Wall pieces, Berlin
The last version of the Berlin Wall was over 140 Km in circumference, 3.6 metres high and 1.2 metres thick which makes for a total amount of concrete of around 604,800 cubic metres.
For a "do-it-youselfer" you can buy ready-to-mix concrete at about 10 Euros per cubic metre these days and so I'd assume that back in 1961 the cost for a major project such as the wall would have been less than a tenth of that.
So the actual cost of the concrete to build the wall would have been about 6 million Euros at today's prices.
You can pick up a souvenir chunk for about 6.50 Euros - that chunk will be about 2 cubic centimetres and so the local tourist industry should expect to make about 318 million Euros once it is all sold.
And of course graffitied pieces command a premium!
Unique Suggestions: Buy yourself a bag of concrete and follow the instructions. Once set break it into chunks, add a bit of spray paint and go into business for yourself.
Berlin doesn't have as many souvenir shops as other large cities, but the ones it does have are a bit of a rip off. Postcards in particular seemed expensive, while cold war souvenirs were being sold at outrageous prices (the East-Side gallery souvenir shop and the shops near Checkpoint Charlie are perfect examples). In addition, some shops were selling parts of the wall for rather extortionate prices. I'm dubious as to whether these are genuine.
Pieces of "The Wall" for sale.
Unique Suggestions: I don't understand why people want souvenirs like that anyway, why can't it be enough to just've been there? Please do not take a piece of the Wall yourself and please don't write on the East Side Gallery either. The East Side Gallery is a strip of paintings made by artists. I think it's an outrage that people dare destroy it like that! You wouldn't do that in a museum either now would you!?
Fun Alternatives: Just buy a stupid piece from a shop, the people at home will probably believe it's real anyway.
berlin wall souvenirs
Unique Suggestions: who knows if they really are bits of the berlin wall or not? my advice is to save your cash and just buy a bit off a stall. there´s one round the corner from the brandenburg gate - and the bits for sale there looked identical to those i´d seen in all the other places.
only one euro a piece
Beware of vendors selling pieces of the "Wall"... do you actually think that they are real?
Fun Alternatives: Most of the wall has been dismantled and pieces are all over the world. Just leave it alone, and don't buy pieces from street vendors, unless you want a piece of concrete with spray paint on it... it is most likely fake
Most people on VT will tell you that, so I just wanna repeat it: don't buy pieces of the wall and expect that they are real. They are most probably not. In my eyes they are a waste of money.
Fun Alternatives: I suggest instead to go to places with wall traces. You can take photos there and touch the original wall stone. There are not many places left, since, sadly, the wall is not always considered as a historical monument, but you will find remains here:
- at the Topography of Terror exhibition behind the Martin-Gropius-Bau
- the East Side Gallery near Warschauer Straße (= longest remaining piece of the wall - 1200 m)
- Bernauer Straße
- Mauerpark (Prenzlauer Berg)
- Bornholmer Str. (Bösebrücke)
For more details, have a look here: http://www.berlinermaueronline.de/berlin-guide/berlinermauer-heute.htm (website available in German)
I don't know whether it's my eyes but the little pieces of wall that are sold in Berlin sometimes look a bit fake to me. Be careful!!!
Fun Alternatives: If you really want one and you want to be sure it's a real one give me a shout and I might send you one of my little ones!
Close by Checkpoint Charlie (and any other heavily touristed area), there are tons of people selling "pieces of the wall" Some are real, and sadly, some probably aren't. Use your best judgement, though. I bought a piece of the wall from a guy who had pictures of him chipping away at the wall, along with a certificate of authenticity.
Unique Suggestions: Use your best judgement!
This is a danger and a tourist trap. At the flea markets they sell bits of pieces of rock that is suposed to be from The Wall. More then likely it isn't, and even if it is, it is illegal to take pieces from the wall. But even if you buy it from a vendor, there is no proof that you purchased it. Just be aware!
I know it must have been really touching to see the Berlin Wall coming down on TV, but don't you dare to buy those little pieces of concrete offered for sale anywhere.
Scratching it out of your homewalls would be a lot cheaper and have the same effect, except you save yourself from being exposed as the perfect tourist-fool.
In Berlin a lot of people are selling pieces of the 'original' Berlin wall, which was taken down in 1989. But beware ! All these pieces of rock aren't real, and are probably taken from the backyard of the salesman...
OK, so I understand that you want to take something Cold War-related home with you. Street souvenir vendors at Branderburger Tor will cater to such needs. You can buy a miniature Trabant, a DDR registration plate, pieces of East German uniform (or the whole one)... fair and square, although you're bound to pay too much. But don't ever, EVER buy the so-called pieces of the Wall! Not only are they way too expensive (5 DEM), they're false too. If you really have to have a piece of the infamous monument, go there and pick it yourself (but please please do it at the back side and leave the East Side Gallery untouched!).