Stolpersteine Stumbling Stones

Cobblestone-sized memorials for individual victims of Nazism, created by artist Gunter Demnig.

TravelCurious Tip

Even if you don’t actually see a stolperstein, you may still stumble across one; they are slightly raised above pavement level.

Literally translating as “Stumbling Stones”, the Stolpersteine may be the largest and most haunting art project every conceived. But it’s not something you can visit; instead, parts of it lie everywhere you go in Berlin - it’s intended to be a constant presence and an all-pervasive reminder of one of the greatest tragedies in modern history.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Keep your eyes to the ground for an hour as you walk around, and the chances are you’ll see a small brass cube embedded somewhere in the pavement. Look closer, and you’ll be able to make out an inscription, which usually begins with the words Hier wohnte, meaning Here Lived. These words are followed by an epitaph for a man, woman or child who once lived in the adjacent building and was deported to a concentration camp and abused, enslaved or murdered during the Holocaust.

A Continent-Wide Project

The effect of the Stolpersteine is chilling and immediate. The sheer quantity of them - there are now over 50,000 in 18 countries - and the frequency with which you can find them, serves as an omnipresent reminder of this horrendous episode. The stones are the brainchild of artist Gunter Demnig, who began the project in 1992 with a stone laid in front of Cologne’s town hall, which had once been a centre for enthusiastic support for the Nazi regime. Since then, Demnig has travelled far and wide across the continent, placing the stones in more than 550 European cities.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Berlin
The Reichstag
Constructed to house the Parliament of Germany, this imposing building has had a turbulent past.
Soviet War Memorial
The War Memorial, erected by the Soviet Union, is one of three memorials to fallen Russian soldiers in the city.
Brandenburg Gate
This 18th-century neoclassical triumphal arch is one of the best-known German landmarks: the grand entrance to the capital of Prussia.
Holocaust Memorial
The Holocaust Memorial is a stark, effective reminder of a dark chapter in the history of the world.
Unter den Linden
A scenic boulevard flanked by linden trees, perfect for a cozy stroll through the Mitte district of Berlin.
Palace of Tears (Tränenpalast)
Outstanding in its historical depth, Tränenpalast museum illustrates life under the East-West divide.

Related Tours

Berlin in a Day: Private Full Day Highlights with Tickets
Uncover the remarkable history of Berlin, on a full day, which explores both the east and the west. On your private tour, you will:  

  • Be met by your private guide in the heart of the city centre. 
  • Explore several sites, including the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and Tiergarten Park.
  • Learn about the impact of the second world war in West Berlin, and see the Holocaust MemorialHitler’s Bunker, and Checkpoint Charlie.
  • See the Berlin Wall, and then stop for lunch at a local marketplace, where your guide will give you several recommendations.
  • Learn to take public transit, with the help of your private guide.
  • Explore formerly East-Berlin, and see its highlights, including the East Side GalleryAlexanderplatz, and ‘the Treehouse.’ 
  • Finish your tour with tickets to Berlin’s TV Tower, where you will enjoy spectacular views across the whole city. 

Berlin served as the epicentre of several of the twentieth century’s most momentous parts of history: from the rise of Nazism to the Cold War and the Berlin Wall. A full-day tour is the best way to explore this history and the various layers of the city before and after these events. On your private tour, you will see the old and the new, including the Jewish Quarter which itself has over 800 years of history, before ending your tour at the futuristic Fernsehturm, the Berlin TV Tower. 

Through this tour, you will embark on a journey through time, visiting sites that played a role as Berlin evolved from a royal city through to imperial capital, cosmopolitan hub to Nazi bastion, and from Cold War division to its contemporary renewal and prosperity. A century of geopolitical struggle, hubris, nemesis and rebirth have marked this fascinating city from the ambitions of the Kaiser to defeats in two World Wars. Throughout the day, your tour will be taking you to the historic landmarks where so much of the city (and world) history played out. 

Your tour finishes with tickets to Berlin’s TV tower, where your guide will give you timed entrance tickets to ascend to the observation deck. From there, you’ll be able to see all the places you have explored throughout the day and see the complex and wonderful city from above. 

Jewish Heritage Live Virtual Tour
During this Jewish Heritage Live Virtual Tour, you will take a walk around Spandauer Vorstadt, in the Mitte district and learn the Jewish history in Berlin with your expert local guide.  On your virtual tour, you will:
  •  See the oldest Jewish cemetery in the city, destroyed by the Nazis, the Alter Jüdischer Friedhof in Berlin has been restored again and is now the oldest recognisable cemetery
  •  Learn about the establishment of the Jewish community in Berlin
  •  See the new synagogue on Oranienburger Straße built as the main place of worship for Berlin's Jewish community after they outgrew the old one
  •  Pass by one of the oldest bakeries in Berlin selling Vollkorn bread a healthy dark and sour bread stuffed with seeds and grains
  •  Learn about ‘stumbling stones’ or Stolpersteine which are concrete blocks laid into the pavement with the names and fate of Nazi victims engraved into a brass plate on the top of each Stolperstein. 
  •  Explore the hidden courtyards of Berlin. 
  The richness of spirit and intellect of Berlin's Jewish community was violently destroyed by the Nazis. There is no other city in the world that has more Holocaust memorials than Berlin, making it a part of the city’s everyday life. 


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