Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

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Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin-Mitte

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    An attractive square

    by toonsarah Updated Jun 18, 2011

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    Gendarmenmarkt with Franz��sischer Dom
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    This is one of the most attractive squares in Berlin and we really enjoyed spending a relaxing hour here, strolling around, taking photos and lingering over Kaffe und Küchen in one of the several cafés that ring it. The square gets its name from the regiment Gens d'Armes (of French Huguenots) who had their stables here from 1736 to 1773. It is a harmonious space, with matching buildings (the Französischer Dom and Deutscher Dom) on its north and south sides, the striking Konzerthaus on the west, and the smart shops and cafés of Markgrafenstraße on the east.

    Starting on the north side, the Französischer Dom holds a museum dedicated to the French Huguenot immigrants who once worshipped here. We didn’t get round to checking this out but I noted that people had climbed to the top of its dome which would have tempted us had it not been near the end of a very long and hot day of exploring! The church was built between 1701 -1705 and is slightly older than its counterpart opposite. Facing it across the length of the square is the almost matching Deutscher Dom, built in 1708, with an exhibition on German democracy which our guidebook describes as “hopelessly academic”, so we gave that a miss too. This church was totally destroyed by fire in 1945 so the one standing today is an early 1990s rebuilding of it.

    If we ignore the fact that the Deutscher Dom was rebuilt only 20 years ago, the Konzerthaus (photos 3 & 4) is the most recent of the three grand buildings that grace the square. It was originally a theatre, built to replace the National Theatre which was destroyed by fire in 1817. Like the Deutscher Dom it was again destroyed during the Second World War, and on its restoration in 1984 was turned into a concert hall. It is now home to the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.

    In the middle of the square is a statue of Friedrich Schiller, the famous German poet (see photo 5).

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    Gendarmenmarkt

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Probably the most beautiful and elegant square in Berlin is Gendarmenmarkt. Created at the end of the 17th century, most of the buildings were destroyed in World War II, but have since been restored to their former glory.

    The main buildings on the square are the twin churches of Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral) & Franzosischer Dom (French Cathedral), and the Konzerthaus, which create a lovely architectural trio.

    Visit Deutscher Dom to learn all about democracy in Germany, or go inside Franzosischer Dom to find out about the French Huguenots who were expelled from France in 1685 and fled to Berlin. The Konzerthaus is a stunning concert house that replaced the former National Theatre originally built here, but destroyed in the war. It is the home of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.

    At least take the time to visit the beautiful square and perhaps relax for a while at one of the surrounding cafes or restaurants.

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    Platz der Akademie.

    by mallyak Written Dec 7, 2010

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    The square originated in the late 17th century, when it was known as the Linden-Markt. The current name, dating from 1735, derives from a former Prussian regiment, the Gens d'Armes, which was based here until 1773. The square's current form dates from the end of the 17th century. During the Second World War it was heavily damaged, and by the 1980's only partially reconstructed. Although now fully restored, it seems one or the others of the square's major buildings is always having repairs done to it.

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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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  • magor65's Profile Photo

    Gendarmenmarkt

    by magor65 Written May 25, 2005

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    German cathedral

    Gendarmenmarkt is said to be one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin. Without doubt, it's very impressive. Spatious, majestic and harmonious it is closed by German and French cathedrals at two opposite sides and the Kozerthaus which is perpendicular to them.
    The French cathedral was built at the beginning of the 18th century for the Huguenot community. The German cathedral comes from the same time. They do look very similar, both in general design and details. ( I can say so on the basis of pictures, because at the time of our visit the French cathedral was wrapped for renovation.) Now they both have been turned into museums. One hundred years later the National Theatre was built next to them but it was soon destroyed by the fire. It was replaced by the Konzerthaus designed by K.F. Schinkel.
    In the centre of the Square there is a statue of Friedrich Schiller - a famous poet.

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    Harmonious Gendarmenmarkt

    by Gerrem Written Aug 27, 2005

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    Gendarmenmarkt

    The harmonious Gendarmenmarkt is known as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It was created at the end of the 17th century as a market place, the Linden Markt. The current name is derived from the Regiment Gens d'Armes who had their stables here from 1736 to 1773. From 1777, the square was redeveloped after plans by Georg Christian Unger. It is now a quiet place surrounded by three landmark buildings, the Französischer Dom, Deutscher Dom and the Konzerthaus. In the center of the square is a statue of Friedrich Schiller, a famous German poet.

