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Inside the new Kaiser William Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche) on Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, Germany. 
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Inside the new Kaiser William Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche) on Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, Germany.

The location of the church was decided by Kaiser William II and its title was given in honour of his grandfather Kaiser William I. The large neo-Romanesque church was consecrated in 1895. In the World War II, on the night of 23 November 1943, the church was badly damaged in an air raid. The church was largely destroyed but part of the spire and much of the entrance hall survived.

The new church, built in 1957-1961, was designed by Egon Eiermann and consists of four buildings grouped around the remaining ruins of the old church. The initial design included the demolition of the old spire but following pressure from the public, it was decided to incorporate it into the new design. The four buildings comprise, on the west of the ruins, the new church with a foyer to its west, and to the east of the ruins, a tower with a chapel to its northeast. The plan of the church is octagonal while the plan of the tower is hexagonal. These components are sited on a plateau measuring 100 metres long and 40 metres wide. The new buildings are constructed of concrete, steel and glass. The double walls of the church are made of a concrete honeycomb containing 21,292 stained glass inlays. The glass, designed by Gabriel Loire, was inspired by the colours of the glass in Chartres Cathedral. The predominant colour is blue, with small areas of ruby red, emerald green and yellow. The church is 35 metres in diameter and 20.5 metres high with a capacity of over 1,000.

Inside the church, opposite the entrance, is a 15-foot high figure of Christ which is suspended above the altar. This is made from tombak and was designed by Karl Hemmeter. The cross on the altar, by Peter Tauchnitz, is of gilt silver with 37 rock crystals. To the left of the altar is the baptismal font on a stand filled with Carrara marble which contains a majolica bowl for the holy water. To the right of the altar is an octagonal pulpit. Opposite the altar on a gallery is an organ containing about 5,000 pipes, which was built by Schuke. Plexiglas panels have been installed over the organ gallery to improve the acoustics. By the northeast wall of the church are three works of art. The first is a bronze plaque commemorating the Protestant martyrs who died during the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945. It incorporates a Spanish wooden crucifix dating from the 13th century. The plaque was placed in the church on 20 July 1964, the 20th anniversary of an attempt to assassinate Hitler. Next to this is the Stalingrad Madonna, a symbol of hope and reconciliation. This is a charcoal drawing made by Kurt Reuber during the time he was trapped outside Stalingrad at Christmas 1942. Copies of this drawing have been sent to Coventry Cathedral and the Russian Orthodox Church in Stalingrad (now Volgograd). The third item of art is an icon of the Virgin Mary from Volgograd. (Description based on a Wikipedia text).

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Budapester Strasse in the centre of former West Berlin. 
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Budapester Strasse in the centre of former West Berlin.

In the middle of Breitscheidplatz you can see the old and new Kaiser William Memorial Church.
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Niederkirchnerstrasse in Berlin. 
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Niederkirchnerstrasse in Berlin.

Niederkirchnerstrasse, formerly Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, runs east-west from Wilhelmstrasse to Stresemannstrasse near Potsdamer Platz, forming the border between the districts of Mitte and Kreuzberg. It is best known for having been the location of the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS in Nazi Germany. The site is now marked by the Topography of Terror museum.

Niederkirchnerstrasse is also the site of two other Berlin landmarks, the Martin-Gropius-Bau exhibition hall, built in 1881 by Martin Gropius and Heino Schmieden as a Museum of Decorative Arts, and the Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin, from 1899 until 1933 seat of the Preussischer Landtag, the second chamber of the Prussian parliament. On January 1, 1919 the Communist Party of Germany was founded in this building. Since April 29, 1993 it houses the parliament of the Berlin city state.

The street was laid out in 1891 and named for Prince Albrecht of Prussia, son of King Friedrich Wilhelm III, who had owned a large house called Prinz-Albrecht-Palais on the corner of this street and Wilhelmstrasse. In 1905 an extension building of the Museum of Decorative Arts was erected adjacent to the Martin-Gropius-Bau on Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse 8. From May 1933 this building served as the headquarters of the Gestapo created by the order of Hermann Göring, where many political prisoners were tortured and executed. It formed the nucleus of the complex of buildings including the neighbouring Hotel Prinz Albrecht on Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse 9 and the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais itself, which was taken over by the Sicherheitsdienst of Heinrich Himmler in 1934 and developed into a centre of the Reich Security Head Office under Reinhard Heydrich for the whole of Germany and occupied Europe. The buildings were destroyed by Allied bombing in early 1945 and demolished after the war.

After World War II, in 1951, the authorities of East Berlin renamed Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse Niederkirchnerstrasse in honour of Käthe Niederkirchner (1909-1944), a member of the communist resistance to the Nazis. The Berlin Wall ran along the southern side of the street from 1961 to 1989, one of the few preserved sections is located at the eastern end. (Description based on the Wikipedia text).

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The Berlin Hi-Flyer balloon over Berlin
Inside the Roman Catholic Church of St. Hedwig on the Bebelplatz in Berlin. 
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Inside the Roman Catholic Church of St. Hedwig on the Bebelplatz in Berlin.

The church was built in the 18th century by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. The King's friend, Ignacy Krasicki, Bishop of Warmia (later Archbishop of Gniezno), officiated at the cathedral's opening in 1773. The cathedral was named after the patron saint of Silesia and Brandenburg, Saint Hedwig of Andechs, and commemorated the arrival of Roman Catholic Silesian immigrants in Brandenburg and Berlin.

After the Kristallnacht pogroms that took place over the night of 9-10 November 1938, Bernhard Lichtenberg, a canon of the cathedral chapter of St. Hedwig since 1931, prayed publicly for Jews in the evening prayer following. Lichtenberg was later jailed by the Nazis and died on the way to the concentration camp at Dachau. In 1965 Lichtenberg's remains were transferred to the crypt at St. Hedwig's.

The cathedral burned out completely in 1943 during air raids on Berlin and was reconstructed from 1952 up to 1963. (Text from Wikipedia).

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Klosterstrasse street in Berlin. 
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Klosterstrasse street in Berlin.

On the north end of the street, near Grunerstrasse, you can see the ruins of one of the oldest buildings in Berlin. It's the old Franciscan church, built in mid-13th century.
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