Car bursting through the wall by Birgit Kinder-East Side Gallery, Berlin, Germany

See more works by Birgit Kinder

The art to be found in Berlin’s old eastern quarters is the stuff of legend. The venerable museums on the Spree’s Museumsinsel house countless priceless works of art, perhaps the most famous being the feast of classical Greek, Babylonian, Roman, Islamic and Middle Eastern art and architecture at the Pergamon. The Hamburger Bahnhof, a converted train station near the city’s main station, showcases modern art.

Visiting these museums can be a pricey affair, though, and involve long queues. Berlin’s East Side Gallery, located on a preserved remnant of the Berlin Wall along the Spree River, offers a history lesson and exercise at the right price: zero.

The East Side Gallery, a canvas made from an almost mile-long stretch of the then just-fallen Wall, was spirited into being in 1990. More than 100 artists came from around the world to paint their memories and hopes along 1.3 kilometers of concrete, and left behind an inspired, slightly anarchic collage. The work has been refurbished twice, most recently in 2009.

The colors painted on the gloomy ex-barricade are mostly bright, the emotions expressed, evocative. Even on a chilly day spitting rain, a stroll along the East Side Gallery is highly recommended. To see some of the best works first, start your walk from the Ost Bahnhof end.

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  1. I'd love to know more about your experience of this "East Side Gallery". It's part of the old Berlin Wall?


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