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The Berlin Wall Eastside Gallery – Photo Essay

If you hate waiting in long queues to get into over-priced galleries and museums, then you’re in luck. In Berlin you get a free outdoor gallery along with a big chunk of 20th Century history, all for free.

The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery is a 1.3km-long section of the wall running along the Mühlenstrasse and the bank of the river Spree in former East Berlin. With more than 100 paintings by artists from all over the world, the memorial for freedom is apparently the largest open-air gallery in the world.

The gallery is close to the Ostbahnhof S-Bahn station on the west side and the Warschauer Straße S+U-Bahn station on the east side. Walk over Oberbaumbrücke, arguably the most beautiful bridge in Berlin and the only connection between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Once you’re over the river, take a left and you’ll find the wall right in front of you.

See below for some mural highlights:

Berlin Bridge over river to Berlin Wall Gallery

Berlin Wall Old World War Van

Berlin Wall checkpoint charlie mural

Berlin Wall gallery psychedelic mural

Berlin Wall World leaders Kiss Mural

Every panel of the 1.3km was painted by a different artist in 1991, but after years of decay many of the works were later restored.

Berlin Wall store and mural

Berlin Wall gallery smoker mural

Berlin Wall Gallery Car Mural

Berlin Wall gallery Gorbachev Mural

Berlin Wall gallery chain Mural

The gallery is a fantastic reminder of what the city has been through and it should definitely be on your to-do list. You’ll love the stroll and I bet you’ll walk away with hundreds of photos.

 

MoMa for Modern Art Lovers

If you love modern art, you need to visit the museum that has the world’s best collection of modern and contemporary art. Opened in 1929, their ever-growing collection has almost 200 000 pieces of work.

MoMa Gallery Cafe New York

Housed in a beautiful, tranquil space in mid-town Manhattan, I recommend spending a few hours admiring the incredible collection, then have lunch on the outdoor terrace before buying a few souvenirs and gifts at the funky store on your way out.

Here’s a small snapshot of some of the masterpieces you’ll find displayed over a few floors:

Moma Gallery New York Art Works Chagall

Moma Gallery New York Art Works

MoMa Gallery New York Dali Art Work

MoMa Gallery New York van Gogh art

MoMa Gallery New York Picasso

MoMa New York Frida Khalo ArtMoMa New York Salvador Dali Art

MoMa Gallery New York Kandinsky Art

 

Baku Is A City Of Sculptures

A city that is full of sculptures always seems more sophisticated to me.  There’s something progressive about a city council that appreciates the arts, and puts money behind it to make a stroll through the city feel like a walk through an outdoor gallery. That’s exactly what I found when I headed to Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital city last weekend for a friends wedding.

The Bulvar

It’s known as the windy city, which I had somehow forgotten, so our first day there was a rainy, blustery affair, but then the gods smiled on us the next morning and it was a picture perfect day, ideal for a stroll from our hotel to the Old City. So we headed straight out onto the Bulvar, which is a very long, impressively maintained boulevard and park, that runs right across the city centre, alongside the ocean.

Sculpture old man in the park along Bulvar in Baku Azerbaijan

 

Sculpture of sailing captain in park on Bulvar in Baku Azerbaijan

It wasn’t far into our walk before we met an assortment of interesting bronze sculpted characters. The artist that received this commission must have been very happy, because there was a different character every few hundred metres. It was great to see so many in such pristine condition because there are quite a few cities where that definitely wouldn’t be the case. (And yes, I had to pose with at least one).

Reconstructed City Centre Baku Azerbaijan

When we left the Bulvar and crossed the busy Neftchilar Avenue into the Old City (which is a UNESCO world heritage site), we didn’t find any more bronzed sculptures, but we did find a few other interesting art works on the walls, down the alleyways and outside the small, neatly kept stores. (But that’s all in another story specifically about the Old City).

City Centre

Leaving the Old City, we decided to take a different path back to the hotel, and were very thankful we did, because we stumbled onto the pedestrianised city centre that’s closed to all traffic. Which is awesome, because not only is the entire seafront a walkway, but so is half the city, which means you can walk for hours in well landscaped, reconstructed areas with loads of interesting and quirky things to see along the way.

Sculpture of woman putting lipstick on next to a fountain in Baku city centre Azerbaijan

 

Sculpture of woman with umbrella in city centre Baku Azerbaijan

No matter where we went, we found sculptures, stone carvings and even pop-up dogs having a great time on the lawn. We also found some artworks on a ceiling running the length of a large department store, and bird houses that looked more like bird hotels, nestled in many of the trees.

The outskirts of Baku may not be that attractive, (the same could be said for any city, including Prague or Paris), but the reconstruction and development of the city centre makes downtown Baku a beautiful place.

Sculpture of a painter in the park on the Bulvar in Baku Azerbaijan

Dubai isn’t a good walking city at all, so for me, being able to walk in traffic-free areas all day was a luxury. If you’re headed to Baku any time soon, I recommend packing a good pair of trainers and strolling about for a few hours in one of the cleanest, prettiest and most pleasant city centres you’ll find anywhere in the region.