Berlin Monument Authority  


Archeological Monuments



Dominikanerkloster, Reformationsplatz 2-4, Spandau;
remains of the Dominican monastery and burials, 13th - 15th century

Workers preparing for the new construction of the lot Reformationsplatz 3-4 in 1981 came upon the foundations of a large medieval building. These consist partially of cut boulders and bricks and extend all the way to under the building at Reformationsplatz 2 in the northwest. During excavation, the foundations were uncovered and documented. From the construction pit area between the old foundations and the sidewalk on Reformationsplatz (exhibition room in the archeological basement), around 580 graves were secured. These belonged to the previous cemetery of the St. Nikolai Church, which was used until the second half of the eighteenth century. The graves lay several layers deep (an indication of the long use of the cemetery) and in rows next to each other. While recovering the graves located deeper it became apparent that many of them were overlaid by the medieval foundations. The foundations were dated based on ceramic finds from the foundation ditches: they are from the first half of the thirteenth century. Among the oldest burials were four which contained jewelry, or, more accurately Schläfenringe ("temple rings"): Slavic pieces of jewelry which were worn on a ribbon near the temples. All of the skeletons excavated here were examined by anthropologists. The sexes and ages were determined, including any indications of illness and injury. According to the current state of archeological and historical research it is assumed that this was probably an early settlement of the Dominican order, part of which was built on the area of an older graveyard. A section of the built area, located today under the new building at Reformationplatz 5, was named the Schwarze Zelle ("black cell") after 1536 in reference to the black robes of the Dominicans. The monument may be viewed through large windows.

Admission upon registration at: +49 (0)30 3339388 (Spandau Information) or +49 (0)30 13346270 (Patron Association)