Checkpoint Charlie was the best-known border crossing between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. At the height of the Berlin Crisis in 1961 U.S. and Soviet tanks faced each other here. The name comes from the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie). After the border crossings at Helmstedt-Marienborn (Alpha) and Dreilinden-Drewitz (Bravo), it was the third checkpoint opened by the Allies in and around Berlin.
The wooden barrack where visitors to the Russian Sector (East Berlin) were once obliged to pass through for vetting was removed. Reconstruction has included a US Army guardhouse and a copy of the original border sign.
Checkpoint Charlie was not only an important Cold War site, but also witnessed numerous attempts to escape from East Berlin.