5 places with a strong GDR vibe in Berlin

1) Central Cemetery Friedrichsfelde

Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were buried at this magnificent graveyard in 1919. In 1951, the newly formed GDR government built the Socialist Memorial and began using the Zentralfriedhof as a place to hold state funerals. You’ll also find pre-GDR luminaries such as artist Käthe Kollwitz. The grave of Stasi-leader Erich Mielke has been left unmarked intentionally.

people on a snow white day at Central Cemetery Friedrichsfelde

(Memorial to the Socialists) Gudrunstrasse 20, Lichtenberg

+49 (030) 9029 64224

http://www.sozialistenfriedhof.de

2) Stasimuseum

The Stasimuseum is located on the former grounds of the huge headquarters of the GDR Ministry for State Security. Centrepiece of the museum is the office of Stasi-chef Erich Mielke, preserved in its original condition. The permanent exposition ‘State Security in the SED Dictatorship’ provides information about the development, the function and the methods of the State Security.

Stasimuseum Berlin

Ruschestrasse 103, Lichtenberg

+49 (0)30 5536 854

http://www.stasimuseum.de

3) Palace of Tears/ Tränenpalast

This was the main departure point for travellers (who shed more than one tear) from the former East Germany to West Berlin. The museum explains the role of this frontier post, as well as the complicated politics and the history behind it. Free entrance.

Tränenpalast in Berlin

4) Berlin TV-Tower/ Fernsehturm

The 368-metre-high TV-tower was constructed in the late sixties by the GDR administration. It was intended as a symbol of the technological superiority of the socialist societies. Now it’s a symbol of unity and Berlin’s most prominent landmark. You can visit its steel sphere, which holds a visitor platform and a restaurant

Fernsehturm in Berlin

Alexanderplatz/ Panoramastrasse 1-A, Mitte

http://www.tv-turm.de

5) Karl-Marx-Allee

This street used to be called ‘Stalin Allee’ and dates from the post-war reconstruction of the Soviet occupied zones of Berlin. It was built to represent the socialist ideals of the New Germany. Most of the buildings in socialist-realist (or ‘wedding cake’) style are protected as landmarks. Don’t miss the Karl Marx Bookshop at number 78.

 architecture at Karl-Marx-Allee

Mitte / Friedrichshain

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