East Side Gallery, Berlin

4.5 out of 5 stars 48 Reviews

Mühlenstrasse, Berlin-Friedrichshain

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  • East Side Gallery
    by EasyMalc
  • East Side Gallery
    by EasyMalc
  • East Side Gallery
    by EasyMalc
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    Will it always be here?

    by EasyMalc Written Mar 7, 2014

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    The section of the Berlin Wall that still remains between the Oberbaum Bridge and the Ostbahnhof on Muhlenstrasse is the longest open air art gallery in the world. In German it’s called the Kunstmeile, which in English translates to Art Mile.
    The East-West border here during the Cold War was the River Spree and this segment of the wall on the Eastern side was never subjected to the graffiti that was associated with the Western side. As if to make amends, when the wall came down this part of the wall became a magnet for artists from all over the world.
    Over a hundred murals were painted by artists from twenty one different countries, Some had political statements, some were artistic, and some were just mind bending offerings.
    These paintings were originally done in 1990, but by the time I first saw them back in 2003 they were well past their sell-by date.
    Because of the historic significance the original artists were invited back in 2009 to re-paint their originals.
    There are some iconic images such as Dmitri Vrubel’s painting of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker locked in a fraternal kiss, and Birgit Kinder’s picture of a Trabant breaking through the wall.
    As daft as it may sound I was disappointed to see these murals covered in graffiti. There are notices threatening prosecution if anyone is caught but it doesn’t seem to deter some people. This wall was originally decorated as an art gallery but some of the desecration and juvenile remarks completely spoil the purpose of the mural.
    Apart from that some sections of the wall have been removed. This area is now prime real estate and development is gathering pace. There have been protests but it seems that there are plenty of people, not just developers, who would like to see the wall gone altogether. Understandably, there are bound to be some who don’t want to keep being reminded of the days when the wall kept Berliners apart.
    Having said that, over 3 million visitors come to the East Side Gallery every year, but my gut instinct tells me that as each year passes this mural will gradually become a crumbling inconvenience - and so my advice to you would be to come here before it disintegrates into an open air gallery that no-one will miss if it was gone.

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    A beautiful surprise

    by Alex_71 Written Sep 4, 2012
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    I really didn't think that East side gallery could be so interesting. It's a long piece of the Berlin's wall that now is decorated with lots of murales made by differents artists. I have to admit that is't a great way to use the wall. I mean..the wall means something bad and sad, now it's something beautiful for the sensation and for the feeling of "life" that it gives. Obiusvly not all the "murales" are beautiful but most of them really are. At the end there is a souvenir's shop...it's one of the worse souvenir's shop i have ever seen

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    East side gallery

    by Twan Updated Mar 15, 2012

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    East side gallery, Berliner Wall
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    The East Side Gallery is a piece of the Berlin Wall that after the fall from December 1989 by 118 artists were painted. In November 1989 the German artist Bodo Sperling as the spokesman of the board of the Federal Association Bildende Künstler (Federal Association of Visual Artists) in the context of discussions on the merger of the German art associations BBK and VBK in Berlin next Barbara Greul Aschanta, Jörg Kubitzky and David Monti co-founder of the East Side Gallery. The piece is located between Berlin and the Oberbaumbrücke Ostbahnhof in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, parallel to the river Spree. The paintings are usually made ​​with graffiti, and deal with political affairs after the Wende.

    This part of the Wall is the largest and longest part (1316 meters). It is also the longest outdoor gallery in the world.

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    A unique open-air gallery

    by toonsarah Written Jun 17, 2011

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    ?Birds in Heaven?
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    There are several places in Berlin where stretches of the once infamous Wall remain. Some are left much as they were, one at least showing the signs of destruction caused by the assault by local people when finally they brought the Wall down (see my tip on the Topographie des Terrors). But here on the banks of the Spree near the Ostbahnhof is a stretch that has been restored and decorated with a series of murals by artists from all over the world, the East Side Gallery. And whereas in the period of the city’s division the decorative graffiti was confined to the western side of the wall, now it is the eastern side that is both colourful and, at times, political.

    The 1.3 km stretch was turned into this informal open-air gallery soon after the fall of the Wall, in 1990, and completely restored, with new art-works, in 2009 to mark the 20 year anniversary of that event. There are 106 works in total, and it claims to be the largest open-air art gallery in the world. Much of the art work on display will stimulate and remind you of the events of 1989, as well as raising some challenging questions perhaps about on-going conflict in our world – although a few pieces seem to be just for fun. My photos show a selection of the works I liked best - do check them out.

