Checkpoint Charlie: Old Glory flies in Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie: Old Glory
Checkpoint Charlie: Old Glory

Checkpoint Charlie has been the venue of uncountable scenes in espionage books and movies. One of the crossing points between west Berlin and east Berlin during a Cold War – a hole in the Iron Curtain. The United States flag still flies over Checkpoint Charlie, now a tourist attraction instead of a tense a one of the cold war’s best known locations.

The 155 km-long Berlin wall started construction in 1961 and was upgraded and modified until the end of the cold war in 1989. Checkpoint Charlie was one of the three crossing points in the wall – set in Berlin’s Friedrichstadt neighborhood. It was the one crossing point that allied service men could use to enter East Berlin. Checkpoints Alpha and Bravo were less visible, outside urban areas. Cafe Adler (“Eagle Café”) at Checkpoint Charlie offered a view directly into East Berlin and was used by armed forces or visitors to take a look into the east.

Since reunification in Germany Checkpoint Charlie has become a tourist mecca. In the middle of a busy street a copy of the Allied guard house was built – surrounded by locals in uniform that pose (and charge) for visitors. Uniforms are available for visitors, to have their photos taken in. It’s a carnival atmosphere, not at all reminisent of the place it once was, where the desperate like Peter Fechter died trying to cross the Berlin Wall.

About Checkpoint Charlie:

Gallery walls along the Friedrichstraße and the Zimmerstraße inform on escape attempts, how the checkpoint was expanded, and its significance during the Cold War, in particular the confrontation of Soviet and American tanks in 1961. An overview of other important memorial sites and museums on the division of Germany and the wall is presented as well. Tourists can have their photographs taken for a fee with actors dressed as allied military policemen standing in front of the guard house. Several souvenir stands with fake military items and stores proliferate as well. (source: Wikipedia)

The above was taken as action on the ground was too touristy. 5D Mark III with a 24-105 F/4L.

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