Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

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Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin-Mitte

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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Wandering The City #11 - Churches With Bars!

    by johngayton Updated Oct 11, 2010

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    Bar At The French Church
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    Having kicked the robots' ball away from them for a final time my wanderings took me up the shop-lined boulevard of Friedrichstrasse just off of which I came across the Gendarmenmarkt. This is one of Berlin's classical European-style squares and features a trio of stunning 18th century buildings, two of which were churches and the third is the Schinkel Konzerthaus.

    The concert hall is home to its eponymous orchestra (formerly the Berlin Symphonic Orchestra) whilst the churches (the Deutscher und Französischer Doms) are now museums with terraced bars overlooking the square.

    I'd already done my museum bit for the day and so a quick beer was enjoyed at the aptly-named Refugium cafe of the French Cathedral. This is a pleasant spot to sit and watch the world go by even if the world is mostly my fellow tourists!

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    have a stop

    by EviP Updated Aug 6, 2010
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    Considered among the most beautiful Berlin squares
    - though, I have to admit, I came across far more beautiful streets and corners -
    this place uniquely demonstrates Berlin's city architecture and atmosphere: Clean, flat, vast pavements where people can enjoy stopping for coffee, or resting on a bench, watching Berliners and tourists passing-by, leaving plenty of room for the eye and the mind to explore the surroundings

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    Gendarmenmarkt

    by elpariente Written Mar 5, 2010

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    Para muchos es una de las plazas más bonitas de Berlín
    El nombre de Gendarmenmarkt (mercado de los gendarmes) proviene del regimiento hugonote de los Gens d'Armes, que se instaló en la plaza cuando la comunidad hunogote era perseguida en Francia y Guillermo I le dió refugio , derechos ciudadanos y protegió su libertad religiosa a pesar de que Berlín era protestante.
    Federico I de Prusia le concedió, tanto a la comunidad luterana como a la comunidad reformada francesa, un lugar para construir sus respectivas iglesias y así edificaron en cada extremo de la plaza El Französischer Dom (Catedral Francesa)y el Deutscher Dom( Catedral alemana ) que son dos iglesias muy parecidas
    En el centro de la Plaza está la Konzertthaus en la que destaca delante de ella el monumento a Schiller que está alineado con la posición en la que está colocado el director de la orquesta dentro de la sala

    For many people it is one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin
    The name Gendarmenmarkt comes from the Huguenot regiment Gens d'Armes, which was installed in the square when Huguenot community was persecuted in France and William I gave them haven, protected its citizens' rights and religious freedom although Berlin was Protestant.
    Frederick I of Prussia was granted to both the Lutheran community as the French Reformed community, a place to build their churches and they were built at each end of the square , The French Dom (French Cathedral) and the Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral) , two churches that are very similar
    In the centre of the square is the Konzertthaus where highlight in its front the monument to Schiller that is aligned with the position position of the orchestra conductor in the room

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    Gendarmenmarkt

    by Nemorino Written Oct 15, 2009

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    1. French
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    Photos:
    1. French "Dom" at the Gendarmenmarkt
    2. Concert House

    The German word "Dom" usually means cathedral, but the German Dom and the French Dom at the Gendarmenmarkt are not cathedrals at all, they are just, well, buildings with domes.

    In the German Dom there is a museum of the German parliament, and in the French Dom (first photo) there is a museum devoted to the Huguenots, French Protestants who fled from France to avoid persecution at various periods starting in the sixteenth century.

    The Protestant rulers of Berlin welcomed the Huguenots with open arms, not only because of their religion but also because most of them were skilled workers in a variety of trades -- and because they spoke French, a particularly suave language that every self-respecting German aristocrat wanted to learn.

    The Concert House (second photo) was originally built from 1818 to 1821 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel as a theater. The original building was destroyed in the Second World War. After a long hiatus it was rebuilt as a concert house from 1979 to 1984.

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    Cathedrals

    by darkjedi Updated Jun 7, 2008

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    German Cathedral
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    This is one of Berlin's most beautiful squares, created at the end of the 17th century as a market square. It is named after the Regiment Gens d'Armes who had their stables here. In 1950it was named Platz de Akademie, but after reunification the square reverted to its original name.