    While not very like a conventional gallery, this makes a good place for a stroll, although the traffic rushing past on the Mühlenstraße will mean that it isn’t an especially relaxing one. For relaxation on your walk you will need to stop off at one of the appealing beach bars along the Spree (see my next tip).

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    the story behind

    by EviP Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In the beginning of the 80’s, people used to write political signs on the Wall. At Potsdamerplatz, Checkpoint Charlie and Kreuzberg painted graffiti turned the Wall into a tourist attraction. In April 1984, French artist Thiery Noir and his colleague, Christophe Bouchet covered the grey cement of the Wall with bright colours and figures and with what was described as “sad poetry”. The two young lads moved in Berlin in 1982, enchanted by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, who also used to live in the west part of the city. These two painters lived near the Wall and were looking for a way to make it look less boring but neither to downplay, nor to embellish it. As any intervention was prohibited, they had to move quickly, keeping one eye on the painting and the other on the soldiers. Other artists came along and helped this part of the Wall gain charm, character and political meaning. After 1987, 15-year-olds turned the Wall into graffiti jungle. Only after the Wall fell, did the artists’ work become the regularity.

    Today, 1300 meters with 106 works of more that 120 artists, stand for the world not to forget to remember the hope and the change…

    Also worth mentioning is that Noir’s work is imprinted in the film “Wings of desire” by Vim Venders (1987). Later on, the band U2 asked Noir to design 6 east-german trabant cars for their 1991 album “Achtung Baby”.

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    Hurry up - only till Sunday 20 July 2003

    by chicabonita Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    just besides the East Side Gallery is Berlin's first sandcastle competition. Absolute fantastic and amasing. You can see the sandcastles only till 20 July but it is defenitly worth to see!!!

    See my travelogues for some great pics :-)))

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  • azz8206's Profile Photo

    The East Side Gallery

    by azz8206 Updated Dec 10, 2010

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    Just another face in the crowd
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    A 1.3 km stretch of the old Berlin Wall with beautifully drawn murals each with its own messages of peace, harmony, freedom and of breaking the shackles of oppression. There are some really great murals here and the messages really come through in the paintings. I had a great experience here and was glad I saw it.
    Judging by the pics I viewed on the internet before I went, the murals seem to be restored. You won't be disappointed visiting the East Side Gallery.
    Located right in front of S-Bahn station Ostbahnhof on Muhlenstrasse.

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    Longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall

    by Karlie85 Written Sep 30, 2009

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    Part of the Berlin Wall @ East Side Gallery

    The Berlin Wall is one the biggest tourist attractions in Berlin so it’s ironic that not much of the wall still exists. The East Side Galley is the largest remaining section of the wall, spanning about 1.3 km. When communism reigned, the east side of the wall was unpainted concrete as anybody getting close enough to that side of the wall would have likely been shot dead. After the wall came down in 1990, this section of wall was converted into a huge open air museum. For the first time, artists were allowed to paint on the wall and many painted very political messages of freedom and liberty. Unfortunately many of those original paintings have been damaged by vandalism, graffiti and weathering. When I visited in the summer of 2009, many of the originals had been repainted (in the same design by the original artists) and others were in the process of being redone. The gallery is a must see because it’s free, easy to get to and the messages are very thought provoking.

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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    Art on The Wall

    by lina112 Written Aug 4, 2009

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    Is the stretch of long, well-preserved and most interesting of the Berlin Wall. Its 1300 meters in length parallel to the river Spree and has become an art gallery outdoors. Originally created by a group of international artists in 1990 and partially renovated in 2000. It is well worth visiting for its eclectic mix of political statements, images and visions really surreal art.

    Es el tramo las largo, bien conservado y mas interesante del muro de Berlin. Sus 1.300 metros de longitud discurren paralelamente al rio Spree y se ha convertido en una galeria de arte al aire libre. Creada originalmente por un grupo de artistas internacionales en 1990 y restaurada parcialmente en el año 2000. Merece la pena visitarlo por su mezcolanza eclectica de declaraciones políticas, imagenes surrealistas y visiones realmente artisticas.%f

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    East Side Gallery

    by alancollins Written Sep 22, 2008

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    This is one of the longest surviving sections of the Berlin Wall being over 1km in length and is the largest open air gallery in the world. It comprises of the work of 118 different artists from 21 different countries as a tribute to the fall of communism. It was organised by a Scottish artist call Chris Maclean in 1990. Unfortunately souvenir hunters, graffiti and the weather have all taken their toil over the years, coupled with being next to a busy road. It is best visited early in the day as the sun is directly in front of the wall in the afternoon which can spoil your photographs.

