• 001 - the logo.jpg
  • 002 - Hiroshima sunset.jpg
  • 003 - Auschwitz-Birkenau ramp.jpg
  • 004 - Chernobyl contamination.jpg
  • 005 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 006 - Berlin Wall madness.jpg
  • 007 - Bulgaria - monument at the bottom of Buzludzhy park hill.jpg
  • 008 - Ijen crater.jpg
  • 009 - Aralsk, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 010 - Paris catacombs.jpg
  • 011 - Krakatoa.jpg
  • 012 - Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Hanoi.jpg
  • 013 - Uyuni.jpg
  • 014 - DMZ Vietnam.jpg
  • 015 - Colditz Kopie.jpg
  • 016 - Glasgow Necropolis.jpg
  • 017 - Hashima ghost island.jpg
  • 018 - Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 019 - Arlington.jpg
  • 020 - Karosta prison.jpg
  • 021 - Kamikaze.jpg
  • 022 - Chacabuco ghost town.jpg
  • 023 - Eagle's Nest, Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden.jpg
  • 024 - Kursk.jpg
  • 025 - Bran castle, Carpathia, Romania.jpg
  • 026 - Bestattungsmuseum Wien.jpg
  • 027 - Pripyat near Chernobyl.jpg
  • 028 - Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 029 - Pyramida Lenin.jpg
  • 030 - Falklands.jpg
  • 031 - Majdanek.jpg
  • 032 - Soufriere volcano, Montserrat.jpg
  • 033 - moai on Easter Island.jpg
  • 034 - Sidoarjo.jpg
  • 035 - Hötensleben.jpg
  • 036 - Natzweiler.jpg
  • 037 - Polygon, Semipalatinsk test site, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 038 - Srebrenica.jpg
  • 039 - Liepaja, Latvia.jpg
  • 040 - Vemork hydroelectric power plant building, Norway.jpg
  • 041 - Enola Gay.jpg
  • 042 - Pentagon 9-11 memorial.jpg
  • 043 - Robben Island prison, South Africa.jpg
  • 044 - Tollund man.jpg
  • 045 - Marienthal tunnel.jpg
  • 046 - Aso, Japan.jpg
  • 047 - Labrador battery Singapore.jpg
  • 048 - Artyom island, Absheron, Azerbaijan.jpg
  • 049 - Treblinka.jpg
  • 050 - Titan II silo.jpg
  • 051 - dosemetering doll, Chernobyl.jpg
  • 052 - Holocaust memorial, Berlin.jpg
  • 053 - Komodo dragon.jpg
  • 054 - cemeterio general, Santiago de Chile.jpg
  • 055 - Tuol Sleng, Phnom Phen, Cambodia.jpg
  • 056 - West Virginia penitentiary.jpg
  • 057 - ovens, Dachau.jpg
  • 058 - Derry, Northern Ireland.jpg
  • 059 - Bulgaria - Buzludzha - workers of all countries unite.jpg
  • 060 - Sachsenhausen.jpg
  • 061 - Tiraspol dom sovietov.jpg
  • 062 - modern-day Pompeii - Plymouth, Montserrat.jpg
  • 063 - Pico de Fogo.jpg
  • 064 - Trinity Day.jpg
  • 065 - Zwentendorf control room.jpg
  • 066 - Wolfschanze.jpg
  • 067 - Hiroshima by night.jpg
  • 068 - mass games, North Korea.jpg
  • 069 - Harrisburg.jpg
  • 070 - Nuremberg.jpg
  • 071 - Mostar.jpg
  • 072 - Tu-22, Riga aviation museum.jpg
  • 073 - Gallipoli, Lone Pine.jpg
  • 074 - Auschwitz-Birkenau - fence.jpg
  • 075 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 076 - Atatürk Mausoleum, Ankara.jpg
  • 077 - Banda Aceh boats.jpg
  • 078 - AMARG.jpg
  • 079 - Chacabuco ruins.jpg
  • 080 - Bucharest.jpg
  • 081 - Bernauer Straße.jpg
  • 082 - Death Railway, Thailand.jpg
  • 083 - Mandor killing fields.jpg
  • 084 - Kozloduy.jpg
  • 085 - Jerusalem.jpg
  • 086 - Latin Bridge, Sarajevo.jpg
  • 087 - Panmunjom, DMZ, Korea.jpg
  • 088 - Ijen blue flames.jpg
  • 089 - Derry reconsilliation monument.jpg
  • 090 - Ebensee.jpg
  • 091 - Mödlareuth barbed wire.jpg
  • 092 - skull heaps in Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 093 - Nikel.jpg
