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

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Géza Kovács (2 years ago)
Touching scene where you can see what is the real demolution. Nice try the new church. It is very nice from the outside but nothing special from inside, but it is an active church so it has to be like this.
Alex Lorance (2 years ago)
Very impressive architectural design. The true landmark of Berlin. The first monumental building that struck my attention when I started the sightseeing in 2017. The roof paintings are remarkable. The Protestant church nearby has a lot to tell about the church.
Corissa George (2 years ago)
A true beauty to see in person. Just gorgeous. People in & around the building were greatly respectful. So glad we were able to visit it in 2017! The church in ruins is just as gorgeous as the one built in memorial. The history is so rich, wonderful educational moment for our young daughter. Ontario, Canada Visited April 2017
Michelle Burlinson (2 years ago)
The church is an interesting building which was bombed during the war and has been partially restored. The ceilings were truly beautiful and must have been remarkable. There was plenty of information about the church and it’s restoration as you walked round. There’s also a little gift stand where you can buy postcards and posters.
Sai Mahesh VBSV (3 years ago)
This is a peaceful church to visit. There are two parts of the church which are open to public at the moment. One part has over 22750 stained glass windows in both blue and a bit of red. This part of the church is octagonal in shape and has a predominant presence of a suspended figure of Jesus in crucifix form which is a contrasting bright bronze structure on a rich blue background. The image at first sight left me awestruck. There is also a Karl Schuke organ at place which is impressive. Then on the other side of the church, there is a part of the church which was used for weddings and funerals until 1943 when it was damaged severely in bombing. It was since then left as is and is not used for any ceremonies anymore. The tall figure of Jesus, some of the marble work on the walls, the tiled ceiling and floor with designs is impressive. The dome of the church starts damaged and you can actually see it from inside as well as outside. There are images from commencement of church till date pasted on one section of the church. There is also a tower on the outside which is currently under renovation. As a landmark, this church should definitely be visited.
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