Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Berlin, Germany

The original Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the site was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. 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. The Memorial Church today is a famous landmark of western Berlin, and is nicknamed by Berliners 'der Hohle Zahn', meaning 'The Hollow Tooth'.

Kaiser Wilhelm II decided to name the church in honor of his grandfather Kaiser Wilhelm I. The foundation stone was laid on March 22, 1891, which was Wilhelm I's birthday. The competition for the design was won by Franz Schwechten who planned for a large church to be built in Romanesque Revival style, including 2,740 square metres of wall mosaic. The spire was 113 metres high and the nave seated over 2,000 people. The church was consecrated on September 1, 1895. By this time of the consecration the entrance hall in the lower section had not been completed. This was opened and consecrated on February 22, 1906. In the Second World War, on the night of November 23, 1943, the church was irreparably damaged in an air raid. The church was largely destroyed but part of the spire and much of the entrance hall survived.

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Details

Founded: 1891
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: German Empire (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Karen (5 months ago)
What an iconic building in an amazing part of the city. It is so poignant to see the ruins of what was once a beautiful church and the very modern Bell Tower and church next to it. We were fortunate to hear the bells ringing and see it lit up at night - this is a must see sight.
Adam Kopecký (7 months ago)
Amazing church! Place which is amazing during the day but even more with lights during the night! Eventhough this church is not anywhere between top spots to visit in Berlin for me personally should belong there. Very worth to visit!
Valentina Jumah (9 months ago)
A really interesting place. Full of history. Went on December and it had a Christmas market, beautiful.
Gabriel Gallardo Alarcon (9 months ago)
The church is quite beautiful inside. I attended a concert by Swedish organ player Anna Von Hausswolff and it it was great. The organ sounds amazing. I strongly recommend it as an organ music venue. Besides that and the beautiful architecture I guess there's no much else to enjoy if you are not religious.
Dan Liu (13 months ago)
I booked a hotel in the neighborhood, the church is definitely iconic to see. As it is historical, standing between a very modern neighborhood and fancy shopping streets. The church itself is beautiful, with a museum and tourist shop underneath. This place is also nice to sit down and enjoy a beer with friends in the summer
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