  • 094 - Fukushima-Daiichi NPP.jpg
  • 095 - Tital launch control centre.jpg
  • 096 - Dallas Dealy Plaza and Sixth Floor Museum.jpg
  • 097 - Auschwitz I.jpg
  • 098 - Stalin and Lenin, Tirana, Albania.jpg
  • 099 - Malta, Fort St Elmo.jpg
  • 100 - Peenemünde.jpg
  • 101 - Tarrafal.jpg
  • 102 - Kilmainham prison, Dublin.jpg
  • 103 - North Korea.jpg
  • 104 - Mittelbau-Dora.jpg
  • 105 - St Helena.jpg
  • 106 - Stutthof, Poland.jpg
  • 107 - Merapi destruction.jpg
  • 108 - Chueung Ek killing fields, Cambodia.jpg
  • 109 - Marienborn former GDR border.jpg
  • 110 - Mig and star, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 111 - Nagasaki WWII tunnels.jpg
  • 112 - Hellfire Pass, Thailand.jpg
  • 113 - Kiev.jpg
  • 114 - Grutas Park, Lithuania.jpg
  • 115 - Zwentendorf reactor core.jpg
  • 116 - two occupations, Tallinn.jpg
  • 117 - Trunyan burial site.jpg
  • 118 - Ushuaia prison.jpg
  • 119 - Buchenwald.jpg
  • 120 - Marienthal with ghost.jpg
  • 121 - Murmansk harbour - with an aircraft carrier.jpg
  • 122 - Berlin Olympiastadion.JPG
  • 123 - Bastille Day, Paris.jpg
  • 124 - Spassk.jpg
  • 125 - Theresienstadt.jpg
  • 126 - B-52s.jpg
  • 127 - Bledug Kuwu.jpg
  • 128 - Friedhof der Namenlosen, Vienna.jpg
  • 129 - Auschwitz-Birkenau barracks.jpg
  • 130 - mummies, Bolivia.jpg
  • 131 - Barringer meteor crater.jpg
  • 132 - Murambi, Rwanda.jpg
  • 133 - NTS.jpg
  • 134 - Mauthausen Soviet monument.jpg
  • 135 - pullution, Kazakhstan.JPG
  • 136 - palm oil madness.jpg
  • 137 - Berlin socialist realism.jpg
  • 138 - Okawa school building ruin.jpg
  • 139 - Pawiak, Warsaw.jpg
  • 140 - flying death, military museum Dresden.JPG
  • 141 - KGB gear.JPG
  • 142 - KZ jacket.JPG
  • 143 - ex-USSR.JPG
  • 144 - Indonesia fruit bats.JPG
  • 145 - Alcatraz.JPG
  • 146 - Chernobyl Museum, Kiev, Ukraine.JPG
  • 147 - Halemaumau lava lake glow, Hawaii.JPG
  • 148 - Rosinenbomber at Tempelhof, Berlin.jpg
  • 149 - Verdun, France.JPG
  • 150 - hospital, Vukovar, Croatia.JPG
  • 151 - the original tomb of Napoleon, St Helena.JPG
  • 152 - Buchenwald, Germany.JPG
  • 153 - Bhopal.JPG
  • 154 - Groß-Rosen, Poland.jpg
  • 155 - at Monino, Russia.jpg
  • 156 - blinking Komodo.jpg
  • 157 - inside Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 158 - Mount St Helens, USA.JPG
  • 159 - Maly Trostenec, Minsk, Belarus.jpg
  • 160 - Vucedol skulls, Croatia.JPG
  • 161 - colourful WW1 shells.JPG
  • 162 - Zeljava airbase in Croatia.JPG
  • 163 - rusting wrecks, Chernobyl.JPG
  • 164 - San Bernadine alle Ossa, Milan, Italy.jpg
  • 165 - USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.JPG
  • 166 - Brest Fortress, Belarus.JPG
  • 167 - thousands of bats, Dom Rep.JPG
  • 168 - Hohenschönhausen, Berlin.JPG
  • 169 - Perm-36 gulag site.JPG
  • 170 - Jasenovac, Croatia.JPG
  • 171 - Beelitz Heilstätten.JPG
  • 172 - Kremlin, Moscow.jpg
  • 173 - old arms factory, Dubnica.JPG
  • 174 - Pervomaisc ICBM base, more  missiles, including an SS-18 Satan.jpg
  • 175 - Cellular Jail, Port Blair.jpg
  • 177 - control room, Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 178 - Podgorica, Montenegro, small arms and light weapons sculpture.jpg
  • 179 - Vught.jpg
  • 180 - Japanese cave East Timor.jpg
  • 181 - Ani.jpg
  • 182 - Indonesia wildfire.jpg
  • 183 - Chacabuco big sky.jpg
  • 184 - Bunker Valentin, Germany.JPG
  • 185 - Lest we Forget, Ypres.JPG
  • 186 - the logo again.jpg

