The elevated part of the Friedrichstraße train station in Berlin, all grime and steel, is an architectural homage to the industrial age. It feels like you should only ever see pictures of it in black and white. This is, in fact, often the case, because it became most famous during the Cold War, brooding next to the eastern bank of the river Spree – the major border crossing between East and West Berlin.
Sitting next to, and overshadowed by, the station is a rather dingy faded blue building: one of the gaudy parts of what is the historically complex and mawkish Berlin tourist trail. From 1962 until 1989, this building served as the crossing point between East and West, known as the Tränenpalast, or “Palace of Tears”.