Palace of Tears in Berlin

Saturday, 1 April 2023 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Berlin, House of the Month
Reading Time:  3 minutes

© Matthias Süßen/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Matthias Süßen/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Tränenpalast (English: “Palace of Tears”) is a former border crossing point between East and West Berlin, at Berlin Friedrichstraße station, which was in operation between 1962 and 1989. It is now a museum with exhibitions about Berlin during the Cold War period and about the process of German reunification. It was the border crossing for travellers on the S-bahn, U-bahn and trains going between East and West Germany. It was used only for westbound border crossings. It had separate checkpoints for West Berliners, West Germans, foreigners, diplomats, transit travellers and East Germans. The term Tränenpalast is derived from the tearful partings that took place in front of the building between western visitors and East German residents who were not permitted to travel to West Berlin.

Although Berlin Friedrichstraße station was located entirely in East Berlin, because of the Berlin Wall some S-bahn and U-bahn lines were accessible only from West Berlin. Travellers in West Berlin could use the station to transfer between those lines, or to cross into East Germany. The Tränenpalast was built after the volume of traffic and the constraints of the lower level of the main building made it necessary to expand.

© Neuköllner/cc-by-sa-4.0 Passport control © Riki1979 Tränenpalast in 2004 © Sir James/cc-by-sa-3.0 Tränenpalast annex in 2011 © Sir James/cc-by-sa-3.0 Customs clearance © Riki1979 © Matthias Süßen/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Tränenpalast annex in 2011 © Sir James/cc-by-sa-3.0
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the building was used as a nightclub and stage until 2006. It was listed as a protected historic monument on 2 October 1990 by the GDR government, a day before German reunification, which was on 3 October 1990.

In 2008 the Tränenpalast became a federal memorial site. On 15 September 2011, the Haus der Geschichte opened the museum with exhibitions about Berlin during the Cold War. It displays original artefacts, documents, photographs and audio-visual material about the checkpoint and it provides an overview of the German reunification process. It was opened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 14 September 2011. In its first two weeks more than 30,000 people visited the museum. Entrance is free.

Read more on Tränenpalast, museumsportal-berlin.de – Tränenpalast, Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Tränenpalast, Berlin.de – Tränenpalast, VisitBerlin.de – Tränenpalast and Wikipedia Tränenpalast. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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