From November 7 – 9, 2014, the city of Berlin celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. A symbolic frontier of lights, the LICHTGRENZE, a line of 8,000 illuminated helium balloons along the 15 kilometer long path once occupied by the Berlin Wall, divided the city once again.
From the Oberbaumbrücke and its East Side Gallery, through Checkpoint Charlie, the Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburger Tor, up to the Bernauer Straße and Bornholmer Straße, which was, on November 9, 1989, the first checkpoint allowing people to pass through freely to West Berlin.
On November 9, all balloons were released into the Berlin night sky accompanied by the Staatskapelle Berlin playing “Ode An die Freude“.
This year on November 09, Berlin will celebrate 25 years fall of the Berlin Wall. In preparation for this big event, the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden are hosting an exhibition about the Wall, the old GDR (DDR) times and the life in a city divided by stone.
Learn about the construction of the wall on August 13, 1961 – the life with and behind a wall, the diversity between east and west and the fall of the wall on November 09, 1989 – the Exhibition not only features a variety of photographs but also various historical objects.
The Bernauer Straße is a street in Berlin’s Mitte district, it was named after the City of Bernau which is located about 10 km northeast of Berlin. During the old GDR times, the Wall was erected alongside this street and it became famous for numerous escapes from windows of nearby apartments and houses in the eastern part of the city.
Now, a part of it was turned into a memorial park, explaining the history of a divided Berlin, with a newly constructed Visitor and Information Center, a viewing platform and an exhibition about the time when the Berlin Wall was built in August 1961.
A lot is happening in Berlin right now, the famous East Side Gallery, one of Berlin’s historical Landmarks, painted by many international artists, faces partial demolition.
Thousands of protesters have gathered during the last days, at the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, to protest against a planned construction project, to remove small parts of the wall to make way for a luxury block of flats on the former GDR death strip.
On Sunday, March 17-2013, David Hasselhoff came back to Berlin, to support the protest, driving alongside the wall in a yellow van mounted with speakers while singing “Looking for Freedom”, the same song he sang at the 1989 New Year’s Party in Berlin, shortly after the wall dividing East and West Germany was torn down.
The Checkpoint Charlie is one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, which served as the only crossing point for diplomats, journalists and non-German visitors, between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War, from the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 till the fall on November 9, 1989.
In October 1961, US and Soviet tanks had a close encounter because of a dispute over whether East German guards were authorized to examine the travel documents of a U.S. diplomat passing through to East Berlin, both sides tanks faced each other in an acrimonious moment feared around the World as a possible lead up to World War III.
Today, it is a must see sight in Berlin with huge historical and emotional resonance, even accounting for the fact that there is remarkably little left to recall the atmosphere of pre-1989 days.
Four days of celebration with a major parade to end it all. It’s the time, where the The Karneval der Kulturen (eng. Carnival of Cultures) takes place in Berlin and 5.000 dancer watched by 750.000 spectators walk the about 3,5km long road from Hermannplatz to Yorkstraße, while dancing and celebrating the most joyful day of the year.
People from all over the world come to Berlin to take a look at the colorful costumes and cheerful performances.
The idea of a carnival which presents the cultural and ethnic diversity of Berlin was developed in 1995, as a consequence to the political and economic changes since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of the two German states, to highlight the cultural richness of Berlin and the often hidden treasures of its international cultural scene.
The legendary tourist attraction Art House Tacheles was closed last month after serving as a home for many artists from around the world for more than 20 years and I went there to take a couple of pictures before the whole thing will be demolished in the near future.
The Kunsthaus Tacheles was an art center and nightclub that was opened in East Berlin after the Berlin Wall came down in the spring of 1990. Tacheles is a large (9000 square meter) building on Oranienburger Straße in the district known as Mitte. The exterior of the building was damaged from shelling in World War II, and much of the damage was never repaired. Huge, colorful graffiti-style murals are painted on the exterior walls, and modern art sculptures are featured inside.
The Kunsthaus was formerly a department store in the Jewish quarter (Scheunenviertel) of Berlin, next to the synagogue, it was originally called Friedrichsstadtpassagen. After serving as a Nazi prison, the building was taken over by artists, who called it “Tacheles”, Yiddish for “straight talking.”
Three pieces of the Berlin Wall were placed in front of the famous Paris Bar in Berlin’s district Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
The Paris Bar is a place where artists, writers, journalist and film stars typically congregate and where Iggy Pop once gave a Rolling Stone journalist a blitzed interview that ended with him rolling around on the sidewalk out front. The French bistro has been a local favorite since it cheered up the postwar years in dismal bombed-out Berlin.
The pieces, each 3,60 meters high and 1,20 meters wide, were designed by the owner himself, of course, the owner of the Paris Bar, not the Berlin Wall.
Piano Music meets StreetArt.
Last weekend, I took a walk through Berlin’s Mauerpark, a public park in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district near some remains of the Berlin Wall and I discovered a couple of fancy painted pianos standing around with street artists working on them.
After I gathered some information, I now know that the whole thing was the start of a new event. During the next three weeks, these pianos are placed on different locations in Berlin and everyone is invited to play on them.
Postdamer Platz and Leipziger Patz, both near the U- and S-Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz, are the most blatant expression of how the Wall put a stop to Berlin’s urban development. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, new densely-populated quarters rose phoenix-like from the ashes of the old border wasteland. Continue reading