We were heading to the East Side Gallery where there is 1.5 km of the Berlin Wall still intact. It has been a canvas for street artists since 1989 when the Wall was torn down, but that is another story.
As we were flaneuring our way to the Gallery, we saw a magnificent red brick church and noticed a sandwich board outside the front doors and thought it might be open so headed over to check it out. It was and so we decided to step inside.
Once I stopped looking up, I noticed some display cabinets with small artifact looking objects inside. Indeed, they were small fragments of the Berlin Wall with some of the tagging graffiti on them, accompanied by photos of the wall where they were from.
Then I noticed a Euro sign. Could they be for sale? There were a few guys hanging around the vestibule, but they couldn't speak English. Fortunately, they were keen to find someone to help us and yes indeed they were for sale.
The wall fragments came in three sizes - small medium and large. Just like t-shirts.
We debated the logic of buying a piece of Berlin Wall, thinking the small pieces were too small and the larger pieces too heavy to haul back. But in the end, we became a proud owner of a piece of the Berlin Wall complete with a photo of where it came from on the wall and letter of authenticity or at least that is what they told us it was.
From then on we looked at other slabs and pieces of the Berlin Wall that are scattered throughout the city to see how the concrete composition of our artifact compared. They all looked exactly like the piece we have.
Guess we will just have to be believers.
St. Thomas Kirche Church 101
The church was built between 1865 and 1869 by architect Friedrich Alder. At the time of its completion, it was the biggest church in Berlin with 3,000 seats. It is designed in the form of a Latin Cross, with a 56 m dome and two 48 m towers facing the Mariannenplatz.
The eastern half of the church was destroyed in an air raid on November 22, 1942, and all of the interior furnishings were completely lost. The façade has been restored to the original state but the interior has not.
The Berlin Wall had a significant impact on the church as it divided the congregation.
I carried my piece of the Berlin Wall home in my carry-on luggage, but I almost lost it in Dublin. Security wanted to check my bag and had to double check if it was OK to have it in my carry on luggage. Germany security had no issues.
The Berlin Wall will add a new dimension to my collection of flaneur finds.