Visiting churches is a great way to get to know a place’s history, architecture and religion. Berlin’s churches stand mainly for its historical importance and beautiful architecture.
Here are some recommendations:
Known as the biggest church in Berlin, the Berliner Dom has never been officially a cathedral; it is the parish church of an Evangelical congregation and therefore has never hosted a catholic bishop. Conceived as a big protestant church to offset the influence of the Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, the Berliner Dom is 114 meters long, 73 meters wide and 116 meters tall. Visitors can climb up the Dome for a great view of Berlin’s downtown.
Located on the Bebelplatz, the Sankt-Hedwigs-Kathedrale -St. Hedwig's Cathedral- is a Roman Catholic Church, seat of the Archbishop of Berlin, Cardinal Georg Sterzinsky. It was built in the 18th century as Prussia’s first Catholic Church, dedicated to Saint Hedwig of Andechs, patron of Silesia and Brandenburg.
Built in the 13th Century, the Marienkirche -St. Mary’s Church- is, together with the Nikolaikirche, the oldest church in Berlin. Located in central Berlin, the Marienkirche is also the city’s highest Church tower (90 meters). Originally Roman Catholic, it has been Lutheran Protestant since the Protestant Reform. A striking statue of Martin Luther King can be found outside the church.
The first Neo-Gothic church in Berlin, the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche was designed by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and finished in 1830. The Alte Nationalgalerie’s collection of German sculpture from the 19th century can be found inside, together with an exhibition of Schinkel's life.
The Deutscher Dom -German Cathedral- is the colloquial name of the Neue Kirche (New Church). Reopened in 1996 as a museum of German history, the Deutscher Dom is located on the Gendarmenmarkt, across from Französischer Dom. It was first constructed in 1708, destroyed on WWII and rebuilt after the German reunification.
The Französischer Dom is the French Cathedral, colloquial name for Französische Friedrichstadtkirche – French Church of Friedrichstadt -. It was built by French Calvinists, the Huguenot community in 1701-05, modeled after a church they once had in Charenton-Saint-Maurice, France. The tower and porticos were added in 1785. The Französischer Dom has a restaurant, a Huguenot museum and a viewing platform.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche -Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church- was first built in the 1890s. Damaged during WWII, its original spire was retained and its ground floor turned into a memorial hall, while a new hexagonal belfry, chapel and octagonal worship hall were attached to the ruins in 1959-63.
As the oldest church in Berlin, the Nikolaikirche (Saint Nicholas Church) was built in 1230. Located by the Mitte’s borough, it is part of the Nikolaiviertel. This Roman basilica is not currently used as a church, but as a museum with changing exhibitions and as a concert venue every once in a while.
As a Roman Catholic parish church, the neo-gothic St. Ludwigkirche was inaugurated in 1897. Its patron is a former King of France, Saint Ludwig IX, reason why the French lily can be found as a symbol everywhere inside St. Ludwigkirche.
St. Matthias Kirche
Located in Schöneberg, West Berlin, St. Matthias Kirche is a Roman Catholic parish church from 1895. One of the biggest Catholic churches in Berlin, St. Matthias Kirche also has one of the biggest organs, with 74 registries. The church focuses on liturgy and, respecting its founder’s wish, all priests come from his hometown: Münster.
Part of the Kulturforum, St. Matthäuskirche is a protestant church right off Potsdamer Platz, known for its Christmas concert and exhibitions. Erected in 1846, the neo-Romanesque church has a pointed octagonal spire on the top of its highest tower. Its interior was remodeled in 1960.
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