AS PROMISED, feelings about East Side Gallery.
Again, A TRICK: In a dramatic and unusual turn of events, I didn’t actually visit the East Side Gallery shop. I KNOW, OKAY, WHO AM I?
The thing about the East Side Gallery is that it is also a trick. It isn’t a gallery with a building and temperature control. It’s a 1.3 kilometre stretch of the Berlin Wall that remains standing, that, in 1990, was covered in peoples’ art. Like, real street art, not just tagging or whatever. Parts of it have been restored, and some are in the process of it. In total there are 105 pieces by artists all over the world. It is MAGNIFICENT, and totally worth my tired feet.
Here are some things I didn’t know: The wall was only 3 metres tall. On the West side, nobody cared how close you got to the Wall, so it was always covered in graffiti and messages. On the East Side, there was a secondary inner wall, to keep one further away, and wire, before the no-man’s land. In Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, the Wall itself was the Spree, the river.
There is no way to go up one side of the wall and back down the other, so one must go up one side of the wall, come back down the same side, then walk up the other side and back down again. So a proper visit to the East Side Gallery is a good 5 kilometres.
So on the side facing the road are these 25 year old paintings of life and Germany and the world, by artists from all over. On the reverse of the Wall, facing the river, when we visited was a piece by Kai Wiedenhöfer called WARonWALL, a photo exhibition of the war in Syria. This was definitely a really intense experience. I love that it was exhibited on the remainder of the Wall, giving such a contrast to where Germany was and where Syria is right now.
Anyway after all of this walking I just really wanted a drink, so we walked back across the Spree and found a bar that made mojitos and I drank them.
East Side Gallery, Berlin
- Mühlenstraße, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
- Accessibility: it is a lot of walking
- Cost of entry: it is free
- Get there on the U or S to Ostbahnhof or Warschauer Straße
Five out of five very warm walks. LOVE an outdoor gallery.