East Side Gallery, Berlin

4.5 out of 5 stars 48 Reviews

Mühlenstrasse, Berlin-Friedrichshain

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    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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    East Side Gallery

    by sue_stone Written Aug 11, 2006

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    East Side Gallery - on the Berlin Wall
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    The East Side Gallery is the longest and best preserved remaining part of the Berlin Wall. This 1.3km long section of the wall is home to one of the largest open air galleries in the world.

    Approximately 106 paintings by artists from all over the world cover this "memorial for freedom", which has been painted on the east side of the wall. The first painting was started in December 1989, immediately after the fall of the wall.

    Over the years the frescoes have been eroded by the weather and exhaust fumes, and also destroyed by tourists wanting to take a part of the wall home with them. The gallery is slowly being restored by non-profit organisations, and the paintings closest to Ostbahnhof are in the best condition.

    This is a very interesting place to visit, not only do you get to see part of the Berlin Wall, but you also get a glimpse of the hopes and dreams for the future for people all around the world, via the artists' work.

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    East Side Gallery

    by m-joy Written Jun 13, 2004

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    It was in 1990 during Berlin’s reunification period when 1,3 km of the wall have been reserved as a memorial. More than 100 artists from 24 countries made an open-air gallery of it. Some pictures are just nice and funny, most of them have a political or historical background.

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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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    A Kiss between Honecker and Brezhnev

    by Karin1S Written Mar 6, 2004

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    East Side Gallery

    The East Side Gallery lies to the north of Oberbaumbrücke. It consists of a 1.3 kilometre long section of the Berlin Wall along Mühlenstraße, on which artists from all over the world painted 106 murals in 1990. Amongst the best-known is Honecker and Brezhnev's Fraternal Kiss. This was painted by the Russian artist, Dmitri Vrubel, who gave it the title "O God, help me survive this deadly love".
    But you'll also find a lot of very interessting pictures from unknown artists.
    Take a walk at the east side gallery on a sunny day and feel the history of that wall . . .

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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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    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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    the story behind

    by EviP Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    part of east side gallery
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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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    East Side Gallery

    by Sjalen Written Nov 6, 2005

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    When the Wall finally came down, people did not spare a thought for posterity. Consequently, there are hardly any places left where you can see this hated divider. The East Side Gallery is one of those and runs between Warschauer Strasse and Ostbahnhof. The first stop is the most interesting part of it and has become a devoted gallery where artists have painted the Wall full of old GDR memories. There is also a souvenir shop here with GDR nostalgia items.

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    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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    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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  • sarahandgareth's Profile Photo

    East Side Gallery

    by sarahandgareth Written Aug 26, 2003

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    East Side Mural

    The East Side Gallery is one of the largest preserved sections of the Berlin Wall – and it has the added bonus of being an outdoor art gallery. Each segment of Wall was painted by a different artist (many from outside Germany) shortly after the Wall came down, and many of the sections have been restored or updated since then.

    The Gallery is almost a mile (1.3 kilometers) long, and has over 100 paintings. The theme of many of the paintings is peace and harmony: the message is sometimes very clear, sometimes more subtly woven into the art. There’s a great variety of work on display: you’ll likely love some sections, and be unmoved by others, but this is an essential stop for anyone interested both in the Wall and the emotions that it provoked in people.

    The most recent restorations were in 2000, and sadly some segments have suffered quite badly at the hands of the elements and graffiti artists: it's time for another revamp, but unfortunately the funds for such a cleanup are lacking.

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    East-Side Gallery

    by barryg23 Updated May 11, 2003

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    One of the largest remaining parts of the Berlin Wall can be found at the East-Side Gallery. Here, there is a long stretch - approx 1.5 km (thx Sabsi!) - of the wall which has been painted over by artists down the years.

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    East Side Gallery

    by pili Updated Dec 13, 2003

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    East Side Gallery

    The wall that once devided the city is almost completely gone. There are a few remnants including the East Side Gallery located across from the East Berlin rail station. It consists of a 1.3 kilometre long section of the Berlin Wall along Mühlenstrasse, on which artists from all over the world painted 106 murals in 1990
    Another section is across the river from the Reichstag

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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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