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The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining strip of The Berlin Wall and the longest outdoor gallery in the world. Immediately after the fall of the “iron curtain,” 118 artists from 21 different countries reinterpreted East Side Gallery history forever.
The East Side Gallery borders what used to be its “death strip,” a highly patrolled area where anyone trying to cross from East to West Berlin was immediately shot.
Since 1990, many murals deteriorated. Restoration, however, has been filled with roadblocks like funding issues and even a lawsuit from artists who felt their work was altered.
German pop artist Jim Avignon painted over his original painting “Doin’ it cool for the East Side” with a group of art students in 1990—without authorized permission.
A six-meter gap was put in the East Side Gallery in 2013 to make room for the construction of high rise apartment buildings. Protestors gathered, but the construction went on.
“Berlin East Side Gallery” is a 2015 documentary that records the changes since the 2009 restoration in hopes of deterring vandalism and promoting preservation.
Located along the Spree river, the area around the gallery is filled with sand-filled beach bars that can make for a relaxing, sunny evening when the weather is in your favor.
Crowds can be dense; arriving earlier or later in the day is advisable. It’s open 24 hours a day.
One of the most famous murals is entitled “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love” and sometimes called the “Fraternal Kiss” by Dmitri Vrubel. It is a reproduction of the real event of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker sharing a socialist fraternal embrace.
- When to visitThe East Side Gallery is open all day, everyday.
- What is the price?It's free to walk the Gallery, but tours of the area cost extra.
- Will I need a guide?A guide can certainly make the artwork come to life, with stories about the artists, and life before and after The Wall.
- How to get thereTake the S5, S7 or S75 to either Warschauer Str. or Ostbahnhof, or the U1 to Warschauer Str.
- Additional tips
- Please remain respectful, and do not add your own artwork over an artist's work.