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What Street Was the Berlin Wall Built On?

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Cold War Tour Berlin


The Berlin Wall was a notorious symbol of the Cold War, separating East and West Berlin for almost three decades. But have you ever wondered on what street this historic structure was erected? In this blog post, we will explore the street that became synonymous with the Berlin Wall and its significance in history.

Bernauer Strasse: The Street of the Berlin Wall

The street that the Berlin Wall was primarily built on is called Bernauer Strasse. This iconic street, located in the borough of Mitte, was divided into two parts when the wall was constructed in 1961. The western side of the street belonged to West Berlin, while the eastern side fell under the control of East Berlin.

The Evolution of Bernauer Strasse

Prior to the construction of the Berlin Wall, Bernauer Strasse was a bustling residential area. The street itself is approximately 1.4 kilometers long and was lined with apartment buildings, shops, and other businesses.

When the wall was erected, it passed directly through Bernauer Strasse, physically dividing the street and separating families and friends who lived on opposite sides. Several apartment buildings were located right on the border, with the ground floors facing East Berlin and the upper floors facing West Berlin.

Symbolic Importance

Bernauer Strasse holds tremendous symbolic importance in relation to the Berlin Wall. The street became a powerful representation of the division and trauma caused by the wall. Images of families separated by the wall and people attempting daring escapes from the windows of buildings on Bernauer Strasse are seared into the collective memory of Berlin.

What Remains Today?

Today, parts of Bernauer Strasse have been preserved as a memorial and serve as a powerful reminder of the wall’s history. Visitors can explore various landmarks along the street, including the Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Center, which provides a comprehensive overview of the wall’s history.

At the memorial, you can see a preserved section of the original wall, an observation tower, and a replica of the “death strip,” which was the heavily guarded area between the inner and outer walls of the Berlin Wall. This section of Bernauer Strasse is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts tourists from around the world.

Interesting Facts about Bernauer Strasse

  • Bernauer Strasse was the site of some of the first escape attempts after the wall was built. People would jump from the windows of the apartment buildings to the western side to seek freedom.
  • In 1989, as tensions were rising and protests against the wall grew, parts of Bernauer Strasse were opened for pedestrian access.
  • The church located on Bernauer Strasse, known as the Church of Reconciliation, was demolished shortly after the construction of the wall because it was situated in the “death strip.” However, it was rebuilt after the wall fell, serving as another symbol of hope and reconciliation.


Bernauer Strasse, the street on which the Berlin Wall was built, remains an important historical site today. It serves as a reminder of the division caused by the wall and the resilience of the people who lived through it. Visiting Bernauer Strasse allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of the Berlin Wall and its significance in shaping world history.

What Street Was the Berlin Wall Built On?