The Protestant Berlin Cathedral on Museum Island in the Mitte district is Berlin's largest church and one of the major sights in the city center.
The mighty Berlin Cathedral in the heart of the city is impossible to miss thanks to its striking dome. A visit to the cathedral is not only a must-see for every architecture lover because of its richly decorated outside and inside - after climbing up to the dome, visitors are offered an amazing view over Berlin's city center with the Spree River, the Lustgarten and Museum Island.
The Berlin Cathedral is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful churches in the city and impresses with beautiful decorations outside and inside. Special attention is paid to the baptismal and wedding church, the Imperial staircase, the Hohenzollern Crypt, the Cathedral Museum and the impressive dome. The Hohenzollern Crypt is one of the most important dynastic burial places in Germany. The crypt contains 90 burials from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The Imperial staircase is one of the most magnificent parts of the Berlin Cathedral - after the chancel, of course. The panoramic view from the dome is very popular with visitors. Once the 270 steps have been climbed, a wonderful view opens up over Berlin's Mitte district with the TV tower, the Spree River and the Nikolai Quarter.
History of the Berlin Cathedral
The history of the Berlin Cathedral goes back to the Middle Ages, when in 1465 the construction of an upper parish and cathedral church on the Spree Island was begun. In 1747, Frederick the Great had a baroque church with a tambour dome built by the master builder Johann Boumann the Elder. The building was renovated inside and outside about 70 years later by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the classicist style. After several small further renovations, Emperor Wilhelm II decided that the Berlin cathedral was no longer magnificent enough for him in its previous appearance. In 1894, he decided to accept the design of the cathedral's master builder Julius Carl Raschdorff, which envisaged the demolition of the old cathedral. The new cathedral was to be the answer to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Thus, the former court and cathedral church of the Hohenzollern dynasty was rebuilt under Emperor Wilhelm II between 1894 and 1905.
Restoration of the Berlin Cathedral
During the Second World War, the Berlin Cathedral was severely damaged. A liquid fire bomb turned the main nave and the Hohenzollern crypt into ruins. The reconstruction of the church first 30 years later, during GDR times. The exterior work was completed in 1983, the interior work was finished in 2002 with the ceremonial unveiling of the eighth and last dome mosaic.
Architecture of the Berlin Cathedral
The Berlin Cathedral as a central building in the Baroque-influenced Italian High Renaissance style was divided into three parts from the very beginning. The building originally consisted of the sermon church, the baptismal and wedding church, and the memorial church, which no longer exists today. The dome of the cathedral was flanked by four corner towers and rose a good 114 meters above street level. Inside, the cathedral was decorated with extensive New Testament and Church Reformation elements.
- Opening Hours
- Monday to Saturday: 10 AM to 5 PM
Sunday: 12 noon to 5 p.m.
No visitation during church services or events
- Barrier-free access to the left of the main portal
- Admission Fee
9 Euro, reduced fee 7 Euro
- Book Tickets for Adults oder
- Please Note
- Due to renovation work, it will not be possible to visit the Hohenzollern Crypt until the beginning of 2024.
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Last edited: 3 January 2023