The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, is considered one of the major symbols of The Cold War. By the time of the wall’s erection, millions of citizens of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) had defected over to the West, from where they could travel to other Western European countries outside of the Eastern Bloc. The barrier was erected to guard the previously porous border, but had deep personal consequences for many people who lived in the city.
With the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in the late 1980s, the wall was largely demolished in 1990. Now its largest surviving stretch is the East Side Gallery – about 1.3 kilometres.
The gallery is an international memorial for freedom, featuring 105 artists from around the world. The murals along the stretch hark back to the oppression of communism, Germany’s difficult 20th century, along with the cosmopolitanism of the city of Berlin.
Here’s a selection of the stunning murals that feature in the East Side Gallery:
All photos taken by the author.