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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Berlin Cathedral dates back to 1465, and due to the St. Erasmus Chapel, it became a collegiate church. With the Reformation of 1539, Martin Luther changed it to a Lutheran Church and with the dissolving of the collegiate church, it was now the highest in Cölln , situated on the Spree. It became Calvinist in 1613 before the ruins were taken down in 1750 as Frederick the Great required a new Baroque building. It was converted into the building it is today in 1822 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, with the final design taking place by 1905, and the building that can be seen today is the one that was renovated after World War II. Despite being an old building, it has been modernized to the extent that there are facilities for the disabled, including a lift.
Berliner DomThe Berliner Dom is otherwise known as the ‘Hohenzollern Family Tomb’ as there are more than 90 on display including those of Frederick I and Sophie Charlotte. They have to be seen during a visit as they are outstanding and have been designed in tin and lead but are completely gold-plated.
If it is works of art that you are looking for, the Christian Daniel Rauchfont is outstanding. When it comes to the organ, this is one of the biggest in Germany and is complete with more than 7,000 pipes.
If you have the energy when you visit, the Dome should be visited as the viewing gallery gives excellent views of Mitte. The downside is that there are 270 steps to climb before you get there.
Readings and concerts are often held here, and if a visitor wants a guided tour then that can be arranged. Auto guides are available to make sure that you can understand everything about the structure and this facility is included in the price of entry.
From the outside it is hard to imagine the splendor that is inside, as although there are blue domes and a well-carved design, the building itself is brown and not overly assuming, and with a good clean, it could look even better. The cathedral is actually placed on an island on the River Spree.
If you are planning to visit, it will be best to leave somewhere in the region 1 between 1.2 hours to 2 hours to see everything and not be rushed. The stained glass windows are a sight to behold and when the sun shines through there are colors that you cannot imagine. There is a lot of information about the building around the cathedral so even without an audio guide, you should be able to find out all you wanted to know.
There is a museum inside and it is full of models and designs from when the idea of the building was first conceived. There are sculptures from the 19th century, with many of them emanating from famous artists.
There is an Imperial Staircase and it is through this that the Royal Family would be able to reach the Matrimonial and Baptismal chapels as well as to the Imperial Gallery. It is well decorated and as well as marble of a variety of colors, there is also unica – a red material that comes from the Lahn region. It is here that there are 13 paintings by Albert Hertel and they tell the story of Jesus and his parables.
The CryptIf you fancy a trip into the crypt, you will be able to see 500 years’ worth of the Brandenburg-Prussian family members’ remains. There are coffins that reflect every style dating back as far as the Gothic and materials vary from wood to stone to metal. There are some that are plain and some highly decorated while the rarest are covered in velvet or brocade.
ServicesIt is still a church that is used and it is impossible to visit when there is a service being held, and there are a number held every year:
- Monday - Saturday 12 PM: Midday Prayers
- Monday - Friday 6 PM: Evening Prayers
- Thursday 6 PM: Evensong
- Saturday 6 PM: Vespers
- Sunday and Holy Days 10 AM: Lord's Supper (with English translation)
- Taizé Prayers once a month on a Thursday evening.
- The cathedral itself is open from 9 AM to 8 PM.
Some wonder why there is a charge to enter the cathedral and the need for this is explained by the fact that the running costs are €10,000 ($12,000) a day, so with little being received from elsewhere, the fees are very much needed. After the long tour, it is nice to visit the coffee shop and have a little rest.
There is a great deal of greenery around the cathedral as well as some flowers, and while it may not be appropriate to sit and have a picnic, there is plenty of space to sit and contemplate the building and the workmanship that went into it. Boat trips go past the cathedral and it is a great way to see it from an angle which is unavailable on dry land.
Nearby, just to the rear of the cathedral is the Altes Museum which displays Roman and Greek artifacts, and across the Spree there are a number of other museums including the Interactive Museum of East German Life and a little further away, Sealife Centers.
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Author: mekwriters. Last updated: Jun 02, 2015