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Where Did the Berlin Wall Run? – A Comprehensive Map

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Cold War Tour Berlin

The Berlin Wall, constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1961, was a symbol of division between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. It stood as a physical barrier, separating families and friends for 28 years. Before its fall in 1989, the wall stretched approximately 156 kilometers, encircling West Berlin entirely. In this article, we will explore the detailed path of the Berlin Wall and provide you with a comprehensive map.

The Inner Ring Path

The first phase of the Berlin Wall was constructed within the existing border of East Berlin, which formed a ring encircling West Berlin. This inner ring, also known as the “Wall of Shame,” started at the connection points of the districts Reinickendorf and Wedding in the north and stretched to Köpenick and Treptow in the southeast.

Key Locations:

  • Checkpoint Charlie – A famous border crossing between East and West Berlin.
  • Bernauer Strasse – A street noted for its prominent role in the wall’s history.
  • Glienicke Bridge – Known as the “Bridge of Spies,” it was a site for exchanging captured spies during the Cold War.

The Outer Ring Path

The second phase involved extending the wall’s path to include areas formerly belonging to West Berlin. This outer ring expanded the barrier’s reach, completely surrounding West Berlin and extending beyond the city borders.

Key Locations:

  • Teltowkanal – The wall followed the course of the canal for a significant stretch.
  • Wannsee – A district known for its beautiful lake and environs.
  • Potsdam – The wall passed through parts of this historical city before turning back toward the north.

The Death Strip

The space between the two walls of the Berlin Wall was known as the “Death Strip.” This area served as a buffer zone containing various security measures to discourage people from attempting to cross from East to West Berlin.

Security Features:

  1. Fence – A tall mesh fence topped with barbed wire provided an additional physical barrier.
  2. Watchtowers – Equipped with armed guards to prevent escape attempts.
  3. Anti-vehicle trenches – To prevent vehicles from crashing through the barriers.

To fully understand the path of the Berlin Wall, check out our interactive map that provides a detailed view of its route.


The Berlin Wall was a symbol of the division that existed between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Its path encompassed both the inner ring within East Berlin and the outer ring that encircled West Berlin. The Death Strip acted as a secure buffer zone to deter escape attempts. By exploring the comprehensive map of the Berlin Wall, you can gain a better understanding of the historical significance and the impact it had on the people living in the divided city.

Where Did the Berlin Wall Run? – A Comprehensive Map