Bornholmer Straße

  
   - darkometer rating:  2 -
   
This is the historic spot where the border between East and West Berlin opened first, i.e. where the "fall of the Berlin Wall" began on the night of 9 November 1989. Today there is some commemoration at the site in the form of plaques, info panels and photos.   

>More background info

>What there is to see

>Location

>Access and costs

>Time required

>Combinations with other dark destinations

>Combinations with non-dark destinations  

>photos

      
More background info: After the announcement by GDR spokesman Günter Schabowski during a press conference on the evening of 9 November 1989 stating (prematurely, as it later turned out) that the GDR would officially allow visits to the West, huge numbers of people made their way to the various border crossing points to see for themselves.
   
The GDR border guards had not been properly informed, let alone prepared for how to handle the situation. And it was at Bornholmer Straße where the pressure from the increasing crowds demanding the opening of the border did indeed lead to the opening of the sluice gates, as it were. Unsure of what to do, and afraid of simply being overrun by the crowds, the border guards eventually gave in and opened the barriers to let the people flood into the West – most of them seeing the West for the very first time.
   
Other border crossing points followed, and the rest is, as the saying goes, history – history still well remembered: crowds of overjoyed East Berliners greeted by thousands of Westerners who came out to join the unfolding party. Soon the situation was, from a GDR perspective, out of control, and the complete downfall of the Wall only a question of time. The point of no return had been reached.
  
The 9th of November became synonymous with the "Wende" ('turning point') and Bornholmer Straße was where that breakthrough first occurred – hence the special historical significance of the place.
  
This was also honoured on the 20th anniversary of the event – when Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (an East German herself) ceremonially crossed the Bösebrücke bridge from East to West accompanied by a throng of reporters and several highly esteemed special guests (including Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa).
 
    
What there is to see: not that much really, these days, at least not much of any authenticity. The border crossing stations were all torn down, and about as little remains of them today as of the Wall at large (see Wall remains).
    
At Bornholmer Straße there is an open area (at one time used by a second-hand car dealer) where the border crossing installations would have been, and a few road markings, remains of foundations of buildings and other traces were still to be found when I was there in 2008, but nothing major in terms of original relics. On my latest return trip in May 2016 I found that part of that area had been turned into the car park of a new supermarket and the remainder was a building site – and the whole bridge was undergoing refurbishment too.  
  
