East Side Gallery

Taking in some of the more colourful sights of Berlin now we head to the East Side Gallery.

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This colourful site is an outdoor gallery that covers one of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall.

At 1.3 kilometre it’s the longest open air art gallery in the world and features work from over 118 artists from 21 countries.

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One of my personal favourites is the image below – Danke, Andrej Sacharow.

This haunting, disembodied head portrait was painted by Dmitry Vrubel and Viktoria Timofeeva, in honour of Andrej Sacharow. A Soviet nuclear physicist and human rights activist, Sacharow died in 1989, just a few weeks after the wall fell.

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Immediately after the wall came down artists began painting, and it officially opened as an open air gallery on 28 September 1990.

There’s over 100 paintings and many of them examine the changing political situation in Berlin at the time and reflected on the country’s recent history.

Below is Mikhail Serebrjakow’s mural,  ‘Diagonal Solution to A Problem,’ which shows a thumb being held up by a chain to hold it in a positive, thumbs-up position.

The mural shows the forceful nature of the East German government and their attempts to preserve Communist ideals in the country.

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The murals are under constant attack from development, the weather and the scribbles of visitors. A non profit organisation aim to restore many of the paintings to their former glory.

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Below is another section of the wall, captured on very shaky camera video footage!!

One of the most famous images on the wall is The Kiss. It depicts an embrace, known as the Socialist Fraternal Kiss, between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German President Erich Honecker. It took place in 1979 in honour of the 30th anniversary of the German Demonstrated Republic, or East Germany.

The mural was painted by Dmitri Wrubel, and under the image is a slogan reading, “My God Help me to Survive this Deadly Love.”

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The image to the right below is called It’s Happened in November.

Berlin artist Kani Alavi painted this mural in 1990. The  painting depicts Checkpoint Charlie the day the wall fell, with thousands of East German faces, crossing to the West.

It’s a colourful, must see sight and well worth taking a few hours to explore.

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