Historic panoramic painting fascinated me massively the last months. I already introduced you to the Panorama Mesdag in The Hague and the Salzburg Panorama Museum. Both attractions were a blast to me and received a Top Pick! rating. Thus, during a visit to Berlin, I just could not wait to visit a rather modern panorama, DIE MAUER (“THE WALL”), which is by illustrating a scenery of the Cold War of the divided German city right at Checkpoint Charlie, one of the former border checkpoints between West Berlin and the German Democratic Republic.
DIE MAUER – Location & Admission
DIE MAUER – asisi Panorma Berlin is located right at Checkpoint Charlie. Most people access the panorama likely by the U6 Underground train to Kochstrasse / Checkpoint Charlie. Alternatively, Potsdamer Platz also offers S-Bahn / commuter rail connections, but it is some ten to fifteen minutes walk. There are a lot of other key Berlin attractions around.
Adult admission to the attraction was 10 Euro at my time of visit. Due to Covid-19 regulations, booking a time slot has been suggested. Opening times were 11:00 to 18:00 hrs. I had a relaxed visit and it took me some 30 to 40 minutes to visit the place. Other visitors have been significantly quicker, though.
DIE MAUER – About The Panorama
The full name of the panorama is Die Mauer – das Asisi Panorama zum geteilten Berlin – “The Wall – the Asisi Panorama of the divided Berlin”. It is located at this place since 2012 and has a height of 15 meters and a perimeter of 60 meters, i.e. roughly a diameter of 19 meters. It has been created by Yadegar Asisi, who did several modern panoramas.
The artist and architect was born in 1955 in Vienna, Austria. The German is Persian origin and has been born during the flight from Iran to his nowadays home country. He also formed the wording Panometer, combining the words panorama and gasometer, as gasometers with their cylindrical shape are the perfect locations for his huge paintings. He is driving a couple of these panoramic museum places, which sometimes change the picture in display. Asisi lives in Berlin, where DIE MAUER is just one of the panorama places with his pictures – the other one is the panorama at the Pergamon Museum.
DIE MAUER – The Visit
The first room you visit is a room with many pictures, which illustrate the history of the Berlin Wall. I feel it is a very nice place to stroll around and look at all the stories the pictures are telling.
From there you head right to the in-fact panorama. I have been rather surprised at first sight – positive and negative. On the positive side, this panorama can change between daytime and nighttime conditions by applying different lights. In the background, they play excerpts of famous speeches somehow linked to the Berlin Wall history. For that reason, there is a large information board at the entrance to the panorama room, which explains the contents and context of these speeches. The languages used are German, English and French. You can explore the panorama from the ground our walk up to a platform, which also – on a higher level – features the lights necessary to simulate the daytime. On the negative side, this place is only a 180 degrees panorama (in contrast to the fully circular ones I visited before).
Finally, the quality of a panorama is the artistic quality and the stories told. You look from West Berlin over to the East Berlin side, at least from a very similar location as the panorama is located today. It is a very picturesque way to illustrate which effort has been taken by the G.D.R. government to prevent people from fleeing to West Berlin. Especially in nighttime mode, the bright illumination between the first part of the border and the wall itself impressed me a lot.
Finally, a key part of a place like this are the stories told. People are climbing on a platform to look into the socialist part of Germany. Others are taking a group picture and another person is leaning on a telephone booth, throwing up after having had too much alcohol… I don’t want to tell you too many more of these stories. I definitely enjoyed the quality of the work and the excellent work of Yadegar Asisi in regards of perspective and detail.
DIE MAUER – asisi Panorama Berlin – Services
The panorama is a temporary construction – thus, having the toilets in a container outside the circular building is not that surprising and acceptable. There is a small gift shop at the entrance and a movie about the artist before you leave DIE MAUER – asisi Panorama Berlin.
DIE MAUER – asisi Panorama Berlin – My View
Even though it cannot compare to other places I visited, I liked to see this panorama as well. It is a bit of sad that the place is in fact not circular – therefore, the day and night changes are impressive. Not a must visit, but a pretty solid place.
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