Church of Saint Maria (Marienkirche)

Church of Saint Maria (Marienkirche) (24)

The Church of Saint Maria is the second oldest in Berlin, after that of Saint Nicholas. Its name in German is “Marienkirche”.

It began life as a parish church after the medieval expansion of Berlin around 1250. During its history the building has suffered a whole series of catastrophes, including a fire in 1380 which left it in very bad condition. Its design is gothic, typical of northern Germany, and combines granite and brick which give it its characteristic red colour. The tower dates back to the middle of the 15th century, while its gothic crest is from 1789.   

Its interior contains an area divided into three naves and a lovely baroque-style marble pulpit. In the side naves there are 17th and 18th century tombstones while in the choir gallery there is a 15th century baptism font as well as the tomb of Count Sparr. 

Definitely worth seeing is the “Totentanz”, dance of death, a macabre 15th century frieze measuring 22 metres in length which hangs on the wall of the church’s left side. 

In front of the temple you will find what is known as the ´Cross of Expiation`, erected in 1335 in memory of a parish priest who died in disturbances a few years before.  

Before the Second World War, the Church of Saint Maria was located in one of the most populated parts of the Mitte district. However, after allied bombing made detailed restoration work necessary, the buildings around it were reduced to rubble and the whole area left in ruins. This is why today you will find the church in a zone full of open spaces. 

Nowadays the church serves the Lutheran community.

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