Walls have been built since ancient times, used for marking territory, protection and keeping people from leaving – most walls are at some point in time knocked down, but some remain to tell the story of a time when things were different, when something changed, and to serve as a memory of a long gone past …
Here are some famous, odd and fascinating walls of the world …
Berlin Wall, Berlin
A wall that once symbolized the “iron curtain” between Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc, today represents the fight for political freedom and the fall of the communism in Eastern Europe.
The construction of the Berlin Wall began in 1961 as a desperate (but effective) move by East Germany to stop East Berliners from escaping the Soviet-controlled East German state into West Berlin.
During the wall’s existence, hundreds of people died trying to escape, and each attempt made it even harder for the next person to try.
Today remnants of the Berlin Wall can be found around Berlin, however the most famous section of the wall is the East Side Gallery, where in artists from all over the world in 1990 created 105 paintings on the wall that today stands as a freedom memorial.
Chewing Gum Wall, Seattle
A wall doesn’t have to be ancient or have an important past to make it to the list of walls worth visiting – the Chewing Gum Wall in Seattle is neither old nor does it really represent an important event in history – but it’s odd, and sticky…
The whole thing began in the 90’s, when people, irritated that they had to wait in line to get tickets to the theater, stuck chewing gum on the wall.
At first, they would use the gum to stick small coins to the wall, but in time, the tradition of the coins disappeared, and the gum remained. The theater scraped the wall twice, until they finally gave up when the wall become a tourist attraction in itself.
Great Wall of China
Stretching over 5500 miles, the Great Wall of China is not only the most famous wall, but the longest manmade structure in the world – the wall is divided into different section, and two of the most popular are the Badaling and Mutianyu.
Because of its easy access and proximity to Beijing, Badaling is the most visited section of the wall, offering steep terrain and beautiful views – for more tour information, check out this page: Grande Muraglia cinese-Badaling.
Surrounded by woodlands and streams, the nature around the Mutianyu wall is stunning, and the many watchtowers on this part of the wall make the view even more special.
First built in the mid-6th century, Mutianyu is older than Badaling and also one of the best preserved sections of the Great Wall – today this part of the wall is open to tourists, for more information, click here: Grande Muraglia cinese- Mutianyu.
John Lennon Wall, Prague
The John Lennon Wall in Prague is a beautiful wall filled with John-Lennon inspired graffiti pieces and lyrics from the Beatles.
During the communist regime western pop was banned in Czech Republic, especially Lennon’s songs as they were praising a freedom that didn’t exist there. People were jailed just for playing his music!
Lennon became a hero to the pacifist youth of Central and Eastern Europe during the communist regime, and in the 1980’s people began expressing their frustrations of the regime by writing Lennon’s lyrics and painting their dreams of freedom on this wall.
Today the wall represents a symbol of ideals like peace and love.
Western Wall, Jerusalem
Located in Jerusalem on the western side of Temple Mount, the Western Wall is the most sacred site recognized by the Jewish faith outside of the Temple Mount itself.
For centuries, the Western Wall has been a pilgrimage and prayer site for Jews, who by old tradition place notes into the Wall, as they believe that writing a prayer on a piece of paper and sticking it in the Wall is like having a continual prayer linked to the prime source.
What is the most interesting wall you’ve visited?