The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was built in the 1890s under direction of Kaiser Wilhelm II to honour his grandfather Kaiser Wilhelm I. It is one of Berlin’s famous landmarks, now more so for its ruins as it was largely destroyed by bombs in 1943 (World War II). A newer church was built on the grounds in the 1960s – an octagon of steel, reinforced concrete, and a grid of blue stained glass windows (picture below links to source).
It is a quite familiar sight to me as on school trips to the zoo, the Europa Center, or Ka De We, we would pass by it. We also held school church services there but I’m not sure if those were Easter or Christmas celebrations. On one occasion, the destination was to the church itself – the blue church – where we made paintings of the huge brass figure of Christ at the altar. Mine is back in Ghana, hopefully intact.
Today, the entire old church has been covered up for restoration so that was a disappointment. However the area is still quite lively being in the center of the shopping district.
I went into the the Gedenkhalle (Memorial Hall) in the base of the old church which documents the history of the church and still contains some of the original mosaics and liturgical objects. This was a surprise to me.
Also of interest were the paintings and pictures of the old church which showed that the majority of the church was indeed bombed out. All this time, I thought the old church consisted only of the tower and that “the ruins” was the damaged roof.
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