Crossing point between East and West Berlin during the existence of the Berlin Wall. Located at the Friedrichstrasse near the intersection with Kochstrasse in the central part of the city. Checkpoint Charlie was the third border crossing for travellers to and from West Berlin and the only one between the eastern and western parts of the city. The previous two, predictably named Alpha and Bravo were at Helmstedt between East and West Germany and at Dreilinden between East Germany and West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie was arguably the most famous single location of the Cold War.
It became operational on 1961-08-23, ten days after the Wall was erected and was dismantled 1990-06-22. For thirty years it was a gateway between two worlds and figured in numerous spy novels and movies. On the western side, it was operated by American occupation forces and the sign saying YOU ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN SECTOR in four languages (of which German is the least prominent) is still in place as a reminder. Subjectively speaking, Checkpoint Charlie was a depressing place to be. Its omnipresent wire mesh fences, barbed wire and dour border guards were intimidating before you even got into the sullen greyness that was East Berlin.
The last remaining watchtower of the DDR border guards was demolished by the owners of the property under the cover of night on 2000-12-09. Checkpoint Charlie now serves as a museum.