    Although the two churches on opposite sides seem identical at first they differ from each other quite considerably. Their only common feature is the front towers. Between them stands the Konzerthaus. In front stands the white marble statue of Frederich Schiller on a high pedestal surrounded by allegorical figures representing Lyric Poetry, Drama, Philosophy and History.

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  • SandiMandi's Profile Photo

    Lovely square

    by SandiMandi Written Mar 25, 2008

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    Gendarmenmarkt
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    Gendarmenmarkt is said to be one of the most beautiful squares in Europe and after seeing it I have to agree. There are two beautiful churches on the opposite sides of the square and between them a concert hall (Konzerthaus). Gendarmenmarkt is a very idyllic place and you'll get many lovely photos there!

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  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    Beautiful Classic Square

    by nicolaitan Written Mar 9, 2008

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    Concert Hall Facade
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    The Gendarmenmarkt is considered one of Europe's most beautiful squares, the name derived from a cavalry regiment named Gens d'Armes centered here between 1736-82. The original late 17th Century plan by Nering was altered by Georg Unger in 1777 incorporating the three buildings surrounding it. The oldest is the French cathedral built by immigrant Huegenots in 1701-5, modelled after a destroyed church in France. Second came the German cathedral at the south end of the square built between 1702-8 in the form of a pentagon by Simonetti with plans by Martin Grunberg. The churches were both different and not of architectural interest until 1785 when Carl Gontard added symmetric domes and columned porticos to each - today the facades appear essentially identical.
    In 1821, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Berlin's leading architect filled the west side of the square with the famed concert hall, fronted in the center of the square by a statue of the German poet Friedrich Schiller placed in 1871. Business buildings occupy the east side, also built in classic style. All the major buildings were severely damaged during WWII, with reconstruction to original plans extending into the 1990's. Today the churches feature museums and restaurants while the concert hall is the home venue for the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.

    The surrounding area of Mitte has undergone rapid commercialization with trendy restaurants, shopping malls and boutiques and several very upscale hotels including the Sofitel, Hotel de Rome ( which is breathtaking), and a Hilton and is at the center of the most upscale renovations in the East Berlin Mitte area.

    We chose to visit after dark - the square was deserted and we were alone with the atmospheric lighting of these famed buildings and the beauty of the square. As with Bebelplatz ( see below ) perhaps the best time to visit and reflect on the past.

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    Schillerdenkmal - Monument of Goethe's Colleague

    by Kakapo2 Written Jan 15, 2008

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    Schiller in front of the German Dome.

    Only in the first instant it is surprising to find a statue of Friedrich von Schiller on Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt, as we Schwaben from the land of Württemberg consider Schiller as “our” poet and philosopher. But in fact he was – together with Goethe – Germany’s greatest classic writer, philosopher, dramatist and poet, and so it is absolutely normal that he has a place in front of Berlin’s former national theatre.

    Schiller was born in Marbach on the river Neckar, near Stuttgart, on 10 November 1759 in the south of Germany, and he died on 9 May 1805 in Weimar, only 45 years old, from acute pneumonia. On Goethe’s request he later was buried at Schiller’s side. In the city of Weimar both poets stand side by side on a monument. He was ennobled in 1802, by the addition of “von” in front of his last name.

    Schiller’s plays are part of the standard repertoire of German theatres. His first big hit was “Die Räuber” (The Robbers) in 1776. The premiere in Mannheim (1782) was a huge success, especially young people loved it. However, the reigning Duke of Württemberg was not impressed and imprisoned the poet for two weeks and forbid him to write comedies and similar stuff.

    Then Schiller wrote “Kabale und Liebe” (Intrigue and Love) and “Don Carlos”, later “Wallenstein”, „Maria Stuart“, „Wilhelm Tell“, and „Die Jungfrau von Orléans“ (The Maid of Orleans). I think everybody at my age and time had to learn “Das Lied von der Glocke” (Song of the Bell) by heart, and my father still knows every word of it.

    Many of Schiller’s poems and dramas became musical pieces. You might have heard “Ode an die Freude” (Ode to the Happiness) which Beethoven used for this 9th symphony. Verdi adapted several of Schiller’s play for his operas, “Don Carlos” is just one of them.

