The longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall that I am aware of is known as the East Side Gallery and is located in the former East Germany. This section, 1.6 kilometers long, is described as the largest open air art gallery in the world and features 106 paintings by artists all over the world.
The paintings were originally done in 1990 and by the time my Italian and I went last year, many of the paintings were damaged by erosion, graffiti, and vandalism. However, the paintings have supposedly been rehabilitated for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. So, I’m glad we went last year, before the East Side Gallery was cleaned up and rehabbed. I prefer my art to be gritty and raw. So, below, enjoy the East Side Gallery in all of its raw and gritty glory:
As I mentioned, the East Side Gallery is located in the former East Germany which is still quite grim and industrial. In other words, a good backdrop for art on the Berlin Wall.
I thought this was pretty cool…There is a section of the Berlin Wall where many, many people have left their handprints over the years. The Italian left hers years ago when she lived in Berlin. And, to my surprise, we were able to find the handprint that she created.
And, no, she did not misspell “Italian”. “Italien” is “Italian” in German.
Despite the art and despite the end of the Cold War, it isn’t difficult to imagine what a grim, horrible and cold place this must have been. The picture below looks like it could just as well have been taken in 1978 instead of 2008 when it was actually taken by me. Despite 20 years of unification, a surprising amount of the former East Germany looks relatively unchanged since the days of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR).