Essential Architecture-  Berlin

Kaiser Wilhelm Gedaechtniskirche (Memorial Church)

date

1890s

style

neo-Gothic

construction

stone

type

Church
  Originally built as a memorial to Kaiser Wilhelm, its bombed remains were preserved as a war memorial after WW2.
 
 
 
This neo-Gothic Protestant church was built in the 1890s by Germany's last emperor, Wilhelm II, and is dedicated to his grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm I.

On November 22, 1943, allied air raids on Berlin reduced the church and the adjoining Hohenzollern Royal Chapel to rubble. The church was not rebuilt, but preserved as a monument. Visitors can go inside and see on the ceiling figures of the patriarchs, prophets and apostles interleaved with the great and the good of the German Empire at the end of the 19th century. All this was designed to co-opt God to the German cause, proclaiming "God is on our side". It's tempting for all regimes to do this, particularly in times of war and conflict. The preservation of the church as a monument is a warning against the danger of making God in our own image.

The modern tower to the left of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche is the new church, dedicated to peace.

links

 
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