Berliner Dom - History and Facts | History Hit

Berliner Dom

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Berliner Dom was the royal church of the Prussian monarchy in Germany.

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About Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) is an early twentieth century cathedral built during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Constructed between 1894 and 1905, ornate and crowned with an imposing dome, Berliner Dom contains the Hohenzollern royal crypt which is the final resting place of, amongst around a hundred others, Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg.

Berliner Dom is open to the public for tours and audio guides are included in the admission price. This impressive cathedral is featured as one of our Top Ten Visitor Attractions in Germany.

History of Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom is the largest Protestant church in Germany, and one of the most important dynastic tombs in Europe.

The history of the Cathedral dates back to the 1451. Former buildings were originally part of the Berlin City Palace. In the early 19th century, leading Prussian architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel transformed the court church into a neo-classical building.

Five years later, upon Wilhelm II’s ascension to the throne in 1888, he wanted to the church to appear more elaborate, in keeping with the imperial monarchy’s power and prestige.

Architect Julius Carl Raschdorff was chosen to design the new church, with his opulent, grandiose structure equalling that of Saint Peter’s in Rome and Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London.

The old building was demolished in 1893, and the foundation stone for the new church was laid in 1894, and eleven years later in 1905, the new church was consecrated.

The church was severely damaged during the Second World War. After the division of Germany, the Cathedral Church was in East Berlin. The work on restoring the church began there, in a simplified form, in 1975.

Full restoration was only completed in 1993, four years after the Berlin Wall fell.

Berliner Dom Today

Today, visitors can enjoy the church’s monumental dome, ornamental mosaics, gold features, and numerous statues. Other notable artworks within the church include the marble and onyx altar, designed by Friedrich August Stüler, and the white marble baptismal font designed by Christian Daniel Rauch.

Every 20 minutes there are guided tours of the Cathedral, which are included in the entrance fee.

The simpler Baptismal and Matrimonial Chapel is also not to be missed, inviting visitors to stop and reflect. The Hohenzollern crypt is the most important dynastic sepulchre in Germany, containing nearly 100 sarcophagi and burial monuments that span five centuries.

In addition to church services, the cathedral is used for state ceremonies, concerts, and other events.

Getting to Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom is right in the middle of the city, and is reachable in around a minute by car via the B2/B5. There are also regular train, tram, and bus services around Berlin, which stop at Lustgarten. By foot, Berliner Dom is reachable in around 5 minutes via B2/B5.


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