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East Side Gallery, Berlin, Germany

The East Side Gallery is a section of the remainder of the Berlin Wall that has been converted into an open-air art gallery. It boasts approximately 106 murals by artists from all over the world along its 1.3km length, and is a must-visit on any trip to Germany’s capital.

The wall was erected in 1961 to stop East Berliners fleeing to West Berlin. East Germany was a communist state, part of the Soviet Bloc controlled by Russia, and millions of people were leaving every year in the hope of a better life in the west – from West Berlin they could travel to other Western European countries.

There was a “dead zone” of empty space on the Eastern side of the wall to stop citizens even having a chance to scale it – and in fact, many people died in the attempt to escape, shot by border guards.

Berliners on the Western side had free access to the wall, and murals were painted on it in bright colours. However, the Eastern side remained grey concrete until after the wall fell in 1989. So the East Side Gallery, with its murals painted on the Eastern side of the wall, is a monument to freedom.

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