Explore the Berlin Wall as it stood, in Virtual Reality

On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, heralding the end of division and the start of something new in Europe. Thanks to its historic and symbolic significance, the remains of the Wall remain one of the biggest tourist attractions in the German capital. Yet visitors are sometimes left disappointed once they realize that there’s actually not much left of it.

And since you can’t really travel back in time, one German tech start-up claims to be offering the next best thing – a Virtual Reality experience, letting you completely immerse yourself in the past and experience 1980s Berlin.

The goal and essence of the project

TimeRide Berlin founder Jonas Rothe wants to provide users with an authentic experience. He doesn’t want the VR tour to be like a simple museum visit, but rather an incredibly immersive tour of the German capital as it used to be prior to the fall of the Wall.

Visitors who have decided to embark on the tour are first greeted by a quick introduction and explanation of the status quo – how and why the city was divided and what was going on at the time. Right after, they are introduced to three main protagonists, who will be leading them on the tour – a rebellious tile layer from East Germany, a fierce loyalist and a West Berliner who has spent a lot of time in the East’s underground.

Tourists are then taken to a bus where they put on their VR goggles and begin their “bus tour”. They will explore many Berlin landmarks as they were in the 1980s, accompanied by an assortment of different characters.

The developers are adamant that their creation is showing full respect to history and have avoided showing some of the most gruesome and disturbing realities of the time period.

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