& SOME MORE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ARCHITECTURE

Watchtower
This 6 meter high watchtower on Erna-Berger-Straße was erected in 1969. It is the last of its kind standing in Berlin, by the end of the cold war there were over 200 towers of this type (BT-6. Rundblickbeobachtungsturm-6, “Observation Tower-6”). I was explained many tower facts by the friendly man who was taking care of the tower access the day I happened to accidentally stumble by it.

It is a pre-cast concrete structure, with a slender cylinder topped by an octagonally shaped cabin. It was constructed of 6 interlocking 1 metre wide circular segments with walls 2.5 centimetres thick. They are refereed to as “panorama observation towers”. The cylinder is barely wide enough for a person to climb up tiny iron ladder split into two parts by a little mezzanine, I guess to stop you from falling too far down in case of an accident. The top cabin would hold two stationed soldiers who working around the clock, would stand watching toward opposite directions on a 12 hour shifts. Under each window you can see a firing port.

According to the berlin city website “This model was introduced in 1969 along the Berlin and inner-German borders. Like the rest of the border fortifications, watchtowers, too, were constantly being “perfected” and underwent a number of changes in the 28 years of the Berlin Wall’s existence. Because of the narrow shaft, which was not particularly stable and also made it difficult for border guards to turn out quickly when needed, these “panorama towers” were later replaced by more spacious, square-shaped observation towers.”

This watchtower has been relocated a few meters to the east of its original location outside of the “no man’s land” in order to preserve it as a historical monument and also to allow new property development on the land it occupied.

The tower was used to monitor the area in front of the border and barracks occupied by DDR soldiers and Stasi officials, so the tower was also used by the State to keep an eye on their own comrades.

The tower was restored by a private association, this group of people also open the structure for access everyday except mondays between 2 and 6 pm. A donation of €3.50 is requested to climb the tower. I recommend it. Erna-Berger-Straße is just behind Leipziger Platz on the south side. Here is the website st up for the monument berlinwallexpo.de