The Zionskirche is a picturesque 19th century historic church in Berlin, Germany, and an exquisite example of the neo-romantic architectural style.
Built in 1872, the Zionskirche is representative of the Historicist movement of its time, and was incredibly important before the fall of the Berlin Wall as a meeting point for opposition groups, often lead by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Founded by German Emperor William I, the church’s tower stands 67 metres high and is a beautiful example of the neo-romantic architecture that was popular with the Prussian elite, who during 1866 were celebrating the Prussian victory over Denmark. The building’s inauguration coincided with the Prussian-France peace treaty of 1873, and so is notable for its immense historical importance.
Partially destroyed during World War Two, the building has undergone several renovations throughout its history, before being fully restored for a grand re-opening in 2002. Well-known Nazi-opposer Dietrich Bonhoeffer worked at the church between 1931 and 1932, where he taught, preached and held baptisms.
The church played a role in housing opposition groups in the 1980s and the protests that occurred here inspired radical political movements throughout the country.
Today a working church with a choir singing every Monday and Wednesday, guided tours are held on the first Sunday of every month. The church is celebrated as a patriotic landmark, which proudly stands at the highest natural point in Berlin, and as such, visitors can freely climb up the 104 steps of the church tower most Sundays for a stunning view over Prenzlauer Berg and the rest of Berlin.
A bronze monument dedicated to Bonhoeffer stands on the west side of the church, and commemorates his extensive work with the local community, in addition to his active opposition of the Nazi regime, which ultimately led to his execution.
Getting to Zionskirche
Right in the city centre and found via Berlin’s public transport, hop onto the M1 or 12 tram to find the Zionskirche at a stop of the same name.