From 1961 to 1989, the city of Berlin was divided by the most visible sign of the Cold War: a wall more than 140km (87 miles) long.

In its final form, the Berlin Wall consisted of inner and outer concrete walls separated by a "death strip" lined with fences, trenches, searchlights and anti-tank fortifications, with searchlights and guard towers positioned along the route. The barrier was guarded by troops authorised to shoot anyone who tried to escape.

On 9 November 1989, East German authorities announced they would allow free access between east and west Berlin. Crowds of euphoric East Germans crossed and climbed on to the wall, leading to a reunited Germany.

Berlin Wall fall 25th Anniversary
The illuminated balloons will trace the path of the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gateberlin.de
Berlin Wall fall 25th Anniversary
Eight thousand illuminated white balloons will trace the route of the wall that divided the cityberlin.de

Berlin is marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall by "rebuilding" it with glowing white balloons. Some 8,000 illuminated helium ballons will trace a 15km-long section of the wall, snaking around the city, for just one weekend (7 to 9 November).

Christopher Bauder's installation – called Lichtgrenze (Light Border) – will also feature huge video screens displaying historical footage of what the city looked like when the wall was up – put together by Bauder's brother, Marc.

Berlin Wall fall 25th Anniversary
Christopher Bauder (R) and his brother Marc pose with prototype balloons near the Bernauer Strasse Berlin Wall memorialAFP
Berlin Wall fall 25th Anniversary
This conceptual illustration shows a line of balloons at Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing point between east and west Berlinberlin.de
Berlin Wall fall 25th Anniversary
A technician checks the light on a balloon standReuters
Berlin Wall fall 25th Anniversary
The balloons will run through Mauerpark (Wall Park), situated on the former "death strip" along the Berlin Wallberlin.de
Berlin Wall fall 25th Anniversary
A man poses among stands for balloons that will be used in the installation 'Lichtgrenze' (Border of Light) at a warehouse in Berlin. Part of the city will be divided from November 7 to 9, with a light installation featuring 8,000 luminous white balloons to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin WallReuters
Berlin Wall fall 25th Anniversary
The balloons will line part of the Spree, where many people died trying to swim to freedomberlin.de

The installation will come to an end on the evening of 9 November, when volunteers will release the balloons and set them free, soaring into the night sky to the strains of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, played by the European Youth Orchestra. The balloons are made out of a biodegradable material so will not harm the environment.

The organisers say that if the weather cooperates, the light installation will even be visible from outer space.

The installation is one of several events planned to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. British singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel will perform Heroes, which David Bowie recorded in a studio close to the wall in 1977 when he was living in west Berlin.