Friedrichstraße is Berlin's answer to the Champs Elysées, Oxford Street and Fifth Avenue, a vibrant melting pot where history, culture, entertainment and fashion meet. Before the fall of the Wall, the southern section of Friedrichstraße was located in the West, and the northern part in the East. Beginning at Mehringplatz in Kreuzberg, the three kilometer-long (1.86 miles) street leads through the heart of the city centre, past the former border crossing at Checkpoint Charlie, to Oranienburger Tor, Berlin's pulsating nightlife district. Historically, the area around Stadtmitte underground station used to be Berlin's premier shopping district. The crossroads at Leipziger Straße were lined with swanky boutiques before wartime bombs left their mark. The new shopping district is now centered around Französische Straße underground station, and includes the fabulous Galeries Lafayette, the exclusive Quartier 206 and the awe-inspiring Friedrichstadtpassagen shopping mall - three of Berlin's architectural highlights. The northern section of the street leads into theater town. A magnet for theater-goers since the 19th century, visitors still pour into places like the Friedrichstadtpalast, Berliner Ensemble, Deutsches Theater and Kammerspiele.