The Memorial Church – Berlin’s most famous war memorial
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is located in the heart of Berlin’s City-West, near your hotel. It is one of the most famous landmarks of the capital and can be easily recognized by its tower ruins. During World War II, the church was damaged and now stands as a memorial against war and destruction. If you wish to explore the Berlin church and the exciting surroundings of City-West, you have come to the right place! Book your stay at the DoubleTree Berlin hotel at the best price.
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin was built between 1891 and 1895 by Franz Schwechten. The commission was given by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who wanted to commemorate his grandfather Kaiser Wilhelm I with the church. The building, in the style of Neo-Romanticism, was the tallest in the city upon its completion, as its tower stood at 113 meters, towering over other buildings in the capital. The church was primarily funded by individuals, German states, and a memorial and commemorative publication.
The destruction of the church
The Protestant church was in use for about 50 years before it suffered heavy damage during World War II, specifically in November 1943. The tower, following a British air raid and subsequent fire, was now only 71 meters high. The top of the tower had collapsed due to the fire, and the roof structure above the nave had collapsed as well. The Berlin church was now nothing more than a ruin.
A dispute arose regarding the reconstruction of the church after the war. Ultimately, a decision was made to demolish the nave and preserve the tower ruin as a memorial against war. In addition, a new four-part building ensemble was constructed. Egon Eiermann was commissioned for this task, and from 1959 to 1963, he built a nave, a bell tower, a chapel, and a foyer. These structures are now part of the church and serve as places of worship, allowing for religious services and concerts to take place.
The Memorial Church today
Since 1987, there has been a memorial hall inside the tower ruin. It provides extensive information about the church and its destruction during World War II. Visitors have the opportunity to book a guided tour of the Berlin church. The new additions to the church are colloquially known as “lipstick and powder” due to their distinctive architectural style. At night, they are illuminated by blue light, creating a striking visual effect with their grid-like walls. This blue light is also visible from the interior of the church.
Why is the Memorial Church called that?
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is named after Kaiser Wilhelm I. Its name has further significance as the tower ruins also serve as a memorial against war and destruction.
When was the church built?
The church in City-West was commissioned as early as 1891. It was finished in 1895. Its style inspired many buildings nearby, such as the Romanesque houses, one of which now houses the Europa Center.
Are there services in the Memorial Church today?
Yes, today the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is used by the Protestant church community for worship services and other events. These take place in the newer additions to the church. There is a service every Sunday and public holiday at 10 o'clock. In addition, there are also devotions during the week.
Where is the Memorial Church in Berlin?
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is located on Breitscheidplatz in the western center of Berlin. From your hotel at Berlin's Los Angeles Square, you can reach the church in just a few minutes on foot. Other attractions such as the Berlin Zoo and Kurfürstendamm are also nearby.
How can I book a tour of the Berlin Memorial Church?
There are both public and private guided tours available at the Berlin Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. For more information, you can inquire at your hotel in Berlin Charlottenburg, at the church itself, or visit the website of the memorial church.
When does the Christmas Market at the Memorial Church Berlin take place?
Every year, the popular Breitscheidplatz Christmas market takes place around the Berlin Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. With over 200 stalls and festive music, it creates a lively atmosphere. In December 2016, a terrorist attack occurred, resulting in the loss of eleven lives. A golden crack embedded in the ground in front of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church serves as a reminder of the victims of the attack.