It was called as Memorial, it is a place, a symbol of destruction of Second World War. Church was damaged and left the same condition, a new modern church was built nearby.
Old Kaiser Wilhelm church was fully build in 1906. The church was named in honor of Kaiser Wilhelm I. The old church is now like a museum, inside you can see mosaic of the Archangel Michael fighting the dragon, in vault paintings you can recognize members of Hohenzollern members.
New church was built in around 1960, when I visited it, nice concert took place here. Actually it was hard to see all view of both churches, it was under reconstruction during my visit.
It was by accident that we stumbled onto this beautiful Kirche. We had been walking along Kurfursten Strasse and surrounding streets enjoying the sights when the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtinis Kirche appeared in front of us.
What a sight to see, such a large building that I had to walk backwards to take photos on my Canon DSLR.
The 19th century church was damaged during World War 11 and lost its roof.
Free entry to the building, however we did not enter due the the number of people waiting.
Would be absurde not to agree that Hitler's regime was ultimate evil and a very sick idea. Nazism was founded on idea of supremacy of one race over another and by allowing all neccessary means in order to terminate those who are "wrong numbers". For most of Nazi followers "different" people weren't humans but numbers only. Mental alienation is a process which could lead to a delirium and it is what happened in Hitler's mind, but crimen is strictly individual and shouldn't be generalized.
Berlin, as a capital of the Nazi-regime, suffered of a huge bombing raids during which allies never made distinguishings between military and civilian targets. Is it worth of killing a cow for one steak only?
Kaiser Wilhel Memorial Church, coloquially called Gedachtniskirche, is located in Kurfurstendamm avenue and is definatelly the main landmarks of Berlin. The original church was built in 1890 by order of Kaiser Wilhelm II who decided to name the church in honour of his grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm I. The church was badly and irreparably damaged in bombing raid in 1943, but part of the spire and much of the entrance survived. The new church was added, next to the remains, but it is not a good solution, at least it isn't to me. The new church is confussing with its appearance, looking more alike to medieval towers which could be seen all over Tuscany.
No other sight symbolises Berlin’s traumatic 20th century so vividly as the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche. One of my most abiding memories from our 1985 visit, when photo 4 was taken, is of its jagged ruined spire, left just as the Allied bombers left it, as a constant reminder of the destruction of war.
Rather than demolish the ruin, in 1961 a new, octagonal church designed by Egon Eiermann was built alongside the old tower. This church is a stark contrast to the old one, being of reinforced concrete, but its interior glows with thousands of blue glass panes. A freestanding hexagonal bell tower was also constructed, on the site of the former main nave of the destroyed church.
This was high on my list of sights I wanted to revisit on this trip. We both remembered it so well, but when we emerged from the Zoologischer Garten station we were for a while disorientated – the tower was not where we expected it to be. Then we realised that it was hidden beneath a tall scaffolding structure. I was so disappointed not to be able to see and photograph it again, and also concerned that maybe a decision had been taken to after all fully restore the building. But no – instead they are simply strengthening the ruin so that it will remain for future generations as Berlin’s memorial to the futility of war.
And despite the scaffolding we were at least able to go into the vestibule area of the tower, where we could admire the ornate mosaic ceiling (photo 2) and see various bits of sculpture rescued from the bombed church. There is also a crucifix made from two crossed nails (photo 3), a gift from also-bombed Coventry Cathedral to this church as a symbol of reconciliation.
We also of course went into the modern church to see again the wonderful blue light and the giant statue of Jesus which seems to float in front of it (main photo).
This is probably the best-known church in the city. The ruin in combination with the new building became the symbol of post-war West Berlin and its will to survive as “an island in the Red Sea”.
The original Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche, a memorial church for Emperor Wilhelm I, was a neo-Romanesque building with five spires. It was designed by Franz Heinrich Schwechten who followed medieval examples in the Rhinelands. The support of Emperor Wilhelm II and donations from all over Germany allowed the execution of such a huge building and the decoration of the interior in all possible splendour in 1891-1895.
All World War II left was the ruin of the largest steeple. It was to be torn down but public protest enforced its preservation. The architect Egon Eiermann designed the new church, steeple and parish centre with their uniform facades of glass and concrete.
Berliners are famous for their, errrm, particular sense of humour. The ruin is usually referred to as “the hollow tooth”, the new steeple and church as “lipstick and powder tin”.
Do not miss entering the modern church. The little squares of the facades are filled with coloured glass, predominantly blue with splashes of red and yellow. The interior receives a dim, mystic blue light. The effect is impressive. The golden statue of Jesus Christ above the altar seems to fly.
Photo hint: Turn your flash off. The flash not only annoys everyone around you (this is a place of worship, after all), it also ruins your photos. If you want to catch the blue light, use a tripod or lean onto something.
Dates: 1891-1895 / 1960-1961
Architect: Franz Heinrich Schwechten / Egon Eiermann
Location: Kurfürstendamm / Bahnhof Zoo
How to get in: open daily 9:00-19:00
The bombed out tower ruins stand out among the contemporary architecture in the surrounding area. The tower ruins stand, at 63 meters, are barely half the original heighth. There was a lot of scaffolding that obstructed the views of the towers while I was there in 2010.
