Ger. “Berliner Mauer”, Berlin, Germany (photo: Aleksandra Sawicka, February 2015)
From the 13th of August 1961 to the 9th of November 1989 The Berlin Wall separated West Berlin from East Berlin.
The East Side Gallery (as it is called) stretches along the river Spree and is the longest outdoor gallery. 101 large-format paintings covers more than 1.3 kilometers of the Berlin Wall. It starts near the East Railway Station (Ostbanhof) and ends in Warsaw Street (Warschauer Strasse).
The East Side Gallery is one of the most famous landmarks on the tourist map of Berlin. It is mentioned in almost every guidebook and is visited by 1.5 million tourists a year. The first graffiti was created in 1990 and only a year later in 1991 this section of the wall started being protected as a monument. In 1996 the association for the purpose of taking care of the wall and to preserve this important symbol of reconciliation for the future generations was estalished. By the end of 2009 all the murals were renovated and preserved.
The most famous painting is “The fraternal kiss” (picture no 2, on left side) by Dimitri Vrubel. The characters presented in it are Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker the former Soviet leader and the former East German leader respectively. The two met in 1979 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic celebrations. Till today there have been disputes as to who initiated the kiss.
The painting by Birgit Kinder “Test the Best” which shows the Trabant piercing through the wall (picture no 6, on left side) is equally symbolic. One of the passages in the wall closed with the metal bars (picture no 3, on the right side) is very popular among those in love. They like to hang padlocks on the trellises as a symbol of their love.
Did you know? (Source: Wikipedia)
Fragments of the Berlin Wall exported from Berlin
The largest fragment of the Berlin Wall is located in Poland, Lower Silesia, in the village of Sosnówka near Oleśnica. There are about 25 pieces of concrete blocks with graffiti that once
made the Berlin Wall. The collection belongs to a Polish doctor who lives in Berlin.