Potsdamer Platz in Berlin

7 September 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General

© Ansgar Koreng/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

© Ansgar Koreng/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Potsdamer Platz (literally Potsdam Square) is an important public square and traffic intersection in the centre of Berlin, lying about 1 km (1,100 yd) south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag (German Parliament Building), and close to the southeast corner of the Tiergarten park. It is named after the city of Potsdam, some 25 km (16 mi) to the south west, and marks the point where the old road from Potsdam passed through the city wall of Berlin at the Potsdam Gate. After developing within the space of little over a century from an intersection of rural thoroughfares into the most bustling traffic intersection in Europe, it was totally laid waste during World War II and then left desolate during the Cold War era when the Berlin Wall bisected its former location. Since German reunification, Potsdamer Platz has been the site of major redevelopment projects. After the initial opening of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, Potsdamer Platz became one of the earliest locations where the Wall was “breached” to create a new border crossing between East and West Berlin. The crossing began operating on 11 November 1989, earlier than the iconic Brandenburg Gate crossing which opened more than a month later. The crossing required the dismantling of both the inner and outer walls and the clearance of the death zone or no man’s land between the two. A temporary road, lined with barriers, was created across this zone and checkpoints were set up just inside East German territory. Proper dismantling of the entire wall began on 15 May 1990 and all border checks were abolished on 1 July 1990 as East Germany joined West Germany in a currency union. On 21 July 1990, ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters staged a gigantic charity concert of his former band’s rock extravaganza The Wall to commemorate the end of the division between East and West Germany. The concert took place at Potsdamer Platz – specifically an area of the former no man’s land just to the north of the Reich Chancellery site, and featured many guest superstars.   read more…

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