The original church on the site was built in the 1890's. The present building, which consists of a church with an attached foyer and a separate belfry with an attached chapel, was built between 1959 and 1963. The damaged spire of the old church has been retained and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall. I recommend going inside the church. One can see the ravages of war from the outside but also from the inside. You will see some beautiful frescoes and notice the cracks on them due to bombing of Berlin during WW2 but it was beautifully redone. Entrance is free and it is about a 5 minute walk from Zoo station.
Although, its surrounded by modern commercial buildings (Kudamm is the main shopping street) this is a touching spot in Berlin and not only a broken and destroyed church.
It is an Evangelic Lutheran church that was built in 1868 by Wilhelm II (dedicated to his grandfather Kaiser Wilhelm) in neo-romanesque style.
The church is famous because it was destroyed of the bombing during WWII, and unlike other building in Berlin it was left unrestored so the people to remember the bad effect of war. Its tower used to be 113m high but after the bombing its only 64m.
Inside the church you can see some bright and colorful mosaics at the ceiling, usually they show bible or historical scenes.
The church is open mon-sat 10.00-16.00 and the entrance is free.
En el techo de la iglesia se encuentran unos hermosos mosaícos de la miembros de la familia Hohenzollern y que dan idea de del esplendor que tuvo en su tiempo
On the ceilingf of the church there are beautiful mosaics of the Hohenzollern family members that give an idea of the splendour it had the church in its time
Iglesia del Recuerdo
Es una iglesia evangélica luterana , construída en 1895 por Guillermo II en “recuerdo” de su abuelo el Kaiser Guillermo , La torre de la fachada era la más alta de Berlín (113 metros)y una bomba entró en 1945 por uno de sus costados dejándola en 65 metros de alto.Decidieron no reconstruirla para que la memoria colectiva recuerde los efectos de un bombardeo y las tristezas de una guerra
Junto a la iglesia se construyó una Sala de Oración de forma octogonal y toda ella hecha con cristales de un azul muy intenso en la que destaca sobre el altar una figura dorada de " Jesús flotando"
It is an Evangelical Lutheran Church, built in 1895 by Wilhelm II in "memory" of his grandfather Kaiser Wilhelm.
The tower of the facade was the highest in Berlin (113 meters) and a bomb came in 1945 by one of its sides, leaving at 65 meters high .It was decided not to rebuild it , so the collective memory could remember the effects of bombing and the sorrows of war
Next to the church they built a Prayer Room , octagonal , all made with intense blue crystals and stands out in the altar a golden figure of "Jesus floating "
The ceiling or rather huge arches inside the Emperor William Memorial Church were covered by amazing mosaics. They were very colorful, looked like just renovated and depicted historical scenes, showed symbols of German/Prussian power and religion.
I took more pictures of them. You can see a few in my travelogue Memorial Church - mosaics and interior
Just down the road from Bahnof Zoo stand Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnickirche; a quiet, silent monument surrounded by commercialism, buskers and beggars.
The Neo-Romanesque, Protestant church was designed by Franz Schwechten. Consecrated in 1895 and destroyed by bombs in WWII in 1943. ("interestingly" for me, it was bombed by a friends father who faught (underaged) in WWII before then becoming involved in the Berlin airlifts).
After the war the ruins were removed and what was left, the massive front tower, remains.
At the base of the church you will find the Gedenkhalle (Memorial Hall) and in it is the documentation of the church's history together with original ceiling mosiacs, marble reliefs and other objects from the church. Unfortunately I never managed to get there when it was open but it was still possible to see inside. It remains a building that I am still wishing to explore!
A new church was designed in 1963 by Egon Eirmann and that is the modern, orctagonal blue-glass thing, with free standing bell tower, that is nestled up against the old beauty. In 1963 a new freestanding bell tower was built. Personally, I do not like this octagonal concrete with blue glass addition. To me it looks like an enormous public lavatory... but then again.... what do I know!!!
I'd seen this church many, many times, stayed in a hotel right next to it, but for some reason I'd never been inside it until this time. I was surprised to see the large mosaic on the ceiling,done around the turn from 19th to 20th century. From the way it is done it reminded me of the mosaic in the wedding tower in Darmstadt, which also was created around this time.
This part of the church is a museum, but the opposite part is a working church. Inside there is the very touching drawing of the "Madonna of Stalingrad" - a drawing created by Kurt Reuber on Christmas 1942, in the worst of the war, but still a drawing which shows a feeling of love and security. (Stalingrad is the old name of Wolgograd and was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in WWII).
I didn't take a picture of it, but you can see it in this link:
The Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) on Kurfürstendamm is a monument to peace and reconciliation, and the internationally famous symbol of Berlin's desire to rebuild itself in the aftermath of the war.
Opening Hours on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat 10 to 16 h and entrance is free.