Berlin Wall: Facts and Information

Here are some interesting facts about the Berlin Wall.

  • After World War II, Germany was divided into 4 zones. Three were controlled by America, Britain and France, while the 4th zone was controlled by the Russians and known as East Germany.

  • Because Berlin was in East Germany, it was also divided into the 4 zones. The Berlin wall was built by East Germany, to completely separate the Russian zone (called East Berlin) from the West.
  • The wall was built in 1961 and torn down in 1989. The tearing down of the wall led to Germany becoming a single country in October, 1990.
  • The wall was over 140 km in length, almost 4 metres high and had over 100 watchtowers along its length. The space between the West and East sides was often known as the Death Strip.
Berlin Wall
Construction of the Berlin Wall
  • Over 5,000 people successfully made it past the wall from East Berlin to West Berlin. They climbed over it, tunneled under it, and smuggled themselves in cars past guards.
  • However, over 100 people were killed trying to cross from East to West. The last person to die trying to escape was in March 1989, when their homemade gas filled balloon crashed.
  • The most famous border crossing on the Berlin Wall was Checkpoint Charlie. The checkpoint is now in the Allied Museum in what was the American sector of Berlin.
  • In July, 1988 the rock singer Bruce Springsteen performed in front of 300,000 people in East Berlin. He told them that he hoped the wall would come down, and 18 months later it did.
  • Several spy films feature the Berlin Wall. It can be seen in two classic British films of the 1960s, Funeral in Berlin and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.
  • When the wall was torn down, pieces of it ended up all over the world. There are several pieces in the UK, including a section in London‘s Imperial War Museum.

Berlin: Facts About the Capital of Germany

Here are some facts about Berlin.

  • Berlin has been the capital of Germany since 1990.
  • The city has a population of 3.5 million people, making it the largest in Germany and the 7th largest in the European Union.

  • It is well known for its museums, night life, open spaces, universities and high standard of living. About 30 percent of its area consists of parks, gardens and lakes.
  • The Berlin U-bahn is one of the largest underground systems in the world, carrying 400 million passengers every year. Many stations have striking designs, including some with a 7 metre high platform roof.
  • Berlin is said to be the only city in the world with 3 opera houses. The city also has an estimated 15 theatres and concert venues, and 2 world class zoos.
  • It is home to more than 100,000 students.
  • KaDeWe is one of the largest department stores in Europe, covering over 60,000 square metres. The food court sells over 1,200 types of sausage, ham and bacon.
  • Exploring Berlin by boat is popular as within the city there are over 180 km of navigable waterways. The city also has an estimated 1,700 bridges, far more than Venice.


  • There are 9 castles in the city, including the spectacular Schloss Charlottenburg. The 17th century palace is famous for its beautiful gardens and collection of 18th century French paintings.
  • Berlin has an estimated 6,500 cafes and restaurants, over 500 ice cream parlours and several vineyards.
  • A popular sweet treat in the city is a doughnut filled with marmalade.
  • The International Berlin Beer Festival often features over 2,000 beers from almost 100 countries. It also boasts the longest beer garden, stretching for over 2 km.Berlin is home to hundreds of film and TV production companies. Many films have been set in the city, including The Blue Angel, Funeral in Berlin and the Bourne Supremacy.
  • During World War 2 much of Berlin was destroyed in air raids from 1943-1945, and during the Battle of Berlin.
  • After the end of World War 2, Berlin was divided. East Berlin was the capital of East Germany, and West Berlin, divided from East Berlin by the Berlin Wall, was a West German territory in East Germany.
  • The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and East and West Germany reunified in 1990.