These places were called checkpoints because they were places where passports and identities were checked.
- Checkpoint Alpha was at Helmstedt in West Germany, in the former British Zone. It was at the western end of the main road (autobahn) to West Berlin.
- Checkpoint Bravo was at Dreilinden at the West Berlin end of that autobahn.
- Checkpoint Charlie was at Friedrichstraße in West Berlin. It was the most famous. It was the only place where foreigners could walk or drive from West Berlin into East Berlin.
As it was the only crossing point there were sometimes queues of people waiting to cross. But military traffic was never stopped, because Berlin was supposed to be under the control of all four wartime allies.
The Checkpoint today [change]
After the end of the Cold War, and the reunification of Germany the checkpoints were no longer needed. The big concrete buildings of Checkpoint Bravo are now used by the German Customs Service . Checkpoint Charlie was only a wooden hut in the street. It was moved to what is now the Allied Museum at 110 Clayallee, and a small replica put up in Kochstraße. The fake checkpoint is very popular with tourists who have their photographs taken in front of it.