Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

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Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
© Britta Jaschinski

The crown of the teeming ‘Ku’damm’ shopping boulevard, an artery through the former West, this church is a funny-peculiar landmark: its nickname, the ‘Broken Tooth’, is pointed. First built in 1895 as a memorial to Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia, whose troops invaded France, Austria and Denmark and forged modern Germany, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche was seriously damaged in an air raid in 1943. Rebuilding the church (1959–63) was a morale-boosting statement for newly sealed-off West Berlin. Inside the rump of the church is a glittering art nouveau-style ceiling mosaic depicting members of the House of Hohenzollern going on pilgrimage towards the cross. Here you’ll also find a cross made from the nails of the destroyed cathedral at Coventry, and photos of the church before and after the war. The new church, comprising a glass-clad tower and squat bunker, and studded with coloured glass, was nicknamed Lippenstift und Puderdose (the lipstick and the powder box). Meanwhile the jagged old tower remains a poignant symbol for Berlin; it clings on in true Berliner spirit.

Venue name: Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Contact:
Address: Breitscheidplatz
Berlin

Opening hours: Open 9am-7pm daily. Guided tours 1.15pm, 2pm, 3pm Mon-Sat.
Transport: U2, U9, S3, S5, S7, S75 Zoologischer Garten.
Price: Admission free.
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