The history of Berlin Cathedral began in the 15 th century when Pope Paul II raised a chapel in the castle to a cathedral chapter. From this time also originated the name which is still officially used today – Cathedral Church. The cathedral chapter was moved to a former Dominican church in the 16th century and after the Reformation it became a Protestant church. In the 17th century the cathedral became first the highest Parish Church, and a short time later the Reformed Court Church and Parish Church. Because of dilapidation Friedrich the Great had the cathedral pulled down in the 18th century and had a new Baroque building built where it now stands on the Spree Island.
The present Berlin Cathedral was built in the years 1894 – 1905 near the former Berlin City Palace and Park. Emperor Wilhelm II had given the orders for it. The representative building in the style of the Italian High Renaissance was not undisputed because of its splendid ornamentation and over-dimensional measurements. The building had an overall area of about 6,270 m². The length of the church was about 114 m. The dome in the middle of the church also towered up about 114 m. The church was divided into three areas: baptismal and wedding church, sermon church and monument church, where among others, the treasures and monuments of the Hohenzollerns, the Emperor’s family, were to be found. In addition the church was subdivided into three levels: the crypt, the church interior and the tower and dome level. The inner walls and outer façades were richly painted with scenes from the New Testament and from the time of the Reformation. The Hohenzollerns justified these over-dimensions with their gratitude for divine grace. In addition, Emperor Wilhelm II described the building as being the “central building of Protestantism”.
During the Second World War the cathedral was severely damaged. In 1951 it was given a makeshift roof. At that time church services took place in the crypt for safety reasons. From 1975 rebuilding started. In the dome serious changes were planned. In addition the monument church was pulled down. From 1980 the church interior was partly useable again in the part of the former baptism and wedding church. The sermon church was solemnly re-opened in 1993. The Hohenzollern Crypt has been open to the public again since 1999. It is at the crypt level of the sermon church. In 2002 the last dome mosaic was unveiled. With that the restoration is now complete.
The mosaics in the dome are representations of the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. Each mosaic is about 39 m² large and consists of about 500,000 coloured glass stones. The furnishing in the chancel originates from the previous buildings of the cathedral, the Petrus mosaic got lost in the post-war years and was brought back to Berlin in 1996. The altar windows were destroyed during the war and re-constructed in the years 1987 – 1997. The lower row of windows shows the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The upper row of windows represents the Christian conceptions of Faith, Hope and Charity.
Length: 33 cm
Width: 28 cm
Height: 32 cm
Number of sheets: 9.5
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