Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Berlin: Renewal (repost)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's New Year's Day and what's more appropriate than the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin to inspire thoughts on renewal and rising from the rubble.  This 19th century church was badly damaged during the war and the spire was kept as a memorial to the destruction of war while the new church was built adjacent to it in 1963.  What a beautiful and meaningful idea!  The new chapel is quite spectacular with the millions of pieces of broken stained glass from the old church reframed to form the backdrop for the altar.  

We also earlier stumbled upon the ruins of another church near Alexanderplatz, the Church of the Franciscan Monastery, a beautiful gothic structure from the mid-13th century, one of the oldest buildings in Berlin.  This too was damaged during the war and kept in its ruined state, although it is being used as backdrop for arts and cultural events.  There is something about seeing ruins in the middle of the busy city centre that caught one by surprise and created an even more dramatic impact!  

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

The new chapel

Ruins of the Church of the Franciscan Monastery with the TV tower nearby

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