The Berlin Cathedral is an iconic landmark standing between the museums of Museum Island. Its striking facade, as well as the crypts, organ, and huge domed roof make the ‘Berliner Dom’ an attractive place to visit when in Berlin.
Berlin Cathedral. Image Phil Hoare, via Flickr
The Berlin Cathedral was built and destroyed a number of times before the building that we can see today was finally established. It was built as a Catholic chapel in 1451, then later became a church college, and was razed and rebuilt as a Lutheran church by the Prussian kings in 1894. It was destroyed again in World War II, and today’s building was only completed in 1993. Today, the cathedral functions as an Evangelical church, with prayers twice a day, and is one of the most visited sites in Berlin.
Once in the Berlin Cathedral, you can see the enormous interior with its incredible pipe organ, the huge arches and windows, and the baptismal and matrimonial chapels. Downstairs, under the main church hall, is the Hohenzollern Crypt, a spooky hall containing over ninety coffins of the royal family, in a variety of styles: some Gothic, some simple wood, some velvet. The crypt was damaged together with the rest of the church when a bomb landed on the roof of the cathedral in 1944, and some parts of the crypt are still undergoing restoration. After the crypt, you can go up the majestic staircase up towards the roof of the Cathedral. After climbing up some 270 stairs, you’ll be rewarded with an awesome view of the city. You can see all the sites on Museum Island, as well as the synagogue, the Lustgarten, the city hall, and the Television Tower, of course.
Visiting Berlin Cathedral
Entrance to the Berlin Cathedral is 7 Euro for an adult, which goes towards the upkeep and maintenance of the site. There are discounts for children, students, and Welcome Card holders.
The Berliner Dom is open from 9am to 8pm during weekdays, and 12 noon to 8pm on Sundays. However, keep in mind that entrance is not permitted during prayers: there are usually two a day, at noon and at 6pm. Guided tours are run in English