The East Side Gallery: A section of the inner wall painted in 1990

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Stadtplan Berlin.de

The longest preserved piece of the Berlin Wall, standing between Ostbahnhof and Oberbaumbrücke, is known worldwide as the East Side Gallery. After the Wall fell, 118 artists from 21 countries redesigned 1.3 kilometers of the former border into the longest open-air gallery in the world. The East Side Gallery stands both as a symbol of joy over the end of Germany’s division and as a historical reminder of the inhumanity of the GDR border regime. Today it is one of Berlin’s most popular tourist attractions.

The East Side Gallery artists were able to prevent their works from demolition, further decay and destruction. The city of Berlin added the East Side Gallery to its monument register in November 1991. It was the most visible outcome of the opening of the Wall, but now, with almost the entire Berlin Wall gone, it is one of the few remaining relics of the border fortifications at its original location, serving as a reminder that the city was divided for 28 years.

Preserving the East Side Gallery has always been a struggle. The pictures needed restoration even soon after they were painted: done on concrete with the wrong type of paint and without a coat of primer, many of the pictures fell victim to the weather, while others were ruined by graffiti. In 2009 the entire East Side Gallery was painstakingly restored with funds from the federal state of Berlin, the Mitte borough, and the lottery foundation Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie. The artists personally repainted their own pictures from 1990.

In November 2018 the Berlin parliament transferred responsibility of the East Side Gallery to the Berlin Wall Foundation. Since then the Foundation is responsible for the preservation of the monument.

The Berlin Wall Foundation offers public guided tours on the history of the East Side Gallery (1 h) and on art at the East Side Gallery (1.5 h) every Saturday in different languages. In addition, there are the special guided tours “Art at the East Side Gallery” and “Become an Art Expert at the East Side Gallery – a tour for children aged 8 to 12”. Please call or visit the website for more information and to reserve a spot by the Friday before the respective date.

Tours for groups and school classes can be booked here: www.eastsidegalleryberlin.de November 2018 the Berlin parliament transferred responsibility of the East Side Gallery to the Berlin Wall Foundation. Since then the Foundation is responsible for the preservation of the monument.

The Berlin Wall Foundation offers public guided tours on the history of the East Side Gallery (1 h) and on art at the East Side Gallery (1.5 h) every Saturday in different languages. In addition, there are the special guided tours “Art at the East Side Gallery” and “Become an Art Expert at the East Side Gallery – a tour for children aged 8 to 12”. Please call or visit the website for more information and to reserve a spot by the Friday before the respective date.

Tours for groups and school classes can be booked here: www.eastsidegalleryberlin.de

For more information: www.eastsidegalleryberlin.de/en