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    Schauspielhaus, now: Konzerthaus (Concert Hall)

    by Kakapo2 Written Jan 15, 2008

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    The Concert Hall was designed by Schinkel.
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    The Schauspielhaus (theatre) which became Konzerthaus (concert hall/philharmony) in 1994 is sitting between the German and the French Dome on the western side of Gendarmenmarkt. It was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and built on the ruins of the National Theatre which had burnt down. Construction time was from 1817 to 1821. The Baroque transformation took place in 1903 and 1904.

    Originally the Schauspielhaus was just a brick building. It became a splendid building by screening the exterior with glorious sandstone panels.

    After the destruction of World War II only the exterior was reconstructed true to the original. The interior was completedly altered. Instead of a theatre with a stage they built a concert hall with space for an 1850 people strong audience. Inauguration was in 1984. Ten years later the Schauspielhaus was renamed into “Konzerthaus Berlin”.

    Guided tours on most Saturdays at 1pm, phone (030) 20309-2343, fee 3 Euro

    Free tours with volunteers must be checked on the blackboard on site or on the internet website.

    Registration for group tours:
    press@konzerthaus.de
    Phone (030) 20309-2343

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    Französische Friedrichstadtkirche - modest Church

    by Kakapo2 Written Jan 15, 2008

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    External staircase to the church.

    There is no internal access from the French Dome to the adjoining Friedrichstadtkirche which was built from 1701 to 1705. It was designed by Jean Cayart and, after Cayart’s death, by Abraham Quesnay for the Huguenots who had fled their Catholic country, wanting to follow their protestant belief after Calvin’s reformation.

    From the outside the church looks more like a small French palace, with its beautiful exterior staircase.

    The Huguenots had raised the money to build the church, King Friedrich I provided building materials. The Huguenots did all the work. In 1905 the church was altered in Baroque style, and after the extensive damage in World War II it was reconstructed from 1978 to 1983.

    The building is a good example of the simplistic approach of the reformed church. You will not find anything bombastic. The windows are simple, and even the name does not glorify any saint or admired person. The exception is the organ with a golden corona including the Eye of God. (The organ’s carvings had been stored at a separate location during World War II, so you still see the original from 1755.). Reformed churches originally had no instruments.

    The addition of the beautiful exterior staircase became necessary in the reconstruction process after World War II when an intermediate ceiling was inserted and the interior became a two-storey building. The lower level is used for functions of the community, the church itself and the organ are on the upper level.

    Today the church is used by three communities, of course, including the descendants of the Huguenots who once founded and built the church. They often have organ concerts. If you happen to be there you either have to leave the church or pay an entry fee.

    BTW The holes you might spot on the outside surface of the church are no bullet holes from the War but signs of environmental damage.

    Mass with organ music Tue – Fri 12.30pm
    30 min organ music Tue 3pm
    Organ concert: Every first Thursday of the month (8pm)
    Musical vespers: Every third Sunday of the month (4pm)

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    Französischer Dom: Museum of the Huguenots' Life

    by Kakapo2 Written Jan 15, 2008

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    The French Dome, seen from the German Dome.
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    The church beside the French Dome is the French Friedrichstadtkirche, named after the suburb Friedrichstadt. (See extra tip.)

    To build the purpose-less French Dome beside this church between 1780 and 1785 the French Huguenots’ cemetery had to be relocated. In exchange the Huguenots got the right to use the dome for all times. They had once fled their Catholic home country for practising their protestant religion after the reformation by Calvin.

    Dome and Friedrichstadtkirche were nearly completely destroyed in World War II but were reconstructed between 1981 and 1987. The Dome is used today as the Huguenots’ Museum (Hugenottenmuseum). It displays the history and the life of the French immigrants.

    Open Tue – Sat 12pm – 5pm, Sun 11am – 5pm
    Entry fee 2 Euro

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    Deutscher Dom: Exhibition of Democracy

    by Kakapo2 Written Jan 15, 2008

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    Not very different to the French Dome.
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    The German Church beside the later added dome-shaped building on Gendarmenmarkt was built from 1701 to 1708. Already 80 years later it crumbled, so it was demolished and reconstructed in Baroque style.

