) encircle this square. Within 5-minutes walk from Alexanderplatz the famous Fernseheturm (TV Tower) is situated. On the opposite side of the square (from the hotel) you can find the well-known Weltuhr (World's watches), which show the time in the different parts of world. On the holidays and weekends the fairs are organized on the Alexanderplatz where you can buy souvenirs, listen to the street musicians and try the local food and beer.
The Gedaechtniskirsche is located in the Western Berlin, close to boulevard Kurfuestendamm, and is the symbol of WW2's horrors. The bomb of the Allied aviation hit the beautiful building in November 1943 and made the great damage to the parish. After the War the city Council discussed the demolishing of the Gedaechtniskirsche but the protests of the Berlin's local people prevented it from the destruction. The church was restored but as the remembrance of the WW2 the damaged dome was left. In the modern times the chapel was erected near the Kirsche, the messes and concerts are held there. The church itself is the museum now. You can donate for the maintainance of Church on-site, either by cash of bank card or support the memorial by purchasing the souvenirs at the museum shop.
When Berlin was divided into 2 parts after the WW2, the Western (American) Berlin needed its own airport, for providing the population with food and for the state purposes. The officials converted the former aerodrome Tempelhof into the civil airport. It served to Western Berlin until the Fall of the Wall in 1989. Tempelhof continued working as the business-aviation airport until its official closure in November 2008. Now Tempelhof's field is open for public and is used for morning runs and walks with dogs:)
The Marlene's Platz (devoted to the famous German and American actress Marlene Dietrich) is situated in the center of Berlin, next to the Potsdamer Platz. The well-known international Berlinare movie festival is held here yearly from 1951 in February, in the Berlinare Palast. The winner of the festival is awarded with the famous Golden Bear's statue. The memory plaque in commemoration of Marlene Dietrich's life and her glorious achievements can be found at the Square.
Do you dream of visiting the place where the famous summer Olympic games 1936 took part? The very games which were opened by Adolf Hitler and commemorated in the movie 'Olympia' by Leni Riefenstahl? Then the Olympia stadium is the place to go! It is open for public at the daytime as museum and also hosts the sports events. At the Olympia's tribunes, you can feel the spirit of 1930th and imagine the presence of the Nazi's leaders waving to the Olympic games' sportsmen. The open swimming pool available to the public is located next to the stadium.
Want to visit something weird? Then Teufelsberg (the Devil's mountain) is such the place. Made of rubble (the consequences of the WW2), it is located in the Gruenewald in the West Berlin, its former British part. The US National Security Agency (NSA) used it for listening to Soviet, East German, and other Warsaw Pact nations military traffic. Now Teufelsberg is the tourist attraction among the woods, protected by fences; the walls of the buildings are covered with the graffiti. Reserve at least an hour to walk over the bizarre structures, partly delapidating buildings and climb the stairs to the spheres of the former listening station to listen to the famous echoes. Please do not forget to wear the convenient walking shoes and take some water with you since it is a quite a long walk from the closest train station and you will have to make your way through the forest and hills. The entrance fee to premises is 8 Euro per person.