One of the most famous landmarks of the city is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Breitscheidplatz in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg, near the Berlin Zoo, Kurfürstendamm and KaDeWe. The church was badly damaged in World War II. Today a 71 meter high tower ruin stands as a memorial against the war and is one of the top sights in Berlin. Here you can find information about the church.
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Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church | History and architecture
The construction of the church was initiated by Kaiser Wilhelm II in the years 1891–1895. This took place as a religious memorial in honor of his grandfather Kaiser Wilhelm I. The Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was built by Franz Schwechten in the neo-Romanesque style and at that time had five towers. The church tower at that time was the highest in the city at 113 meters. The church also had a magnificent interior with many mosaics and murals. The church was consecrated on September 1st, 1895.
Bells of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Memorial Church had five bells of different sizes and weights. The bells were made of bronze and were made from guns captured in the Franco-Prussian War. In the Second World War, however, they were again melted down for war purposes. Today the hexagonal bell tower has a new bell ring consisting of six bronze bells.
The church’s tower clock, which was brought up to the state of the art after the war and has illuminated clock hands, is particularly beautiful.
Destruction and reconstruction with a 71 meter high tower ruin
The Memorial Church was badly damaged in 1943 during the Second World War. For a long time there was a dispute about the reconstruction and in what form. It was agreed to preserve the 71-meter-high tower ruin as a memorial against the war and to demolish one and the nave. Instead, a new four-part building ensemble was built. This consists of a nave, the church tower, the chapel and the foyer. The German architect Egon Eiermann implemented this in the modern style from 1959 to 1963.
Characteristic for the new building are the grid walls, which consist of more than 20,000 unitary glass windows that can be illuminated with LEDs.
The church is now used for services and events, and there is also a small museum inside the old part of the church.
Church daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Memorial hall: daily from 12 noon to 5.30 p.m.
Budapester Straße 50