    The purpose-less dome-crowned tower was added from 1780 to 1785. It was badly damaged in World War II and reconstructed between 1982 and 1996. In 2002 it even got a purposed. The building is used for an exhibition of German parliament, telling the story of Germany’s parliamentary democracy. The title is: “Wege, Irrwege, Umwege” – paths, meanders, deviations.

    If you are not interested in this exhibition there is not more to do than to have a look up to the top of the tower where you can see the sky through a round skylight.

    Not sure about the entry fee. On the internet I read it is free but I think to remember that you would have had to pay a fee.

    Open Tue – Sun 10am – 7pm (October to April only until 6pm), guided tours at 11am, 1pm and 4pm

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    Breathtaking Agglomeration of Fantastic Buidlings

    by Kakapo2 Written Jan 15, 2008

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    Gendarmenmarkt, French Dome in the background.
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    To see this square was one of the most breathtaking moments of my latest Berlin visit, and it definitely is the city’s most beautiful square. You just have to sit down and soak in the atmosphere, and admire the spectacular buildings that surround it. Or have a coffee in one of the open-air cafés. Of which, I must add, they could have more.

    The buildings around the square are the German and the French Dome, and the Schauspielhaus/Konzerthaus (Concert Hall), and in front of the latter is a sculpture of the German poet and writer Friedrich Schiller (Schillerdenkmal).

    The square was created at the end of the 17th century. Mainly protestant French immigrants (Huguenots) settled there. After many name changes it became Gendarmenmarkt in 1799 because it was home of the police and the stables of the guarding regiment. The name “gendarmes” comes from “gens d’armes” which litterally translated means: “people in arms”. During GDR times the square was named Platz der Akademie, opposite the Konzerthaus you find the Academy of Sciences (Akademie der Wissenschaften).

    The two domes stand beside two modest churches that had been built on the marketplace in 1705. Two identical towers, designed by Carl von Gontard, were built beside the churches from 1780 to ’85 to give the square a more spectacular look, and had no purpose at all. The name “dome” is – especially in German – very irritating because a “Dom” is a catholic cathedral, like the “Dom” in Cologne, and in Berlin (Berliner Dom on Museumsinsel). Here it only describes the shape of the two spires’ tops, derived from the French word “dôme”.
    The Gendarmenmarkt was hugely damaged in World War II but was – like nearly every building in Berlin – reconstructed. The Nazis had taken the Schiller monument off the square but to Berlin’s 750th birthday celebrations it was shifted back to its original site.

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  • caffelatte's Profile Photo

    Christmas market

    by caffelatte Written Jan 3, 2008
    xmas market at gendarmenmarkt

    Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt is perhaps the best I have seen so far. Of course, every xmas market is good and has similar stuff. what makes this market unique is the setting, and also the music/entertainment they have in the evening.
    In fact, from there you can walk along the unter den linden in the direction towards museuminsel and see another big market.

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    The Französischer Dom and Deutscher Dom

    by heitzenrater Written Dec 6, 2007

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    The Franz��sischer Dom
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    The scoop!!
    The Französischer Dom and Deutscher Dom are two seemingly identical churches opposite each other.
    The oldest of the two is the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral). It was built between 1701 and 1705 by the Huguenot community. Persecuted in France, they sought refuge in Protestant Berlin.
    The church was modeled after the Huguenot church in Charenton, destroyed in 1688. In 1785 the tower and porticos, designed by Carl von Gontard, were added to the building. It actually turned the church into a twin sister of the Deutscher Dom.
    The Französischer Dom contains a Huguenot museum, a restaurant on the top floor and a viewing platform.

    Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral)
    The Deutscher Dom or German Cathedral is the most southern building at the Gendarmenmarkt. The pentagonal structure was designed by Martin Grünberg and built in 1708 by Giovanni Simonetti and modified in 1785 after a design by Carl von Gontard, who added the domed tower. The Deutscher Dom was completely destroyed by fire in 1945. It wasn't rebuilt until 1993 and reopened in 1996 as a museum with exhibits on German history.

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