Deutscher Dom

Deutscher Dom is often referred to as Berlin's New Church. This has something to do with the fact that it was largely rebuilt in the latter part of the 1900s. The older version fell victim to fire during WWII bombing campaigns and had a history that dated back to the early 1700s. Thankfully, the rebuilding process produced a beautiful structure that deserves a look while in the German capital. Much of the stone exterior was actually salvaged, and this lends historical and architectural appeal.

The first church to stand on the site of Deutscher Dom was built between the years of 1701 and 1708. Later in the 1780s, a modification project was undertaken and Deutscher Dom got a makeover. This project, which included the addition of a domed tower, took a nearby landmark into consideration. The architect's aim was to create a setting that resembled the Piazza del Popolo in Italy's capital city of Rome. The nearby landmark, for those who are wondering, is the domed tower that is found adjacent to the French Church (which looks just about identical).

As for interesting historical facts that relate to the older version of Deutscher Dom, the coffins of more than 100 Berlin residents who had perished during the March Revolution were displayed outside the church's northern side during a somber ceremony on March 22, 1848. After a prayer service, scores of people accompanied the coffins of the dead as they were carried to their graves. The famous nineteenth-century German artist Adolph Menzel depicted the scene in a painting titled Aufbahrung der Marzgefallenen. This painting can be found at the Kunsthalle Museum in Hamburg.

The Deutscher Dom church may have been largely destroyed, though it appears much as it did prior to the WWII bombings thanks to the ultimate restoration project. It stands proudly on the Gendarmenmarkt, a major square in Berlin, and the also-restored French Church (Franzosischer Dom) is across the square from it. The Konzerthaus Berlin, which is a renowned concert hall, is just one more structure that visitors will find on the Gendarmenmarkt, and at the heart of it all is a statue of the famous German poet, Friedrich Schiller. As for Deutscher Dom's current role, it is now a German history museum. Political history is the main focus, and audio guides are available in English for those who wish to take an informative tour.

Before Deutscher Dom visitors step inside to learn about the history of Germany, they might take some time to admire the church's exterior. The style is baroque, therefore the edifice is quite ornate and beautiful. During the October to April period, the hours for the Deutscher Dom museum are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. May through September, the closing hour changes to 7 p.m. There is no admission fee.

Anyone who is interested in adding another German Cathedral Berlin experience to their Germany vacation itinerary will want to keep the nearby Berliner Dom in mind. Originally constructed in the 1700s, this cathedral originally had a baroque design and was given a neoclassical update in the 1820s. The interior is also quite amazing and merits a step inside. The best interior views arguably being enjoyed from the Dome Gallery. Some 270 steps lead up to this prime viewing area.

Also worth highlighting when it comes to the Berliner Dom are the church's fascinating 7,000-pipe organ, its stunning stained-glass windows, its more somber crypt, and its ornate wall altar. Visitors might notice that the altar, which was created by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, features small statues depicting all twelve apostles. As for the crypt, it houses the tombs of Prussian royals. There is a fee to enter this cathedral, and visitors might try to align their visits with one of the organ concerts. These musical events are held throughout the year, with Saturday evenings being the most popular concert time.

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