Berlin: The Best of the East Side Gallery

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Last week, I visited Berlin for the first time. It was a short visit – just a weekend – and we spent most of our time there recovering from the nights out Berlin is famous for (Fantastic party in a derelict building amid what looked like a construction site? Check. Super fun house party featuring the best of the 80s and 90s? Check.) We didn’t get to see much of Berlin by day for this reason (especially me – I had to spend one of the days holed up in the flat, curled up in bed because I was unwell. Boo.) We did, however, make sure to spend one day taking in some of the city’s attractions. Berlin is a really, really big city – much bigger than you’d imagine it to be, and I think I’ll have to go back there soon and see all the other things I missed. However, for now, here are my favourite photos from the East Side Gallery – a 1.3km-long section of the Berlin Wall filled with art by people from all over the world as a monument to freedom. For more photos of the Gallery, check out this post by my travel buddy.

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After that, we paid a visit to the Topography of Terror Museum, which is located on the site of the buildings which used to be the HQ of the Gestapo and the SS during the Nazi regime. The exhibition explains the Third Reich’s rise to power. It is a sobering experience, highly detailed (with info in German and English), and using photographs and documents to trace the meteoric rise of the once charismatic cult-like figure, Adolf Hitler. Following that, it displays harrowing accounts and photographs depicting the brutal violence conducted by the regime during the years leading up to, and in, the Second World War. Definitely worth a visit if you’ve a few hours to spare in Berlin.

Finally here are a couple of photos from Checkpoint Charlie, the name given to the best-known crossing between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Note the ubiquitous and certainly not historically accurate McDonalds restaurant ruining the background of my photograph.

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1 Comment
  • Sarah
    November 5, 2013

    Excellent photographs Davinia. Stuart was in Berlin for his stag do in August and he raves about his (very) short stay there. I believe he and the other stags went to the Topography of Terror Museum too and said he spent the whole time in silence, overwhelmed by what he was seeing. I’d love to visit some day.

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