East Side Gallery
The longest open-air art gallery in the world runs for 0.8 miles (1,316 m) along Mühlenstrasse between Oberbaumbrücke (Oberbaum Bridge) and the Ostbahnhof (central railway station). It has as a backdrop the daunting Berlin Wall, which was summarily destroyed almost overnight in 1989, marking the end of the division of Germany that took place in 1961 during the Cold War. Most of the wall was dismantled, but the long section that remained in Mühlenstrasse was rapidly covered in political comment, surreal satire in picture form and some hard-hitting, savage cartoons; there are more than 100 pieces of art in the gallery, created by 118 artists from 21 different countries and they reflect the emotions of a city and country torn apart and reunified 28 years later. Regarded as a symbol of hope and peace, the East Side Gallery is visited by more than three million people yearly, and its most famous exhibit is Test the Rest by Birgit Kinde, which features a Trabent bursting through the wall. Thanks to vandalism and weather conditions, the wall’s paintings deteriorated and some sections were renovated in 2009, by the same artists who worked on the originals.