A concrete barrier that quite literally tore the city in two between 1961 and 1989, the story of the Berlin Wall is arguably one of the most important parts of German history.
The Berlin Wall
Visiting what remains of the Berlin Wall was an important part of my trip. The wall itself isn’t much to look at – a great, grey, concrete slab with steel support rods (now damaged and bent) poking out of it, it’s a grim structure to witness. We only came across it by mistake on our journey to the East Side Gallery.
Whilst it’s not the most exciting trip in the world, I’d definitely say it’s worth taking an hour out of your day to visit. There is a free information centre just a few steps from the wall with a wealth of historical info (and a cafe inside, for good measure!) as well as information plaques located in front of sections of the wall, translating the graffiti and explaining a little more about its history. At the very least, you may learn something new during your visit!
East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery was a personal highlight for me during my weekend in Berlin. Unlike usual galleries, this public art space is comprised of what remains of the Berlin Wall and is outdoors, completely exposed to all weather conditions. As such, artists regularly visit to make sure the paintings are restored and ready for public viewing.
The 300m art installation is covered in different paintings which comment on the political climate during and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and is also completely free to visit. Some of the paintings on the wall are now world famous, including the likes of Dmitri Vrubel’s ‘Fraternal Kiss’. Some of the murals were particularly poignant and have stuck with me long after my return to London. Take a look below to see some of my favourite pieces.
I absolutely loved the East Side Gallery and would 100% recommend it to anyone who is visiting Berlin any time soon. Let me know your thoughts if you visit on your travels!
Until next time,