International House Blog

Did you know that in Madrid there is a park dedicated to Berlin, where you can see part of the old Berlin Wall?

Posted by International House on Dec 16, 2019 12:54:48 PM

Did you know that in Madrid there is a park dedicated to Berlin, where you can see part of the old Berlin Wall?

In 1996 a public park was constructed in the neighbourhood of Ciudad Jardín, between the streets of Concha Espina and Príncipe de Vergara. Willy Brandt, who was the mayor of West Berlin at the time, announced his visit to Madrid and for this reason it was decided to christen the new park with the name of the German capital. Incidentally, Madrid and Berlin have been twin cities since June 1988.

In the park various statues can be found; a bear that is the symbol of the German city, the renowned composer Beethoven as well as three pieces of Wall that divided the German capital until 1989.

The history as to how these three slabs became part of the park is curious to note. After the fall of the Wall the GDR (East Germany) sold pieces to interested buyers. The then mayor of Madrid, Agustin Rodríguez Sahagún, hearing about this sent a journalist with the order to purchase three blocks. Manuel Romero chose three pieces with their respective graffiti for the sum of three million pesetas (18.00 euros). When they arrived in Madrid, an excellent place had already been reserved for them; the pond of the Berlin park.

On the 8th of November 1990, the three slabs were installed weighing 2 tons with a granite base. The following day the unveiling was held with a plaque which explained the origin and meaning:

“In memory of the fall of the Berlin Wall; part of which lay here.”

An interesting anecdote about the placing of the three slabs was that the council cleaning service wanted to clean off the graffiti from the blocks. Fortunately, the mayor found out and ordered them to leave them be.

Nowadays, the park is a lively place full of locals doing sport, strolling, playing or having a picnic weather permitting.

 

Tags: madrid culture

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