As visitors to Berlin wander the city, hitting all of its top landmarks, they may wonder about the end chapter of a character that keeps getting referenced. Adolf Hitler left an undeniable stamp on the capital of Germany - both its history and literal structure. Unter den Linen and Brandenburger Tor, Olympic Stadium, Berliner Dom were all structurally altered under the Führer's influence.
But one place curious onlookers seek out is no longer so impressive.
Hitler's bunker is just one of the structures largely destroyed after WWII. The site of demise for one of the 20th century's most sinister villains is now just a parking lot and plaque.
Brief History of the Führerbunker
Before Hitler died of a self-inflicted gun wound in a bunker beneath the city he abandoned, the Führerbunker was established in 1936 as an air-raid shelter beneath the Reich Chancellery. At the time of its construction, it cost 250,000 Reichsmark.
It was expanded in 1944 and lay 15 meters underground, consisted of about 27 meters of tunnels and rooms and was protected by at least 3.5 meters of enforced concrete. Hitler took up full residence on January 16th, 1945. It was the center of the Nazi regime until the last week of World War II in Europe. On March 20th Hitler honored the last of his soldiers before cameramen and photographers before descending into the bunker.
In the last week of April, it became clear the war was lost.
Hitler married his partner, Eva Braun, and together with their entourage, they committed suicide in the bunker on April 30th, 1945. Shortly after, the place was stormed by Russian troops where they discovered the grisly scene. Though it was only one of the Führerhauptquartiere (Führer Headquarters) used by Hitler, it is certainly the most famous.
What Happened to Hitler's Bunker in Berlin
The bunker and many Reich buildings were destroyed by the Soviets following the war. A bomb was detonated and the intricate channels and rooms of the bunker complex were buried under its own rubble in 1947. That doesn't mean it was completely destroyed. The underground complex lay in ruins, partly intact, until 1988–9 when the city undertook some reconstruction. The bunker was excavated but still sealed off from the public. Above ground, the site remained unmarked and mostly covered by a nondescript car park.
This was part of German policy to avoid neo-Nazis making pilgrimages to major Nazi landmarks. This changed in 2006 when a small plaque with a diagram of the space below was installed in time for the World Cup.
Finding Hitler's Bunker in Berlin
The easiest (and very appropriate) way to approach the site is from the easy to find Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. From that well-marked location, walk to what was the Reichskanzlei which was at Wilhelmstraße 75-77 - now in den Ministergärten by Gertrud-Kolmar-Strasse in 10117 Berlin. A map of the bunker and other relevant sites can help you locate what remains of Hitler's bunker in Berlin.
Despite the bunker being off-limits to the public, multiple pictures of the interior of the bunker have been published.
The closest UBahn/SBahn is Brandenburger Tor.