German President visits the Berlin Wall – in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv

Visiting Bulgaria’s second city Plovdiv, European Capital of Culture 2019, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was shown decorated fragments of the Berlin Wall.

The fragments, part of the Art of Freedom travelling exhibition, are on display near Plovdiv’s Roman Stadium and are part of the city’s European Capital of Culture programme.

Plovdiv news website podtepeto said that there is an idea that one of the German artists who worked on the Berlin Wall fragment art project will come to Plovdiv to do a painting on a façade of one of the city’s landmark buildings. The German embassy is working on the idea.

The Berlin Wall divided the German city from August 1961 until its destruction began in November 1989 as the communist system crumbled. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German re-unification. Parts of the wall ended up in various parts of the world, including one on permanent display in a park in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia.


Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer

At the time of the fall of the Wall, of which the 30th anniversary is being marked in 2019, Steinmeier was in his early 30s, an assistant to the professor of Public Law and Political Science at Giessen University.

Steinmeier, who was accompanied by Plovdiv mayor Ivan Totev and several top local officials, said: “We knew we were visiting Plovdiv – the European Capital of Culture, but Plovdiv is not only a city of culture but also of the economy. It is the second largest city in the country and the rich culture and history of the city will help in the future to attract new investments”.

During his April 5 visit, on of the second of a two-day official trip to Bulgaria, Steinmeier visited notable Plovdiv attractions including the Ancient Theatre, the Old Town, and visited the Kapana creative district, where he met young German expatriates for discussions.




The Sofia Globe staff

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