The East Side Gallery is an open-air art gallery located on a 1.3-kilometer section of the east side of the Berlin Wall, which was saved from demolition for this purpose. It is situated near the center of Berlin, on Mühlenstraße street in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, along the banks of the Spree river. It is considered to be the longest and most enduring outdoor gallery in the world.
The gallery consists of 103 murals painted by artists from all over the world, paying tribute to freedom and documenting the euphoria and hope for a better world that occurred with the end of the Cold War. It was founded after the union of two German artists’ associations, the «Federal Association of Artists – BBK» and the «GDR – Artists Association». The main promoters were Bodo Sperling, Barbara Greul Aschanta, Jörg Kubitzki and David Monti.
Some of the most famous works of the East Side Gallery are: «The Fraternal Kiss», depicting the socialist kiss between Honecker and Brezhnev; «My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love», showing a Trabant car breaking through the wall; «Thanks, Andrei Sakharov», honoring the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1975; and «Many small people, who in many small places, do many small things, can change the face of the world».
The East Side Gallery is open to visitors every day of the year, 24 hours a day. Admission is free. There are guided tours available in different languages, which can be booked online or at the information point near Ostbahnhof station. The tours last about two hours and cost 15 euros per person.
To get to the East Side Gallery, you can take public transport to Warschauer Straße or Ostbahnhof stations, which are both within walking distance. You can also rent a bike and cycle along the gallery, enjoying the views of the Spree river and the city skyline.
Some tips for visiting the East Side Gallery are: respect the artworks and do not touch or graffiti them; bring a camera or a smartphone to capture the colorful murals; wear comfortable shoes and clothes according to the weather; and avoid peak hours if you want to avoid crowds.
The East Side Gallery is a unique monument that reflects Berlin’s history and culture, as well as its spirit of creativity and diversity. It is a must-see attraction for anyone who wants to learn more about the city and its people.