Berlin is marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall by “rebuilding” it with glowing white balloons. Some 8,000 illuminated helium balloons will trace a 15km-long section of the wall, snaking around the city, for just one weekend (7 to 9 November).
From 1961 to 1989, the city of Berlin was divided by the most visible sign of the Cold War: a wall more than 140km (87 miles) long. In its final form, the Berlin Wall consisted of inner and outer concrete walls separated by a “death strip” lined with fences, trenches, searchlights and anti-tank fortifications, with searchlights and guard towers positioned along the route. The barrier was guarded by troops authorised to shoot anyone who tried to escape.
On 9 November 1989, East German authorities announced they would allow free access between east and west Berlin. Crowds of euphoric East Germans crossed and climbed on to the wall, leading to a reunited Germany.