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The Parliament of Trees: Where Nature Remembers the Berlin Wall

Close to the Bundestag is where you can find the Parliament of Trees against War and Violence. In German, this place is called Parlament der Bäume gegen Krieg und Gewalt and is a memorial for the people who died trying to cross the Berlin Wall.

Ben Wagin, a performance artist who has lived in Berlin since 1957, is responsible for creating this memorial on the border strip.

The installation was created in 1990, right after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and it’s made of trees, memorial stones, some parts and pieces of the border fortification, and the names of the 258 people who died trying to cross the Berlin Wall.

The Parliament of Trees: Berlin’s Living Memorial to the Victims of the Wall

The Parliament of Trees stands in the former no-man’s land and is made of 58 pieces of the Berlin Wall. But this is not the centerpiece here. Everything in this memorial is about the trees. Trees were planted by the sixteen states’ prime ministers that formed the unified Germany. Sixteen trees stand there today and are the foundation for this environmental art piece.

But, when Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus was erected nearby, the plans for the Parliament of Trees didn’t look well. Some believed it would be destroyed, but it was only slightly reduced.

Today, a reminder of how everything used to be can be found inside a circular room in the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus where remnants of the Berlin Wall secured by Ben Wagin stand along the Wall’s former path. Hand-painted numbers on each concrete slab with a year and the number of people that were killed on the Wall in that year.

This memorial was opened in 2005 and is called the Wall memorial at the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus.

We discovered this memorial completely by accident while following the Berlin Wall, which was all made of light during the Lichtgrenze. We were looking for a different angle to take pictures from the Bundestag during sunrise, and there it is. An unexpected garden is in the middle of the Bundestag, close to the Reichstag.

Why have we never heard about this place before? We did our research and, finally, had to publish something here.

This unconventional garden can be found close to Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus, which houses the library of the German Bundestag. It sits right in the heart of the Government Quarter and has decreased in size and importance over the years due to the interest of property developers in the area.

But the garden is still going strong.

You can reach the Parliament of Trees and the Wall Memorial from the Schiffbauerdamm promenade from 11:00 to 17,00; admission is free.

Beyond the Wall: The Parliament of Trees and Berlin’s Fight for Freedom

10117 Berlin

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani is a passionate designer with a penchant for crafting unique experiences and a mixed taste in music. As the curator behind this blog's explorations, he takes pride in discovering fascinating destinations. Whether unearthing hidden gems or sharing captivating historical narratives, Felipe is the creative force driving the stories you find here. Join him on a journey of design, discovery, and the delightful rhythm of unconventional tunes.View Author posts