A couple of memorial plaques stating the historical significance of the site had already been put up near the Bösebrücke bridge, and following the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, yet more commodification has been added. This is mainly in the form of a few information panels with bilingual texts (German and English) providing some account of what happened here and the context for this, small photos of what the place used to look like, as well as large blow-ups of famous photos from that night of the opening of the border at this spot. One panel also points out the other historic days that have happened to fall on a 9th of November in the history of Germany.
  
In addition, metal strips set into the ground quote famous lines that were recorded that historic night, such as East Berliners shouting “Tor auf! Wir kommen wieder” ('Open the gate, we'll come back') or the final resigning message from the commander of the border post to his superiors: “Wir fluten jetzt! Wir machen alles auf” ('We are flushing now! We're opening everything'). 
  
Furthermore there is a rather bizarre monument that looks like a cross between a section of the Berlin Wall and a traditional Korean gate. You will have guessed it: it's a monument that “expresses high aspirations” for a Korean reunification between the South and the North. While I frequently found this expressed in the DPRK (for purely propagandistic effects, of course), it is less common to be found as a South Korean “aspiration”, like in this piece of art sponsored by the ROK
    
Bösebrücke bridge itself leads, across train lines, into the West – and the classic iron structure had become quite an iconic image for the historical events of the "Wende" in 1989, as East Berliners thronged across it into the West … past countless cameras …  Today, however, it's more or less just a normal bridge.
   
A few Wall remains can also be found in the vicinity, especially towards the south along Norwegerstraße. More are/were supposed to be found along the northern stretch of the railway line towards Wollankstraße – unless these have more recently fallen victim to further urban development; I'll have to go and check some time …
 
 
Location: right by the S-Bahn station of the same name (which used to be one of Berlin's few 'ghost stations' that lay overground) to the east of the Bösebrücke bridge, in the district of Pankow, to the north of the city centre.
 
Google maps locator: [52.5546,13.3992]
 
 
Access and costs: Open-air site, freely accessible. To get there you can simply take the regional metro train (S-Bahn, S1, S2, S8) directly to Bornholmer Straße station – or you can walk it (see under dark combinations).
 
  
Time required: Probably really not that much; a few moments to view the new development and maybe just an additional moment to contemplate the historical significance of the place. Do factor in additional time for seeking out those original Wall relics in the vicinity, though.
 
  
Combinations with other dark destinations: Most likely, a visit to Bornholmer Straße will be part of a walking tour of Berlin Wall sites (see Wall remains), possibly as either a northbound extension of a walk to the "Mauerpark" and Bernauer Straße, or as a starting point for a Wall walk southbound.
  
To the north of Bornholmer Straße there are more, less obvious Wall remains too, all along the railway lines past Wollankstraße S-Bahn station – where some open areas and remaining light masts may help to indicate that this used to be the "death strip" …
  
Just one stop on the S-Bahn away is Gesundbrunnen station with a set of bunkers that can be visited on scheduled tours.
  
See also under Berlin in general.   
  
  
Combinations with non-dark destinations: see Berlin – no specific sights of mainstream tourism are close by.
    
  
 
  • Bornholmer Straße - bridge in 2008Bornholmer Straße - bridge in 2008
  • Bornholmer Straße 2 - looking eastBornholmer Straße 2 - looking east
  • Bornholmer Straße 3 - wall remains at the bottomBornholmer Straße 3 - wall remains at the bottom
  • Bornholmer Straße 4 - wall remains at the topBornholmer Straße 4 - wall remains at the top
  • Bornholmer Straße 5 - plaqueBornholmer Straße 5 - plaque
  • Bornholmer Straße 6 - new info panelsBornholmer Straße 6 - new info panels
  • Bornholmer Straße 7 - Korean monumentBornholmer Straße 7 - Korean monument
  • Bornholmer Straße 8 - famous last wordsBornholmer Straße 8 - famous last words
  • Bornholmer Straße 9 - famous last wordsBornholmer Straße 9 - famous last words
  
   
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

© dark-tourism.com, Peter Hohenhaus 2010-2019

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
More information Ok