So during our stay at the Westin Grand Berlin, we were given the fantastic and fun once in a lifetime experience. The hotel has a package experience for it’s guests of wall picking the... Berlin Wall.
The Westin Grand Berlin has a fascinating history during the Cold War when it was in East Germany, ruled by Communist Politics and often used by the Ministry of State Security (The infamous Stasi). The Communist government wanted to ensure that they were competing with the Democratic West and so they spent a great deal of time and money fitting out the hotel to be extravagant, opulent, and stunning. This was alongside also being a place for agents, spies, and politicians to meet in secret and frequent the bar, corridors and hotel lobby. The message the Communist Party wanted to send to the West was “we can have luxury here too” (even though the surrounding area declined into ruin) as well as being able to gather covert intelligence. You can find out more about the hotel’s fascinating history of subterfuge, politics, and it’s role in the Cold War in our previous blog here.
As a reminder to this unique history, you can find outside of the main doors of the hotel’s grand entrance a landmark piece of the now fallen Berlin Wall. Slightly graffiti marked and now a little chip scarred, a piece of the infamous wall now stands outside with it’s own plaque, as a testament to the country’s turbulent past.
The hotel offers you the opportunity to take a piece of this history home with you (quite literally). We were given a nice glass of wonderful champagne to sip, allowed to take some photographs next to the wall piece, and provided with some gloves, goggles, and hard hat to get ready to chip away at this unique landmark! As you can probably gather, I am not a very good with tools but I gave it a good go! Using a hammer and chisel we got to whack away at the concrete wall (which I can tell you from experience is pretty tough) and break away some pieces to take away home. This is something that you can do too, if you visit this stunning hotel.
For more information: