Versohnungskirche: church in the killzone
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.
First, the people from West Berlin were no longer able to use the entrance and their church. Later on, it also became closed for the religious people from East Berlin. The church was on Bernauer Strasse, and as you can see if you walk along this street and spot the cobbles that mark where the Berlin Wall used to be, the church was surrounded by the Berlin Wall.
The church became useless and the communist government decided to blow up the Versohnungskirche. By blowing up the Versohnungskirche in 1985 the church became a symbol of the brutalities that happened during the Cold War. Nobody got hurt by blowing up the Versohnungskirche, but a lot of people on both sides of the Berlin Wall felt the destruction of the church was unnecessary.
After the Berlin Wall fell, the church community got their groundrights back. They decided to not to build a new church on the same spot, but a Kapelle der Versohnung, in English: a chapel of reconciliation. It is a round building with lots of iron bars. Some bars are missing where a cross appears. The old churchbells, a heavily damaged altar and a cross from the blown up Versohnungskirche have gotten a new place at the chapel.
More Berlin Churches:
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 is damaged, it is clear how devastating war is.
There is no better place to sing hallelujah than at the Berliner Dom. This large church close to Unter den Linden is Berlin’s most prominent church. If you think Germans are modest people that are greatly influenced by the protestant belief, think again. This church has many colorful details. Berliner Dom used to be a catholic church. Until reformist Martin Luther came along.
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 Nikolaikirche 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.
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.