Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral (21)

Berlin Cathedral can be accessed from Unter den Linden, right next to the Island of Museums. This huge building was built between the years 1895 and 1905, and you will surely agree that its exterior is truly impressive.

A couple of centuries earlier, a baroque-style cathedral stood on the site of today’s building. But in 1822 it was remodelled to a neo-classic design by the architect Schinkel.

Later, William II ordered the demolition of the cathedral and the construction of the building you see today. The new model was built according to plans drawn up by the architect Julius Raschdorff, and the final product had dimensions unheard of at that time: it measured 114 metres in length, 73 in width and was 116 metres tall. Made up of such proportions, it is no surprise that the cathedral’s interior can hold up to 2,000 people. It was said that such a monumental building would transform Berlin into the ´Rome` of the Protestants. 

After the end of the Second World War, the cathedral found itself on the Soviet side of the city and many years went by without restoration work being carried out on it. Later the regime ordered for it to be restored, however the work the building received was careless and the result did not do justice to the original. Fortunately, after reunification, much better refurbishment was carried out, reproducing its original features in detail. The cathedral thus regained its former splendour.   

It is topped by a bronze cupola measuring 70 metres in height, whose interior is decorated with eight large mosaics. 

Worth noting inside the cathedral is the Stuler designed and profusely decorated high altar of white marble and yellow onyx, the candlesticks by Schinkel and the golden lectern. 

In front of the altar you will find the Kaiserempore, or Imperial Gallery, which is where the Kaiser once sat. On the southern side of the church, there are sarcophaguses designed by Schinkel of King Frederick I and his second wife, Sophie Charlotte. 

You also have the possibility of visiting the splendid Hohenzollern crypt, more often known as the ´Tomb of  Emperors`. Inside are the tombs of 94 members of the royal family.

Attending a mass or organ concert in the cathedral is quite an experience: the building’s acoustics are excellent and listening to the organ’s music resonating in every corner will leave you breathless. With 7,200 pipes, the organ is one of the biggest in the country. Mass is held daily and concerts performed on a regular basis. 

Be sure to climb the 300 steps that lead to the cupola, you will not regret it. From so high up you look down on an incredible view of the city.

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