The East Side Gallery: Symbolic Art Commemorating the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Fiona Whiley
From 1961 to 1989, the Berlin Wall was built to restrict the freedom of the East German people, many of whom would have emigrated to the West if they had been permitted to do so. While most of the wall was demolished, some segments remained and were given to various museums around the world. Another section along the Spree River was turned into a 1.3 km outdoor art gallery. What had once been a barrier of oppression was used as a canvas for artists from all around the world to create a poignant monument to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Over 100 different works of art are painted along this section of the wall, commenting on social and political views, as well as the feelings of people at the end of their oppression with paintings about freedom and scenes of escape. I found these paintings incredibly moving, the scenes depicting times of great hardship.
It is completely free to walk along the street and admire the artworks, however, there is an increasing amount of vandalism appearing on the paintings as time passes. The East Side Gallery is easy to get to from Berlin by catching the train to Berlin Ostbahnhof Station, and then walking over to the gallery.
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