This weekend, a million German and foreign tourists are gathering in Berlin to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on the 9th of November 1989, a memorable day for people all over Europe.
Despite the cold temperatures, the Berliners and many visitors are gathering together in one of the most symbolic places of Europe, Berlin, that was once divided in two by a 155km concrete wall for 28 years from 13th August 1961 until 9th November 1989. Since last Friday morning, the capital city of Germany is again divided by a wall, the Lichtgrenze (translation: “wall of light”), which is the centrepiece of the festivities this weekend. Created by the artist Christopher Bauder, the ambitious art installation is composed of 8000 illuminated white balloons standing along the former border, which tourists can admire by walking alongside for about three kilometres. Starting at Bornholmer Street, nearby one of the former checkpoints between East and West Germany, it is crossing Berlin’s city center to the Oberbaum Bridge, just like the Berlin Wall stood for three decades.
In 25 years, Berlin has become the European Silicon Valley and a great city to live for hipsters, expats and artists, which attracts more tourists than Rome and Barcelona. Being known for hosting some of the best techno clubs in the world, Berlin offers this weekend concerts and exhibitions which will end later this Sunday with a huge open-air party at the Brandenburg Gate. Two million people are expected to attend the festivities at the Brandenburg Gate with many celebrities.
Among them, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, will open a new exhibition centre at Bernauer Strasse, near the Bornholmer Strasse checkpoint - the first crossing point opened between East Berlin and West Berlin. The Former USSR leader and the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, who allowed the reunification of Germany and the creation of a more liberal atmosphere, is also participating this weekend at various events. The former leader of the Polish trade union Solidarity and former Polish President, Lech Walesa, who was key in the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989. The German President Joachim Gauck Gauck and the Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit will join the festivities with other guests including Nobel peace prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Nasa astronaut Ron Garan, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Hungarian ex-president Miklos Nemeth.
The light show will begin tonight!
At 7pm local time this evening, 8.000 citizens will line up with a key in hand, each responsible for unlocking a balloon. One by one, the balloons will be released into the sky carrying personal messages with them, to symbolise the disappearance of the route of the wall. They will be entertained with the music of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, provided by the Berlin State Orchestra and conducted by Daniel Barenboim, as well as East Berlin rock band Silly and British singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel, performing David Bowie’s Heroes.
More information about the festivities can be found here:
Video Lichtgrenze (in the text): http://www.wired.com/2014/11/8000-glowing-balloons-recreate-berlin-wall/