Checkpoint Charlie Berlin

The Checkpoint Charlie is one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, which served as the only crossing point for diplomats, journalists and non-German visitors, between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War, from the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 till the fall on November 9, 1989.

In October 1961, US and Soviet tanks had a close encounter because of a dispute over whether East German guards were authorized to examine the travel documents of a U.S. diplomat passing through to East Berlin, both sides tanks faced each other in an acrimonious moment feared around the World as a possible lead up to World War III.

Today, it is a must see sight in Berlin with huge historical and emotional resonance, even accounting for the fact that there is remarkably little left to recall the atmosphere of pre-1989 days.

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U2’s Achtung Baby Anniversary Trabant

On December 31st 2011, the Irish rock band U2 released an anniversary edition of their 1991 released Album, “Achtung Baby”, back then, the cover showed 16 pictures, one of them was a Trabant, a car only used in former East Berlin (GDR), as a symbol of a changing Europe. Also, a Trabant was used during their Zoo TV Tour, which now, stands at the Hard Rock Café in Berlin.

As part of the 20th Anniversary, six of those Trabants were creatively painted and shipped to different cities in Germany. One of those six can be seen in front of the Universal Music Headquarters (near Oberbaum Bridge) in Berlin.

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Berlin International Airport Open Days

About 100.000 visited the new Berlin International Airport during its open days last weekend even though the official opening next month got delayed because of fire safety concerns and the new opening date will be sometimes around March next year.

Visitors had the opportunity to explore the grounds surrounding the terminal, walk across the apron and find out everything they need to know before it goes into operation.

The new airport will replace Tegel in west Berlin and the old east Berlin airport of Schönefeld to the southeast, and initially aims to attract up to 27 million passengers annually. The two existing airports, which are due to be shut down, will handle all flights until the new airport is ready.

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Traffic Lights Exhibition Berlin

Ever wondered how the traffic lights in Spain, Denmark or China look like? Now it’s time to find out. The East Berlin “Traffic Light Man” (Ger: Ampelmännchen) and thirty different friends from around the world celebrating the 50. Anniversary of the East Berlin Traffic Light Man by holding an exhibition at Berlin’s Monbijou Park till January 2012.

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Kunsthaus Tacheles Berlin

The legendary tourist attraction Art House Tacheles was closed last month after serving as a home for many artists from around the world for more than 20 years and I went there to take a couple of pictures before the whole thing will be demolished in the near future.

The Kunsthaus Tacheles was an art center and nightclub that was opened in East Berlin after the Berlin Wall came down in the spring of 1990. Tacheles is a large (9000 square meter) building on Oranienburger Straße in the district known as Mitte. The exterior of the building was damaged from shelling in World War II, and much of the damage was never repaired. Huge, colorful graffiti-style murals are painted on the exterior walls, and modern art sculptures are featured inside.

The Kunsthaus was formerly a department store in the Jewish quarter (Scheunenviertel) of Berlin, next to the synagogue, it was originally called Friedrichsstadtpassagen. After serving as a Nazi prison, the building was taken over by artists, who called it “Tacheles”, Yiddish for “straight talking.”

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