Germany has kicked off celebrations marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, with rock stars and political figures from the era joining millions at an open-air party.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, is leading three days of commemorations for the hundreds killed trying to flee the repressive state and the landmark moment that led to the end of the cold war.
Eight thousand illuminated balloons have been installed along much of the former route of the wall of the weekend to be released into the sky on 9 November, the day the wall came down.
The government of the former East Germany built the wall in 1961 to prevent its citizens from leaving the country for the West, 138 people died trying to cross the border along the wall.
The wall became a flashpoint in the cold war between the Western world and the Soviet Union.
The collapse of the wall and East Germany lead to the reunification of the country in 1990.