St Mary's Church (St-Marien-Kirche in German) lies
on the open southern side of Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse, immediately west of
Alexanderplatz. The church was designed as part of medieval Berlin's expansion
after 1250. The Gothic church underwent a major transformation in the Baroque
period in the 1700s, especially with the installation of its new pulpit. In
1893-1894 more work was undertaken, restoring some Gothic elements, which
remained undamaged by the war.
The Chapel of the Holy Spirit Hospital
(Heilig-Geist-Kapelle) is on the western side of Spandauer strasse,
on the south-western corner with Anna-Louisa-Karsch-Strasse. The stone
chapel was built from about 1250 and completed at the beginning of the
fourteenth century, serving the poor within the walls of the hospital.
Reconstruction work took place about 1520, when a star-ribbed vault was
installed. Today the chapel is part of the Humboldt University of Berlin.
St Sophia's Church (Sophienkirche) is squeezed
between Sophienstrasse and Grosse Hamburger Strasse, overlooking
Krausnickstrasse. It was built as a parish church in 1712-1713, founded
with support from Queen Sophie Louise (1685-1735), the third wife of
Frederick I of Prussia, for a congregation which wanted its own church
instead of having to use the thirteenth century St George's Church
(in Alexander Platz, destroyed during the war and demolished in 1950).
The New Synagogue (Neue Synagoge) is on the
northern side of Oranienburgerstrasse, midway between Krausnickstrasse
and Tucholskystrasse. It was built in 1859-1866, the largest building
of its kind in Berlin. Its splendid eastern Moorish style and resemblance
to the Alhambra made it an architectural wonder. It was demolished during
the Second World War and completely reconstructed in 1988-1995. Today it
is permanently patrolled by guards.
St John the Evangelist Church (St Johannes
Evangelist Kirche) is on the northern side of Auguststrasse, close to
the junction with Oranienburger Strasse, to the north of Mitte. The
church was designed by Max Spitta and built in 1898-1900 in the neo-Romanesque
style, following the 1856 creation of a parish here from part of that of St
Sophia (see above), and the building of a temporary chapel. After the war,
its depleted congregation was parcelled out to the other local churches.
Golgotha Church (Golgathakirche) is on the
eastern side of Borsigstrasse, midway along the southern section of
the street. Otherwise known as Calvary Church, it was built
near the old city wall in 1867, which was torn down at the same time
during a period of rapid industrial expansion. Designed by Karl Friedrich
Schinkel, it was a western sister to St Elizabeth's Church in the east
of the district (below). In 1877 it gained its own parish and was
entirely rebuilt in 1897.
The Catholic Church of St Adalbert
(St-Adalbert-Katholisches-Kirche) sits between Linienstrasse
(the main entrance) and the southern side of Torstrasse, opposite
Bergstrasse (the rear entrance). The Grade II listed building was
designed by the architect Clemens Holzmeister and the church was
opened in 1934, following the creation of its parish in 1927.
Initially services were held in a nearby school. The church is a
daughter of the Sacred Heart Church (below).
St Elisabeth's Church (St-Elisabeth-Kirche)
occupies a green and leafy site on the inside of the curving
Elisabethkirchstrasse. The church was built in 1835 by Karl Friedrich
Schinkel, on a commission by King Friedrich Wilhelm III (1797-1840).
Designed in the 'antique style', it was one of five churches by Schinkel.
It was renovated in 1935 for the centenary, but in 1945 it was hit by an
incendiary bomb and completely burned out. Reconstruction work took place
The Zion Church (Zionskirche) is hemmed in by
close trees at the centre of a square which is bisected by Zionkirchstrasse
and Griebenowstrasse. The church was built for this working class neighbourhood
with very little money, the work aided by donations from Prussia's military
victories. Completed in 1863-1873, the funds for the sixty-seven metre tall
tower were donated by William I. The church was always packed for services
but it was locked up for a time under the GDR.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Katholische
Kirchen Gemeinde Herz Jesu) is on the leafy western side of Fehrbelliner
Strasse, midway between Schönhauser Allee and Christinenstrasse. The church
was built in the Lower Saxon, Roman and early Christian Byzantine style, with
construction starting in 1897, and taking sixteen months under Christoph Hehl,
a professor of medieval architecture. The great bell tower is forty-eight
metres high. The organ was built in 1899.