Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin
The Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (in German: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, but mostly just known as Gedächtniskirche) is located in Berlin on the Kurfürstendamm in the centre of the Breitscheidplatz. The original church on the site was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. The present building, which consists of a church with an attached foyer and a separate belfry with an attached chapel, was built between 1959 and 1963. The damaged spire of the old church has been retained and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall.
Kaiser Wilhelm II decided to name the church in honor of his grandfather Kaiser Wilhelm I. The foundation stone was laid on March 22, 1891, which was Wilhelm I's birthday. The competition for the design was won by Franz Schwechten who planned for a large church to be built in neo-romanesque style, including 2,740 square meters (~8989' 6") of wall mosaic. The spire was 113 meters (370' and 8.81") in stature and the nave seated over 2,000 people.
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, urging that its tower be restored. In response, a fund was launched to help raise the costs of its repair.
- Battle of Berlin (air)
- Bombing of Berlin in World War II
- Coventry Blitz