In one of those parts of Berlin where you can still see no-man's land which was there in times of the Wall, the Wall itself is still standing. Shortly after the 1989 revolution, it became a focal point for artists from around the world, who came here to embellish this part of the Wall with works of art. Before the Wall fell in 1989, it was also used as an opportunity for graffiti artists, or, indeed, anyone who wanted to leave a mark behind. This, however, was only allowed on the Western side, the Eastern side was the serious, formal grey of concrete and limestone.
Now that the Wall is only a distant memory, which you can only see when you really make the effort, this is the longest stretch of the Wall. Its function has radically changed. This part of the Wall is an open-air museum near the Spree river, along the Mühlenstrasse. Unfortunately, the works of art suffered severely from exhaust fumes and vandalism, and some of them have been restored. At the same time, the decaying effects of time also add to the symbolism. After all, the Wall is moving back in the memories of people, it is an anomaly of another era, and a new generation is growing up that never knew the Wall.
Walking alongside it, you see one work of art abruptly ending and giving way to the next. There is no room for pause, as in a real museum, you move from an abstract depiction to a poetic painting, from a political message to an idealistic one. There are the trompe l'oeuils, the most famous of which a Trabant breaking through the wall. Overall, the spirit is the one that was predominant in Europe and above all Berlin in the early 1990s: hopes for a new, more just world and for a peaceful world.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from East Side Gallery (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to East Side Gallery.
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