The East Side Gallery in Berlin is well worth a visit. During our most recent Berlin visit, it was impossible to ignore seeing remains of the Berlin Wall. You would never guess from looking at the city, with the life that pulses through it at all hours, that so much pain and misery was suffered before the enjoyment.
Visiting the East Side Gallery to see remains of the Berlin Wall and read about the atrocities that happened to so many thousands of people at Checkpoint Charlie really gives you an in-depth history lesson. Nothing compared to hearing it in the classroom.
East Side Gallery: Berlin’s outdoor gallery
I won’t bore you with the history. I’m sure everybody in the world has read, seen, or heard of the evil that was Hitler. His ambition to rule the world had extremely grave consequences for the people that lived in Germany. I always find it fascinating that all these dictators live a life of luxury while squeezing the life out of the every day people.
It was sad to read the stories of attempted escapes from the East to the West. Some were successful, most were not. If you ever get a chance to visit Berlin, l would suggest visiting the old Checkpoint Charlie and doing some reading of the walls just in front of it.
Checkpoint Charlie Berlin:
Across from Checkpoint Charlie, you can find the history of the wall summarised below at the Outdoor Photo Gallery which is free. It is worth checking out if you’re interested in the stories of some of the brave souls who dared to question authority and those who tried escaping, some where caught and killed while few were able to cross successfully A very interesting lesson in history.
Can you get your passport stamped at Checkpoint Charlie?:
Yes, you can. Please be aware though that these stamps are “unofficial stamps” and only for nostalgia purposes. They are not real and you should not have your actual passport stamped there. I would suggest perhaps using an expired passport for the stamping as a souvenir of your visit to the notorious check point.
Outdoor Photo Gallery:
We really enjoyed reading about the attempted escapes and the showdown between the U.S and Soviet forces in October of 1961. There are giant photograph displays here and we did not visit the Checkpoint Charlie museum because we felt this had more concise information that told the stories just as well and for free!
If you prefer a more guided tour, you can take a walking tour of Berlin which includes a visit here as well as to other iconic places in the city. The tours are also available on bikes if you are wary of walking.
East Side Gallery: Map Showing Division
Related Berlin Reading: Pergamon museum and Berlin Zoo
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The remains of the wall was turned into the East Side Gallery, and we went to see it in the afternoon after seeing the wall at Checkpoint Charlie. There are odd pieces of the wall in different parts of town, but this has the most. We walked the entire length. It’s pretty cool to see. I highly recommend doing it. There are a lot of talented people in Berlin.
Find the best for your stay . Hotels in Berlin.
Here are some of our favourite images from the East Side Gallery, a treasure trove of cool urban graffiti. I would also suggest going by the Brandenburg Gate and checking out the memorial to the war victims. It is a very moving experience. It’s great that these things are out there and not swept under the rug. As the saying goes, “those who don’t learn from past mistakes, are doomed to repeat them”, or something pretty close to that.
Freedom, is indeed a precious thing. So many lost their lives for it. I wish we had gone to see Hitler’s bunker. I would have loved to see where he spent his last miserable days living like a cockroach. Perhaps next time.
Related Reading: A visit to Auschwitz
Remains of the Berlin Wall: Murals
East Side Gallery Berlin Art
East Side Gallery Kiss: Iconic Kiss at the Berlin Wall:
This is arguably the most well known part of the Berlin Wall remains. It shows what appears to be a passionate kiss between the then General Secretary of the the Soviet Republic Leonid Brezhnev and the General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of the GDR, sort of like a kiss and make up scenario.
Have you been to Berlin? Did you get a chance to see this bit of their gory history? If not, is it something that you would like to see?