Learning Art and History at The Berlin Wall – East Side Gallery

I’ll admit it. I did not know anything about Berlin before my sister and I met in the city two months back (except of course that it is the German capital). And unlike my previous trips, I did not research about Berlin prior to arrival in the city.   I thought I’d meet up with my sister anyway, and we’ll surely find our way to enjoy.

We did enjoy Berlin – primarily because of the food and the Wall Museum, East Side Gallery! Well the sausage and pasta served in a restaurant along Cora-Berliner-Strasse are among the best sausage and pasta that ever graced my mouth =P.   And The Wall Museum?  I am not a fan of museums and galleries but The Wall Museum in the East Side Gallery is really interesting!

As my sister and I are both art lovers, we decided to prioritize the Berlin Wall’s East Side Gallery given the one day we had in Berlin. We were not disappointed; the East Side Gallery is screaming art and history in a very interesting way!

Enough of the words now, this is The Wall Museum, East Side Gallery in pictures. 🙂

Al Wakrah-1001.jpg

Okay. Pic was taken on the west side of the wall. Le sister and I were so excited tontake pics without the fences 😀

Without any knowledge about the history of Berlin, I’ve guessed that the Berlin Wall is more than just an ordinary wall art as the paintings evoke mixed feelings of imprisonment, freedom, change, anger, division, unity, sadness and euphoria.  Upon doing some reading after the trip, I’ve learned how this wall symbolizes freedom, not only in the history of Germany, but of mankind.

Here is the most famous (and perhaps the most intriguing) painting of them all – The Kiss:

The Kiss depicts Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev giving the East Germany President Erich Honecker what appears to be a passionate kiss on the lips. At first glance, you might think it’s a complete joke, with no bearing on reality. But the image was based on an actual photograph taken in 1979 in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of the German Democratic Republic–East Germany. – Doug Peterson, disappearingman.com

Facts:

  1. According to http://www.history.com, the Berlin Wall stood as a concrete manifestation of the Iron Curtain for nearly 30 years, preventing citizens in communist East Germany from fleeing to democratic, capitalist West Berlin. On the night of November 9, 1989, however, East German authorities suddenly opened the border crossing, and thousands of jubilant Germans celebrated by dancing on top of the wall and chipping away at it with hammers and chisels.  More than 100 people died trying to cross the Berlin Wall while more than 5,000 successfully escaped by going over and under the Berlin Wall.
  2. According to Wikipedia, The East Side Gallery is an international memorial for freedom with 105 paintings from artists from all over the world. It is a 1316 m long section of the Berlin Wall located near the centre of Berlin on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.  The actual border at this point was the river Spree.  The gallery is located on the so-called “hinterland mauer”, which closed the border to West Berlin.
  3. According to Wikipedia, it is possibly the largest and longest-lasting open air gallery in the world. Paintings from Jürgen Grosse alias INDIANO, Dimitri Vrubel, Siegfrid Santoni, Bodo Sperling, Kasra Alavi, Kani Alavi, Jim Avignon, Thierry Noir, Ingeborg Blumenthal, Ignasi Blanch i Gisbert, Kim Prisu, Hervé Morlay VR and others have followed.
  4. According to http://www.eastsidegallery-berlin.de, the wall was painted on February to September 1990 and refurbished on February to September 2009.  The East Side Gallery is a monument to the fall of the Wall and the peaceful overcoming of borders and conventions between societies and people with more than 3 million visitors per year.

 

The East Side Gallery was very emotionally, mentally and artistically stimulating.  For the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery alone, I think Berlin is a must-visit city in Europe.  

I hope you enjoyed this blog! 😊

 

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