Berlin Cathedral attracts many tourists from all over the world with its impressive architecture. This is about 720 thousand people annually. Often it is called the Entrance Gate to the Museum Island.
The history of the Berlin Cathedral is closely connected with the Hohenzollern dynasty. As far back as the 15th century, when the construction of the palace was started nearby, a palace chapel was also required, which was initially used as the already standing Dominican brick church.
In 1536, the duke Joachim II Hector, who had just come to power, ordered the construction of a new church in the Gothic style. To this Joachim carried the dust of his father and grandfather. Since then, the new church has become the burial place of all the Hohenzollerns.
In 1539, Joachim II converted to the Protestant faith. So the Catholic Cathedral became evangelical, and since the XIX century – the main Protestant Cathedral in Germany.
In 1750, Elector Frederick II built a new church, in the then fashionable Baroque style, already at the place where the cathedral stands today. In the 19th century, as part of the construction of Museum Island, the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel worked on the modernization and reconstruction of the Berlin Cathedral. He removed baroque decorations from the building and gave the Berlin House a look in the style of more modern classicism.
With the formation of the German Reich at the end of the 19th century, the new empire needed a more representative cathedral. At the request of Kaiser Wilhelm II, it was supposed to be the largest church in the world.
The height of the Berlin Cathedral before the devastation of World War II was 114 meters. Today’s height of the cathedral is 98 meters.
During World War II, the Berlin Cathedral was destroyed. Subsequently, the GDR authorities blew up the Denkmalskirche part of the church, and decided not to fully restore the central dome. But even in such a significantly reduced form, the Berlin Cathedral gives the impression of a magnificent structure.
The last building of the Berlin Cathedral was built from 1894 to 1905 in the so-called new Baroque – a mixed style that has the features of the High Renaissance and Baroque, the author of the project is an architect, professor at the Technical University in Charlottenburg, Julius Rushdorf.
Since Berlin Cathedral was supposed to be the greatest cathedral of Protestants around the world, the main cathedral of all Catholics – St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London – became a guide for Rushdorf. The final version of the project was studied and personally approved by Kaiser Wilhelm II. The construction of the cathedral cost the treasury 11.5 million Reichsmarks. True, the restoration and restoration work after the reunification of Germany cost even more – 35 million euros.
The cathedral has the appearance of a basilica, with four chapels and a central Predigtkirche with a large towering dome. The original cubic building of the Berlin Cathedral was 73 meters wide and made it possible to accommodate 2100 people. The diameter of the large dome of the cathedral is 33 meters.
On each of the four cardinal points is one of the facades of the monumental building. The main entrance to the Berlin Cathedral is the main entrance from the Lustgarten park. A marble staircase leads to the second floor. The building is decorated with Corinthian columns and pilasters. The entire first floor is occupied by the family burial of the Hohenzollern dynasty.
The interior of the Berlin Cathedral is amazingly luxurious. In the center of the large dome around the perimeter there are round windows that highlight the magnificent mosaics of Anton von Wermer on the themes of the New Testament. He also performed stained glass windows illustrating the scenes of the Nativity, Crucifixion and Ascension of Christ.
The main dome of the Berlin Cathedral, © catys
The decoration of the walls and columns is made of multi-colored marble and granite. The building is decorated with statues of the Apostles, Reformers and dukes of the Hohenzollern clan.
Berlin Cathedral was the official Kaiser church. On the second floor of the building there were rooms for personal prayers. Today, the Kaiser’s staircase, which led to the chapel, has been restored.
The large organ was performed by the famous craftsman Wilhelm Sauer. Opposite the organ are richly decorated gilded baroque sarcophagi in the Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm and his second wife Dorothea.
Almost all representatives of the ruling dynasty are buried in the Berlin Cathedral. In the crypt, 94 sarcophagi from the 16th to the 20th century have been preserved. This is the most significant burial site of the Hohenzollern.
The Dome Museum houses 1:25 models of all options for the cathedral building, tells the story of the restoration of the dome, and historical paintings.
The observation deck is located on the dome of the cathedral. From a height of 50 meters you can enjoy beautiful views of the historic center of Berlin. 270 steps lead up to which you have to overcome on foot.