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The East Side Gallery

November 9, 2009

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The perfect day to visit Berlin’s East Side Gallery and to appreciate all that it stands for!

Many people don’t realise that the Berlin Wall was not actually a single wall, but two walls that ran parallel to each other with what was called the ‘death strip’ in between (for, unfortunately, quite obvious reasons). There were also three phases of the Berlin Wall, but I won’t get into that here. The Berlin Wall ‘fell’ on this day 20 years ago – November 9th, 1989 – allowing huge crowds of both East and West Berliners to come together… and yes, the falling of the wall is metaphorical; it did not, on this date, actually fall down – people were let through. Why? Miscommunication… seriously! Read more here.

Twenty years on, the East Side Gallery is both the world’s largest open air art gallery and the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall. At 1.3km, this segment of the wall is covered with the paintings of over a hundred artists from across the globe. This lasting memorial to those who who believed in freedom, who fought and endured, is actually a section of the wall that was on the former East Berlin side. Unlike the graffitied walls of West Berlin, the eastern walls had been bare prior to reunification. Since it was created in 1990, much of the East Side Gallery has been repainted as many of the originals had suffered at the hands of vandalism, graffiti and…well, time. The gallery serves as a reminder of events passed and serves to express hope in, as cheesy as it sounds, a better tomorrow.

By the way, I’ve just bought myself my very first DSLR (yay! and it’s been about a decade since I’ve used a SLR – eek!), so I’m still learning and relearning the ropes! I think they turned out alright though….


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