The ‘Gendarmenmarkt’

Source:         Photographer: Andreas Agne

bigger map view

The Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most famous places in all of Berlin. Its origins date back to the year 1688, when it was first created in accordance with designs of J.A. Nering. However at this time, the square was not known as the ‘Gendarmenmarkt’, rather was named the ‘Lindenmarkt’.

The square first received its present day name in the years 1736-1782 when it was used to house stables for a Cuirassier Regiment. This regiment had the name ‘gens d’arms’ from which the term ‘Gendarmen’ was ultimately derived. Following this time, the square was first uniformly cultivated, the plans for which were delivered by the architect Georg Christian Unger.

Main attractions surrounding the Gendarmenmarkt include the German Cathedral, the French Cathedral and the Berlin Concert Hall. Unfortunately the entire square and its surrounding building were seriously damaged during the Second World War. After the war it was swiftly rebuilt however was initially renamed ‘Academy Square’. Only after the reunification of Germany in 1991, was the name changed back to its original name ‘Gendarmenmarkt’.

In any case the previously mentioned buildings surrounding the ‘Gendarmenmarkt’ are well worth a visit. Both the French and German Cathedrals were built beginning from the year 1701, with the German Cathedral taking until 1708 before it was finally completed, whilst the French Cathedral was completed by 1705. The first name to be given to the French Cathedral was ‘French Friedrichsstadtkirche’. In the years 1780-1786 the church was extended with an imposing tower, following on from which it was renamed the ‘French Cathedral (‘Französischer Dom’). In the Second World War the cathedral was almost completely destroyed and only rebuilt to its original design in the 1970’s

The German Cathedral was also initially built as a simple church, however was complemented in the years 1780-1785 with a domed tower. It too was also almost completely destroyed during the Second World War and then subsequently required decades of work to be rebuild.

In the nineties it was restored whereupon the German Cathedral was finally reopened in 1996.

The third magnificent building around the Gendarmentmarkt is the Berlin Concert Hall – also known as ‘Play house’. Initially the ‘Nationaltheatre’ built in the years 1800-1802, stood in its place. This was however almost totally destroyed by a devastating fire in 1817 and was consequently demolished. The new building erected in its place was then given the name of ‘Concert hall’. Even this building did not escape its fate and was almost razed to the ground in World War II. It was only able to reopen in 1984 after restoration work, which had begun in 1979. Meanwhile it serves only as a concert hall, rendering the older name of ‘playhouse’ as incorrect.

[ © Copyright by | Berlin Sightseeing - Tourist Attractions, Tipps and Information about Berlin]

nach oben | Home | Sitemap | Imprint