During my all too brief (so planning on returning) visit to Berlin, I chose what I thought would be a good central hotel on Friederikstrasse. Not was it just a good location, it was a perfect location. I was able to walk to the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the museum there and later in the afternoon I thought I would walk in the direction of Alexanderplatz. Not because I actually knew what was at Alexanderplatz, but because I recognised the name due to all the Cold War thrillers that I had read! And that's how I came to stumble across the Berlin Cathedral, I didn't even know there was one! I don't tend to overplan when visiting a new location, I have a few places in mind and then see what I come across. I always call my first visit a reconnaissance visit, the following visits get to know the place on a deeper level as you have an idea of what's there. It's also nice to be surprised and not just have a checklist where you tick off each touristy thing recommended in guide books.
Berlin Cathedral with the monument/spire of Alexanderplatz in the background. I never made it to Alexanderplatz as I got distracted by my visit to the cathedral. It's built on an island called Museum Island, which currently has a lot of construction work going around it for the new museum complexes to be completed by 2020.
The cathedral was completed in 1905, during World War II it was damaged extensively. In 1940 the blast waves of an Allied bombing blew out the windows and in 1944 a fire bomb caused a fire in the lantern of the dome which caused it to collapse into the cathedral. Restoration work was started in 1967 by the church even though it was situated in what was then East Berlin. So what can be seen now is a mixture of restoration and original cathedral.
The altar, with other tourists all taking photos!
Looking up into the dome.
One of the side altars.
A detail of some of the carvings.
The cathedral is beautiful and well worth visiting if like me you enjoy religious buildings and their architecture. There's a crypt downstairs which holds the tombs of the various Prussian royals, and it's possible to climb up to the dome. (A lot of stairs!)
A lovely surprise on my wanderings in Berlin.