A dramatic reminder of World War II's destruction, the ruined bell tower is all that remains of this once massive church, which was completed in 1895 and dedicated to the emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm I. The Hohenzollern dynasty is depicted inside in a gilded mosaic, whose damage, like that of the building, will not be repaired. The exhibition revisits World War II's devastation throughout Europe. On the hour, the tower chimes out a melody composed by the last emperor's great-grandson,
the late Prince Louis Ferdinand von Hohenzollern. In stark contrast to the old bell tower (dubbed the "Hollow Tooth"), which is in sore need of restoration now, are the adjoining Memorial Church and Tower, designed by the noted German architect Egon Eiermann and finished in 1961. These ultramodern octagonal structures, with their myriad honeycomb windows, have nicknames as well: the "Lipstick" and the "Powder Box." Brilliant, blue stained glass designed by Gabriel Loire of Chartres, France dominates the interiors. Church music and organ concerts are presented in the church regularly, which is slated for restoration in the near future.
May 24, 2005
This reminder of the bombing of Berlin adds a sober moment to the otherwise dynamic experience of the Ku-Damm. The commercial center of former West Berlin, the Memorial Church show both sides of the Berlin spirit - from defeat to triumph with the old and new parts of the church as reminders of both.