Hardly any Berlin visitors leave the city without taking a selfie in front of the East Side Gallery. The 1.3-kilometer stretch of the Berlin Wall was painted by various artists after the German reunification. The former gray dividing wall, a symbol of the Iron Curtain, was turned into the longest open-air gallery in the world. With their creative wall paintings, artists transformed the relic from times of separation into a colorful monument to the freedom of expression.
East Side Gallery
After the German reunification, artists have turned this former stretch of the Berlin Wall into the largest open-air gallery in the world.
Driven by the extraordinary events that so suddenly changed the world, artists from all over the world came to Berlin after the fall of the Wall in 1989. They wanted to leave a visible testimony of their joy and the new hopes that had arisen. In the years before, Wall paintings had been a highlight for Berlin visitors but could only be found on the Western side of the Wall. The artists transformed the dreary gray of the Wall into paintings that conveyed the mood of freedom and reconciliation.
Popular Paintings of the East Side Gallery
Some of the best known paintings are "The Mortal Kiss" by Dmitri Vrubel, showing Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev in a mouth-to-mouth embrace, and Birgit Kinder's Trabant crashing through the Wall. They have proved very popular as motifs for photos and postcards until today. The paintings today are a mixed bag of surreal images, political statements and graffiti-like effusions, reflecting the eclectic bohemian atmosphere of the city.
East Side Gallery: A Protected Historical Monument
Today, the East Side Gallery is a listed monument. Its paintings were restored by artists in 2009 because wanton destruction, environmental pollution and weather had rendered some of the images unrecognizable. The Berlin Wall Foundation has been responsible for the preservation of the East Side Gallery since November 2018.
- Admission Fee
- Guided Tours
- Every weekend on Saturday and Sunday, guides from the Berlin Wall Foundation are on site as live speakers from 2 to 5 PM. Visitors can ask them questions about the history and art of the East Side Gallery.