Berlin’s Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museum

When I wrote up our top Berlin tips recently I discovered I’ve never posted about one of my favourite things to do in Berlin, visiting the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie. While I find the actual Checkpoint Charlie site now a little tacky – you can have your photo taken there with actor-guards, for a price – the nearby museum is really worth a visit.

The Haus am Checkpoint Charlie actually started way back in 1962 and was founded as a private museum by Rainer Hildebrandt as a museum of “non violent international protest”. Right from the start they collected items that had been used in escapes or escape attempts over the wall, and today those are the most interesting exhibits for me. It’s hard to imagine that back when they started the museum, they probably thought the Berlin Wall would be there for the rest of their lives – and now it’s gone and the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie museum is a tourist attraction which people from any country can freely visit.

There are also more general exhibits explaining the history of the Berlin Wall and the shop in the ground floor is one of the most interesting museum shops I know – I love the old posters from Berlin Wall days. The Checkpoint Charlie Musuem is one of those clever Berlin attractions which stays open late (I love sightseeing at night!) – its daily opening hours are 9.00am to 10.00pm.

(Photo of an escape attempt courtesy of Olivier Bruchez)

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