As time moves on the visual distinction between east and west Berlin continues to become less defined, but the majority of Karl Marx Allee, the grand boulevard of East Berlin, has remained virtually untouched architecturally.  The wide street lined by eight-story tiled apartment blocks has long been one of my favorite streets in the city to photograph and explore. When Context Travel contacted me and asked if I was interested in joining a group of bloggers to experience their Divided City Tour, exploring the architecture and history of Karl Marx Allee, of course I jumped at the opportunity to learn more.

a map detailing the destruction after World War II in Berlin. The blue areas where buildings had been destroyed.

Towers stand at both ends of the two kilometer long street at Frankfurter Tor and Strausberger Platz.

This tour along with the Paris by Mouth tour I took back in September dramatically changed my attitude towards “tours”, which I have long associated with tour buses and guide book toting group tours void of any real cultural significance.  This tour was not only incredibly interesting, but also a great opportunity to catch up with old and new Berlin blog friends.  I would highly recommend the Divided City tour to both tourists and locals who are interested in either architecture or the DDR.  I am really looking forward to my next Context tour, whether that be here in Berlin or on my next adventure in Europe.

Stay tuned from images from the second half of the tour of West Berlin’s apartment “blocks” in the Hansaviertel.

überlin also recently went on a Context tour and blogged about it here.