Berlin (Deutschland/Germany) - Berliner Dom - part 1

by Björn Roose December. 14, 2019 1205 views

As strange as it may seem, not every Dom (collegiate church) in Berlin (Germany) is called a Berliner Dom (a Berlin collegiate church). As a matter of fact only one of the collegiate churches in the German capital is called so: the Oberpfarr- und Domkirche zu Berlin (Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church.

This church is located on the so called Museum Island in the Mitte borough and was finished in 1905. A few predecessors of it were on the same place, but the building of this one by the architects Julius and Otto Raschdorff started in 1893. The state paid the complete construction (there was no official separation between church and state back then), which was considered a worthy Protestant counterweight to Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City (it was 114 metres long, 73 metres wide and 116 metres tall).

The building was heavily damaged by a number of Allied bombings in WWII, but between 1949 and 1953 a temporary roof was built to enclose the building and in 1975 reconstruction started despite the fact that the church was in communist occupied East Berlin. The dictatorship didn't oppose the work because it brought in most welcome hard "foreign" - read West German - currency, but it did destroy the northern wing of the church, the Denkmalskirche. That part, compared by some to the Medici Chapel, had survived the war completely intact but contained a hall of honour for the Hohenzollern dynasty and the communist government couldn't live with that. The same government also ... demanded the removal of as many crosses as possible (in and on a church, imagine that). In the end the demolition and "redesign" costed 800.000 mark, while the restoration costed only 50.000 marks (they did it on the cheap, of course).

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain there has been some discussion about restoring the dome and surrounding cupolas to their original appearance, but this has not occurred due to, dixit Wikipedia, a lack of funds (capitalism and communism not being that different in that aspect).

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Bethany Plonski 1 year, 4 months ago

I like the symmetry in #3, and interesting about the removal of the crosses too.

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 4 months ago

Yeah, this town has some strange stories behind its facades.

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 4 months ago

These ones bring me back good memories

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 4 months ago

That's a nice side effect then smile

1 year, 4 months ago Edited