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    East Side Gallery

    by darkjedi Updated Jun 4, 2008

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    The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery is a 1.3km-long section of the wall near the center of Berlin. Approximately 106 paintings by artists from all over the world cover this memorial for freedom and make it the largest open air gallery in the world.

    Between Oberbaumbrücke (Oberbaum Bridge) and the Ostbahnhof station, along the former borderline that ended at the Spree and Mühlenstrasse, stretches a unique picture palette that marks a sign of overcoming inhumanity. After the Wall came down in 1989, hundreds of artists from all over the world gathered and transformed the eastside of the Wall that had been untouchable up to now, with their paintings.

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  • wanderingbilly's Profile Photo

    DRAWING ON THE PAST

    by wanderingbilly Updated Jun 1, 2008
    EAST SIDE GALLERY
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    IF LIKE MYSELF YOU LIKE YOUR HISTORY, THEN YOU SIMPLY CANNOT MISS THE CHANCE TO SEE THE LONGEST AND BEST PRESERVED SECTION OF THE BERLIN WALL.
    THE "EAST SIDE GALLERY" RUNS FOR SOME 1300M AND IS THE LARGEST OPEN AIR GALLERY IN THE WORLD.
    WE GOT THE TRAIN FROM ALEXANDERPLATZ STATION TO OSTBAHNHOF THEN TOOK THE SHORT WALK TO STRALAUER PLATZ AND THE START OF THE GALLERY.
    THIS SECTION OF THE BERLIN WALL RUNS ALONG THE BANKS OF THE RIVER SPREE..
    THE AREA THAT THE GALLERY IS IN IS TO BE HONEST QUITE BLEAK..THEN AGAIN THE WALL ITSELF HARKS BACK TO A TIME WHEN THE WHOLE OF BERLIN WAS BLEAK SO MAYBE ITS FITTING... THE PAINTINGS ON THE WALL HAVE SEEN BETTER DAYS, WITH QUITE A LOT OF GRAFFITI ON THEM..WHICH IS A SHAME REALLY AS SOME OF THEM ARE VERY VERY GOOD.
    THE PAINTINGS SEEM TO GET BETTER AS YOU WALK ALONG..A FAVOURITE OF MINE IS CALLED THE "MORTAL KISS" THIS PAINTING SHOWS ERICH HONECKER AND LEONID BREZHNEV KISSING.
    OTHER PAINTINGS SHOW CHILDREN "DANCING TO FREEDOM" AND AN OLD TRABI CAR BUSTING THROUGH THE "WALL"
    TOWARDS THE END OF THE GALLERY THERE IS A SHOP SELLING BOOKS AND PIECES OF THE BERLIN WALL... YOU CAN ALSO GET YOUR PASSPORT STAMPED WITH THE OLD DDR STAMP OR CHECKPOINT CHARLIE STAMP... VERY TOURISTY.
    THE "EAST SIDE GALLERY" HAS SEEN BETTER DAYS, BUT IT IS A PIECE OF HISTORY THAT REALLY IS WORTH SEEING.
    AND THE PRICE OF ALL THIS HISTORY ?? ITS FREE !! JUST TURN UP AND LOOK.
    THE EAST SIDE GALLERY IS NOW A LISTED LANDMARK.

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  • VDElvis's Profile Photo

    East Side Gallery

    by VDElvis Updated May 11, 2008

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    A painting of Brezhnev and Honecker kissing
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    After the reunification of Germany, artists from around the world were invited to paint murals on a remaining section of the wall. Thus began the East Side Gallery. The East Side Gallery stretches just over 1 kilometer, and hosts a number of very interesting paintings. Unfortunately, much of the gallery has eroded over the years, but a restoration has begun. Even in its current state of disrepair, it's still worth a visit.

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  • richyoon's Profile Photo

    Outside Modern Art Gallery

    by richyoon Written Apr 9, 2008
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    Our tour ended at the East Side Gallery where graffetti artists have painted murals on the largest remaining parts of the Berlin Wall. I don't know if there's any effort to perserve these murals, but most people seem to respect its value. Many tourist look for empty spaces to add little sayings or signatures... I thought it was worth the effort to bring a pen... I think this is a must see while you are in Berlin... not only for the art, but the history and being outdoor to see this.

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  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    Berlin Wall - East Side Gallery

    by smirnofforiginal Written Aug 22, 2007

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    Between Hauptbahnhof and Oberbaumbruke, there is 1300m (1 mile) of the Berlin Wall which is best known as East Side Gallery.

    The graffiti on the wall here is the work of 118 different artists from 21 countries. It was organized in 1990 by a Scottish artist called Chris MaclEan.

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