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November 9th marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, so I thought it was fitting to commemorate this weekend’s Cultural Close-Up to the Berlin Wall. 

The Berlin Wall was a barrier erected by the German Democratic Republic in August of 1961, that separated West Berlin from East Berlin until 1989. For 28 years the wall acted as a barrier to prevent people from emigrating from the Eastern Bloc into Western Germany and onwards to other Western European countries. Along the wall there were 300 watchtowers, thousands of soldiers, guard dogs, and alarms, all set up to patrol the area and ensure that no man (or woman) crossed to the other side. 

Berlin Wall... or rather, what's left of it

Berlin Wall… or rather, what’s left of it

Today, 25 years after the demolition of the wall in 1989, only three sections remain in tact of the original wall and it doesn’t look anything like it did all those years ago. Many fragments have been taken, some of which are now sold as souvenirs all over the world, and parts of the wall, particularly the Eastern Side, are covered in graffiti.

One of the 3 parts of the Berlin Wall that are still standing today

One of the 3 parts of the Berlin Wall that are still standing today

Graffiti covers the Eastern Side of the Berlin Wall

Graffiti covers the Eastern Side of the Berlin Wall

Visiting the remnants of the wall was one of the highlights of my trip to Berlin. There is something really special and impactful about re-learning history while standing on the spot where it all took place just a few decades ago. 

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Cultural Close-ups is a series of photographs and stories from around the world that go beyond the pretty sights and famous attractions. If you’d like to contribute a photo and a short story to Cultural Close-Ups, please email your submission to [email protected]