(CNN) — Twenty-nine years ago, on November 9, 1989, a most extraordinary thing happened.
The ripple wave from this event would eventually reach Moscow, toppling the Soviet Union’s empire and ending communist rule in Russia that dated back to World War I.
Joyous Berliners, dismantling that wall with hammers, shovels and even their bare hands, would redefine the world order in one spectacular night.
And who would have anticipated the ultimate symbol of the Cold War, a utilitarian and hastily built structure to keep East Berliners inside the communist section of the city, would end up being a tourist attraction?
What to see
The Brandenburg Gate at Pariser Platz is a popular gathering spot in the 21st century.
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Decades later, the few remaining remnants of the Berlin Wall and its footprint are of historical and even recreational interest. Here are a few of the many wall-oriented spots to see in Berlin:
Brandenburg Gate: A good place to start your historical tour is the Brandenburg Gate, the history of which reaches back way beyond the communist era to Napoleon, who took the gate’s crowning statue away during his military campaign through Europe in the early 1800s. (France returned it.)
East Side Gallery: You can see more than 100 large-sized murals painted onto one of the few remaining pieces of the wall left standing. The murals can give visitors a good sense of the joy and hope that swept through Berlin and the rest of Germany at this time.
David Hasselhoff looks back 25 years to singing on the Berlin Wall to unite East and West Germany. Hala Gorani reports.
Old St. Hedwig Cemetery: The wall had no respect for the living — or the dead. You can still see a segment of the wall that ran by Berlin’s oldest Catholic cemetery. Along with the wall, you can see interesting mausoleums dating much further back in time.
Berlin Wall Memorial: This somber site is a memorial to people who died trying to cross into West Berlin and might be the best place to see what the wall looked like at the end of the 1980s and soak in the atmosphere of a city divided.
Checkpoint Charlie: This is name that Westerners gave to what was probably the best-known border crossing between East and West Berlin. James Bond fans with a keen eye might recognize it from the movie “Octopussy.”