As I wandered the neighborhoods near my hotel, I came across an interesting memorial in Budapest‘s Freedom Square.  It is important to note that, unlike the majority of occupied countries oppressed by the Nazi regime, like Austria, the Netherlands, and Poland, Hungary was actually an Axis power along with Germany, Italy, and Japan during World […]

As part of a public art project, German painter Gunter Demnig installed his first Stolperstein (literally “stumbling block”) in 1995 in Cologne, Germany. Over the past 20 years, the small, cobblestone-shaped memorials have grown into what’s been called the largest decentralized memorial in the world, honoring the victims of the Nazi regime, both survivors and those who […]

Commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia, the Brandenburg Gate was built to represent peace and was completed in 1791.  It leads to Unter den Linden, a famous boulevard lined with linden trees that once led to the Prussian palace. With 12 Doric columns, six on each side, the gate was inspired by the Propylaea, […]

The Berlin Wall was actually a pair of 12- to 15-foot concrete walls.  The 30 to 100 yard space between the two walls was called the “death strip” and was patrolled by tanks and soldiers to prevent escapes from East Berlin into the West.  In addition to Checkpoint Charlie and the East Side Gallery, the Berlin […]

With more than 100 works of art painted on a 0.8 mile stretch of the remains of the Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery is the world’s longest open air gallery.  Each piece depicts the struggle to break free of the Iron Curtain or celebrates the excitement of ultimately achieving that reality.  It is a […]