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    Concert Hall

    by Gerrem Written Aug 27, 2005

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    Konzerthaus

    The Konzerthaus or Concert Hall is the most recent building on the Gendarmenmarkt. It was built in 1821 as the Schauspielhaus by Berlin's famous architect Karl-Friedrich Schinkel, who around the same time also designed the reconstruction of the Berliner Dom. The Konzerthaus was built on the ruins of the National Theater, which was destroyed by fire in 1817. Schinkel reused the columns and some outside walls from this 1802 building. Like the other buildings on the Gendarmenmarkt, the Konzerthaus was badly damaged during the second World War. The reconstruction, which was finished in 1984, turned the theater into a concert hall. It is now home to the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.

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    Französischer Dom & Deutscher Dom

    by jenniferchin Written Oct 8, 2004

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    one of the Doms ...

    The Französischer Dom and Deutscher Dom are two seemingly identical churches opposite each other.

    The Französischer Dom, ther older of the 2 doms, contains a Huguenot museum, a restaurant on the top floor and a viewing platform.

    The Deutscher Dom or German Cathedral is the most southern building at the Gendarmenmarkt. has a museum with exhibits on German history.

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  • Gendarmenmarkt

    by Mariajoy Updated Jun 10, 2007

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    A beautiful square in what was east Berlin containing the Konzerthaus and Franzoesischer Dom in true Prussian imperialist style!

    The concert hall was destroyed during the Second World War but completely restored in the '80s, although the original building had a stage and auditorium.

    It's a nice place to sit with a cold drink on a warm day and people-watch :)

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Gendarmenmarkt: Berlin's Showplace

    by Tom_Fields Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Gendarmenmarkt
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    Gendarmenmarkt is to Berlin what the National Mall is to Washington. This is the place to go. Here are the country's finest museums, theaters, and public spaces.

    On the northern side is the French Church (Französische Friedrichstadtkirche), a monument to French Huguenot refugees, completed in 1705. It now houses the Huguenot Museum. Tens of thousands of Huguenots (Protestants) fled from France to Prussia under the reign of King Louis XIV. They have contributed greatly to Berlin's industry, the arts, and much more.

    On the southern side is the former German Church, now a museum with exhibits on German history.

    Karl Friedrich Schinkel designed the Schauspielhaus theater (also called the Konzerthaus), which stands on the western side. It's now a concert hall. The eastern side, along the Markgrafenstrasse, is lined with trendy shops, restaurants, and the like.

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  • chancay's Profile Photo

    Lindenmarkt

    by chancay Written Oct 27, 2004

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    Gendarmenmarkt

    A very beautiful square in the heart of Berlin. The name is derived from the Regiment Gens d'Armes who had their stables here from 1736 to 1773. . The place is surrounded by three important buildings, the Französischer Dom, Deutscher Dom and the Konzerthaus. In the center of the square is a statue of the poet Friedrich Schiller.

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  • m-joy's Profile Photo

    Gendarmenmarkt

    by m-joy Written Jun 13, 2004

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    No more gens d’arme here – but still one of the loveliest places in the city. With the French dome in the north and the German dome in the south (they are twins in a way) and the Schauspielhaus in the middle, this place is a real highlight. The two churches were built from 1701 until 1708, due to the French and the German Calvinism. Walking up the French dome gives you a brilliant view on the Gendarmenmarkt and around on the whole city.

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  • alancollins's Profile Photo

    Gendarmenmarkt

    by alancollins Updated Aug 25, 2012

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    The German Cathedral
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    I was lucky to stay at a hotel that overlooked the Gendarmenmarkt and was able to wander around the square a number of times. So what is there? Around the perimeter are upmarket hotels, restaurants and shops. The square has 2 cathedrals, a theatre that is now a concert hall, a statue of Friedrich Schiller in the middle of the square, a part time outside café, a tree lined area to sit in the shade and an Octagonal Café. The area was badly damaged during WW2 but has now been restored to its former glory. During my first visit a charity walk was taking place and the square was part of the route with a drumming band encouraging the walkers on. The Square is also known for its famous annual Christmas Market that is regarded as one of the best. The market runs this year from 26/11 to 31/12.

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    The Concert Hall

    by alancollins Updated Aug 25, 2012

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    Concert Hall
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    The Konzerthaus (Concert Hall) is the newest building on the Gendarmenmarkt. It was built between 1818 and 1821 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who around the same time also designed the reconstruction of the Berliner Dom. The Konzerthaus was built on the ruins of the National Theatre, which was destroyed by fire in 1817. Schinkel reused the columns and some of the old buildings outside walls. The Konzerthaus was badly damaged during WW2. The reconstruction work was finished in 1984 and the former theatre was turned into a concert hall with four halls. It is now the home of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin that gives more than 100 concerts each season. There are guided tours of the Concert Hall that normally take place on Saturdays at 1pm and cost 3 euros.

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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    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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