Berlin Monument Authority  



Friedrichswerdersche Kirche

Friedrichswerdersche Kirche

Friedrichswerdersche Kirche (Friedrichswerder Church), Werderscher Markt, Mitte;
1824-30 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Beginning in 1660, the first baroque expansion of the city incorporated the "Werder", an island lying between two arms of the river Spree. It was named Friedrichs-Werder in honor of the Great Elector. Hardly any of the original structures have survived. Where the houses of Elector's officials once stood is now the address of the Foreign Ministry. Berlin's first neo-Gothic church was erected at the former Werderscher Market from 1824 to 1830 on the site of its predecessor. The conception of its architect, K. F. Schinkel, "architecture is construction", is realized fully in this structure. Its exterior is characterized by a simple, clearly ordered exterior masonry pillar structure with a double tower façade; within, Schinkel created a grandiose impression of space by means of slender, bundled pillars and elegant profiles merging into a network of vaults. Integrated timber and painting complemented by stained-glass windows contribute to the mood of this sacred space.

Since its restoration (1982-87), the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche has housed the Schinkel Museum. Works from the Berlin school of sculpture (Schadow, Rauch, Genelli), too, are displayed quite effectively in the environment of the faithfully restored interior.