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Key Buildings from Prehistory to the Present by Andrew Ballantyne

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Berlin Wall

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Berlin, Germany; 1961

The Berlin Wall is not much to look at, but it became an extraordinarily potent symbol of the division between east and west – which at the time meant the division between free-market capitalism and communism. Although it was not a great engineering achievement, the wall was the concrete embodiment of mounting political tensions.

Berlin was the old capital of Prussia, and from 1871 to 1918 it was the capital of the German Empire, which unified most of the German-speaking states and left the city with a legacy of grandiose buildings. After 1918 the capital moved to Weimar, returning to Berlin on Hitler’s accession ...

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