Destination Berlin: The Berlin Cathedral

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A short walk from Museum Island stands imposing the sumptuous Berlin Cathedral, whose present appearance dates back to 1904, after that in 1894 Emperor Wilhelm II ordered the old cathedral to be demolished, too simple and classic, to make way for a dome that adequately reflected the magnitude of the Lutheran religion and the power of the royal dynasty.

In baroque style with strong influences of the Italian Renaissance, the Berliner Dom is 114 meters long, 73 wide and 116 high, dominated by a majestic copper dome. The interior is decorated with paintings depicting events of the New Testament and the period of Reform. Climbing up 270 steps, you arrive at the summit, from which enjoy a breathtaking view of Berlin.


Not even the cathedral avoided the fury of the bombing of the Second World War that severely damaged the roof so that initially it was replaced by a temporary one to preserve what was left of the building and reconstruction works began only in 1975. The cathedral was reopened in 1993, after 18 years, and today inside you can admire the main altar, dating back to 1850; the crypt of the Hohenzollern and the majestic Sauer Organ of 7000 pipes.


On the islet of the Spree, not far from the famous Museum Island, is the largest church in the German capital: the Berliner Dom, the sumptuous Italian Renaissance-style cathedral, a symbol of the Lutheran church and the Hohenzollern prestige. The church, in its present form, was built by Emperor William II and especially his wife, who thought that the then modest cathedral inadequately reflected the magnitude of the Protestant religion, or worthily represented the power of the royal dynasty. The monarchs decided thus to build the new church instead of that from the mid-1700s, that was demolished. Work began in 1894 and ended in 1905.

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The result was a church of considerable size (114 meters long, 73 meters wide and 116 meters high) marked by a tall dome covered with copper, visible from many points of the city, where the late Renaissance and Baroque merge in a gorgeous architecture inside and out.

Impressive outside and inside cradle of treasures

Badly damaged during the Second World War, the Berlin Cathedral was reopened in 1993 after 18 years of restoration and reconstruction work.

Today, the cathedral, also known as “the gateway to the Museum Island”, with its nice shape and the rich interior is one of the main attractions of the city. Help to increase the charm: the crypt with the royal tombs of many members of the Hohenzollern family, the beautiful view from the dome on the Mitte, and the concerts played on the ancient organ.


The “greatness” of the religious building is also reflected in the interior, richly decorated and embellished with items of great value. The handsome neo-Baroque altar in white marble (from the earlier church), the beautiful stained glass windows depicting scenes from the life of Jesus, the spectacular ancient organ, one of the largest in the country, the monumental sarcophagus of Frederick I and his second wife Sophie Charlotte. Not to miss the baptismal and wedding chapel, the Chapel of the preaching and the crypt of the royal family of Hohenzollern which houses 90 tombs. Catch the visitor’s eye the magnificently frescoed dome and the beautiful loggia, accessible thanks to the imperial staircase, decorated with landscape scenes.

To notice the statues at the base of the arch from which rises the dome representing the most important reformers of the church.

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Admire the view from its dome

Climbing 270 steps to reach the top of the dome where you can see up close the paintings evoking events of the New Testament and of the Reformation period. Enchanting also an enjoyable view from the dome of the historic center of Berlin and the Spree river, dotted with boats. A hard job, but the effort will be adequately rewarded.


Opening hours: Mon-Sat (09.00 AM – 08.00 PM), Sun (12.00 PM – 08.00 PM)

Admission: 7 EUR (adults), 5 (children, students)

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How to reach: Metro Friedrichstrasse (U6), Klosterstraße (U2)

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Address: Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin

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