Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, built in the 1890s, is undoubtedly one of Berlin's most famous landmarks.
Restored several times, today's ruined tower on Kurfürstendamm is now a symbol of the city risen from ruins as well as a significant memorial against war and destruction.
Read this guide to find out everything you need to know before your visit, such as visitor information, the history of the church and much more.
Things to do at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Standing on Breitscheidplatz in the heart of the City-West, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was destroyed during the bombing of Berlin in World War II; only parts of the tower remained.
Being a war memorial, the ruins of the tower were left as they were, and so, since its reconstruction, the church harmoniously combines old and new, history and architecture.
Today, visitors can explore the following:
1. Discover the Church Building
After taking a good look at the neo-Romanesque facade of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church with its ruined spire, we recommend entering the modern interior of the church.
Inside you will be welcomed by a blue radiant light, caused by about 30,000 LED lights in a double glass window wall.
The Christ figure above the altar catches everyone's eye. Also noteworthy is the Karl Schuke organ, consisting of about 5,100 pipes, the martyr's cross and the drawing "Stalingrad Madonna" by Kurt Reubers, which commemorates the suffering caused by war.
- Tip: Visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church best after dark. The illuminated ruin exudes a very special ambience.
2. Visit the Hall of Remembrance
Be sure to also visit the Hall of Remembrance in the Old Tower, which was inaugurated in 1987 and serves as a memorial against the war and a symbol of reconciliation.
You can view an exhibit on the history of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and learn more about its eventful past.
As you enter the entrance hall, look out for the mosaics and reliefs, some of which are well-preserved and refer to the master builder Wilhelm I, among others. Don't miss the Coventry Cross of Nails to the right of the statue of Christ, formed from the nails of the burned roof beams of Coventry Cathedral.
Listen to the chimes that ring every hour on the hour. It is located in the old tower and the motif was composed by Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia.
3. Attend a Church Service
Visitors who wish to attend a church service or devotional can do so.
- Church services are on Sundays and 10 am and 6 pm, and evening music is every Saturday at 6 pm.
- Short services are daily at 1 p.m. Intercessory prayer is every Thursday at 6 p.m.
More details and current dates can be found
4. Concerts & Other Events
Concerts are held regularly at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, including organ recitals, piano recitals, performances by instrumental ensembles, and jazz and gospel concerts. You can find the current dates
Especially worth mentioning is the summer night jazz experience IN SPIRIT, which is performed on Thursdays at 9 pm during the summer.
- The current program with all other events can be found
5. Christmas Market
Every winter during Advent, Breitscheidplatz in front of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is home to a Christmas market.
In fact, it is one of the largest Christmas markets in Berlin.
Entrance, Tickets & Tours for the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin
- Entrance: The church is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Hall of Remembrance is open daily from noon to 6 p.m. Note that tours of the church are not available during services, and concerts. More here.
- Tickets: Admission to the church is free.
- Tours: Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church offers regular, public tours of the church, church perimeter and the Hall of Remembrance. Details can be found
- Traveler's Tip: If you want to discover these and other highlights of the German capital in a flexible way and on your own, we recommend the audio guide app
Berlin - The Sightseeing Tour by YourMobileGuide.
How to get to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin?
Alexanderplatz: The fastest way is to take the S-Bahn (S3, S5, S7 or RE1), which will take you to the stop "Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten". From there you walk for about 6 minutes. It is easier, but also slower, to take bus 100 or 200, which stops directly at Breitscheidplatz after 15 stops.
Potsdamer Platz: Get on the bus 200 at "Varian-Fry-Str" station and go six stops to "Breitscheidplatz" station.
FAQ about the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is located at Breitscheidplatz, next to Kurfürstendamm, in the heart of the City-West. The address is: Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin
In 1943, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was destroyed by a bombing raid during the bombing of the city of Berlin in World War II. Only parts of the tower remained.
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was built in the neo-Romanesque style from 1891 to 1895.
The reconstruction of the church was commissioned to Egon Eiermann, who built the new building in the modernist style in 1957 and 1961.
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, destroyed in the war, was supplemented between 1957 and 1961 by a four-part building ensemble. Berliners were quick to nickname the octagonal nave and the new bell tower "Lipstick and Powder Box".
Another nickname is "hollow tooth", referring to the ruined tower.
History & Facts about the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was built from 1891 to 1895 by architect Franz Schwechten. It was commissioned by Emperor Wilhelm II, who wanted to create a religious memorial in honor of his grandfather Wilhelm I. The church tower, at 113 meters, was the tallest structure in the city at the time, and the interior was magnificent with many mosaics and murals.
In November 1943, during the Second World War, the church was destroyed by bombing. The house of worship was rebuilt between 1957 and 1961 according to designs by Egon Eiermann and supplemented by a four-part building ensemble (nave, steeple, chapel and foyer). Berliners were quick to nickname the octagonal nave and the new bell tower "Lipstick and Powder Box".
The ruined tower has housed a Hall of Remembrance since 1987, which was inaugurated to celebrate Berlin's 750th anniversary. Today, the structure is both a place of worship and a memorial, making it one of Berlin's most important attractions.
Contact & Map
- Address: Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin, Germany.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Public Transport: Bus 100 or 200 to "Breitscheidplatz".