1.3 kilometres of amazement: take a walk along the East Side Gallery and rediscover art and the history of the Berlin Wall.
A Trabant, cleverly painted to look like it’s breaking through the wall. Honecker and Brezhnev in a brotherly socialist kiss. A section of the Berlin Wall along the river spree now is the longest open-air gallery in the world:
How many metres does the East Side Gallery?
At 1316 metres long, the open-air art gallery on the banks of the Spree in Friedrichshain is the longest continuous section of the Berlin Wall still in existence. Immediately after the wall came down on 9 November 1989, 118 artists from 21 countries began painting the East Side Gallery, and it officially opened as an open air gallery on 28 September 1990. Just over a year later, it was given protected memorial status.
What is there to see at the East Side Gallery?
In more than a hundred paintings on what was the east side of the wall, the artists comment on the political changes in 1989/90. Some of the works at the East Side Gallery are particularly popular, such as Dmitri Vrubel’s Fraternal Kiss and Birgit Kinders’s Trabant breaking through the wall.
Out in the open air, the East Side Gallery is completely exposed to the weather, which means that there are regular efforts to restore it. In 1996, Kani Alavi founded East Side Gallery e. V., an artists’ initiative to preserve and restore the works. By 2000, a 300-metre stretch of the wall had already been restored and 33 pictures repainted, and in 2009 the whole East Side Gallery was restored. 87 artists took part and 100 paintings were restored. In November 2018, the State of Berlin transferred the East Side Gallery to the property of the Stiftung Berliner Mauer (SBM), which is thus responsible for the preservation of the monument
How do I get to Berlin East Side Gallery?
Warschauer Straße and Ostbahnhof railway stations are a the perfect starting points for visiting the East Side Gallery. Both stations are close and easily accesible by U-, S-Bahn and Tram. If you want to add a walk across Oberbaumbrücke choose U1 and U3 to Schlesisches Tor.
What can I do around the East Side Gallery?
And there’s also plenty to discover either side of it. Opposite the East Side Gallery, for instance, is the Mercedes-Benz Arena, a venue for sporting and musical events. On the Oberbaumbrücke, two giant hands play scissors-paper-stone. They represent the two districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg that the bridge connects. Or use the banks of the Spree as a starting point for a leisurely boat trip through Germany’s capital city.
Public guided tours
Public overview tours on various topics take place regularly at the East Side Gallery. The tours last around 1 hour and are conducted with audio guides. These tours are free of charge for schoolchildren. Registration is not required. Please check the website for the current dates.
Up to a maximum of 10 people can book guided tours with different thematic focuses at an individual time. The meeting point for all guided tours is the Infomobile. It is located on the Spree side of the East Side Gallery, diagonally opposite Tamara-Danz-Straße.
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The East Side Gallery is open around the clock.