Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche
The old church was built between 1891 and 1895 according to plans by Franz Schwechten.
Mosaics inside the church showed the life and work of Emperor Wilhelm I. During World War II, the church was destroyed during a British RAF bombing raid in 1943. The only remainder of the old building is the ruin of the belfry, which is also called German: der Hohle Zahn ("the hollow tooth").
After the war, from 1951 to 1961, a new church was built right next to the site of the old one. the new church was designed by Egon Eiermann.
The new church has a cross made of nails from the old Coventry Cathedral, destroyed by German Luftwaffe bomb attacks in what was called the Coventry Blitz. It was consecrated on May 25, 1962, the same day as the new Coventry Cathedral. Both churches were built next to the ruins of the old building, which were kept as reminders of the horrors of war.
As well as the Coventry cross, the Gedächtniskirche has a cross of the Russian Orthodox Church and a design known as the Stalingrad Madonna by Lieutenant Kurt Reuber, created in December 1942 in Stalingrad (now Volgograd), as symbols of peace between the three countries that were once at war.
In December 2007, Charles Jeffrey Gray, a former British pilot who carried out World War II bombing raids over Germany, joined a campaign to rescue the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church from decay. After reading about the condition of the Church, Gray contacted Wolfgang Kuhla, the chairman of the church's advisory board, asking for its tower be restored. A fund was launched to help raise the costs of its repair.
Related pages[change | change source]
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche.|
- Google Maps Aerial View
- Stalingrad Madonna history by Heinz Schroeter
- Stalingrad Madonna Sermon Archived 2006-05-23 at the Wayback Machine