Berliner Dom: sing hallelujah
Martin Luther at Berliner Dom
If you think Germans are modest people that are greatly influenced by the protestant belief, think again. This church has so many colorful details and is decorated flamboyantly. Of course the Berliner Dom used to be a catholic church. Until the important German reformist Martin Luther came along. Germany changed from a catholic country into a protestant one. At least, most parts.
The Berliner Dom was built in the 15th century and its appearances changed a lot over the years. Many different building styles were used. The Berliner Dom has been gothic as well as baroque. Although it is now known as the Berliner Dom, the church got its prominent dome in 1821. In 1900 the dome had a lot of extravagant decorations. During the Second World War, like so many Berlin buildings, the church was severely damaged. After the war the Berliner Dom was renovated, but in a more simple way. The height of the Berliner Dom was altered, nevertheless it gives one a beautiful view of Berlin.
Lustgarten near Berliner Dom
At the Berliner Dom you can still spot the catholic influences in the colorful abundant walls, ceilings and statues. Take the stairs for breathtaking views of Berlin, particularly of Unter den Linden, Museumsinsel and the Lustgarten – a park in front of the Dom. It’s not only interesting to go up: the cellar is extraordinary as well. The German Kurfursten, (prince-electors) from the family the Hohenzollerns are all buried here. The cellar is open to the public.
More Berlin churches
Berlin Alexanderplatz has a lot to offer for people interested in churches. The nearby Marien kirche is a place to be if you are into old places of god. The church, built in 1292 has a very interesting and weird fresco. Disintegrated bodies that look like E.T dance with men in colorful robes on the walls of this Berlin church. The skulls on the old graves chew on their own bones.
The Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche is the symbol of the destruction of World War Two. Berlin was severely hit by bombs during the Second World War. The people of Berlin quickly started rebuilding their city, but the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche remained nearly the way it was when it was hit by a bomb. If you see how it was damaged, it is clear how devastating war is.
The Versohnungskirche in Berlin district Prenzlauer Berg was directly in the kill zone of the Berlin Wall. No matter how religious the inhabitants of the nearby Bernauer Strasse were, they could no longer pray for the Berlin Wall to go away in their district church. The church became useless and the communist government decided to blow up the Versohnungskirche.
No matter how anti-religion the GDR government was, the Zionskirche community stayed strong. Believers and non-believers came together at this Prenzlauer Berg church. Not to say prayers, but to organize peaceful demonstrations against the GDR government. What started small in this church, spread quickly, ending up in the mass demonstrations in the hot autumn of 1989.
The Nicolaikirche is one of the oldest churches of Berlin. When you stand in front of the Nikolaikirche, you can easily spot this yourself. The church has different stones with different colors, like the builders couldn’t make up their mind or argued what stones they should use. The result is fascinating, with the two sharp towers that pinch the Berlin sky.