Gendarmenmarkt in the Mitte district is arguably Berlin's most beautiful square. It is the site of three impressive buildings: The German and the French Cathedral and Schinkel's Konzerthaus.

  • Gendarmenmarkt© dpa
  • Gendarmenmarkt© dpa
    German Cathedral at Gendarmenmarkt
  • Gendarmenmarkt Berlin© dpa
    Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin: Konzerthaus (right) and German Cathedral (in front) - view from the observation deck of the French Cathedral.

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The Gendarmenmarkt is arguably Berlin's most magnificent square. It is best known for the architectural trio composed of the German and French cathedrals (Deutscher und Französischer Dom) and Schinkel's Konzerthaus (concert hall) which together form one of the most stunning ensembles in Berlin. The "domes" refer to the domed tower structures erected in 1785 by architect Carl von Gontard. They were mainly intended to add stature and grandeur to the two buildings.

Gendarmenmarkt: Name derives from Prussian regiment of Huguenots soldiers

The square dates back to 1700, part of King Friedrick I's plan for Friedrichstadt, an emerging new quarter of Berlin, where the recently expelled French Protestants or Huguenots had settled following the Edict of Potsdam in 1685 which granted them asylum in the Prussian capital. The name is in fact of French origin as "Gens d'arms", which was a Prussian regiment consisting of Huguenots soldiers.

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  • Gendarmenmarkt Berlin© dpa
  • Weihnachtsmarkt am Gendarmenmarkt© dpa
    Gendarmenmarkt zur Weihnachtszeit
  • Classic Open Air 2014© dpa
    Classic Open Air auf dem Gendarmenmarkt

French and German Cathedral at Gendarmenmarkt

Since its full restoration completed in 1994, the French Church (Französischer Dom) houses the Huguenot museum. In the German Dome rebuilt in the 1980s and restored in 1996 it is possible to visit a permanent exhibition on the history of the German Parliament. The statue of Friedrich Schiller by Reinhold Begas set in the square's centre in 1871 was another victim of the Nazis purges. It was returned to East Berlin in 1988 after a long exile in the other half of the city.

Gendarmenmarkt: Location of one of Berlin's most popular Christmas markets

Gendarmenmarkt is also a great place to wander around and soak in the atmosphere. Some of Berlin's most glamorous hotels and restaurants are in this part of town. Now part of re-built Mitte, it has become a lively urban space with its frequent performances at the concert hall. A lively Christmas market and ice rink opens for the entire festive season from the first of Advent to the New Year.

Gendarmenmarkt Information


Gendarmenmarkt 1
10117 Berlin

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Ein Mann fotografiert bei sonnigen Wetter das Brandenburger Tor
© dpa

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| Last edited: 14. February 2020