»  Information for
»  Information for Visitors | Facts about the church

General information about the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church The Towers
The Bells The New Church
The adjoining buildings

General information about the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

The foundation-stone of the old church was laid on March 22nd, 1891.
(Emperor Wilhelm I´s birthday)
September 1st, 1895 (Sedan Day): opening of the old church. Architect: Schwechten.
Damaged on December 23rd, 1943 and completely destroyed in  air-raids in April 1945 The foundation-stone of the new church was laid on May 9th, 1959
Topping-out ceremony: December 16th, 1960
Consecration of the bells: July 19th, 1961
Consecration of the new church: December 17th, 1961,
by Bishop Otto Dibelius
Architect: Prof. Dr. Egon Eiermann, Karlsruhe
Completion of the Foyer and Chapel in December 1963

The Towers
Height of the old tower before destruction 113 m
Height of the old tower after destruction 71 m
Height of the new tower 53 m
Height of the cross at the top of the new tower, 2,5 m - including the mast, 8 m.
The Bells
6 bells hang in the new tower cast in bronze by  Rincker Bros. in Sinn (Dillkreis).The biggest bell weighs 5.600 kg. The bells have a total weight of 17.000 kg. The inscription on the great bell is: "Your cities are burned with fire? (Isaiah 1,7)
"But my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished? (Isaiah, 51,6)

The chime in the old tower was composed by Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. It can be heard every full hour.
The New Church

The walls
A double shell is a characteristic element of the new church. Both walls are constructed  to the same pattern: prefabricated concrete pieces fitted to a steel framework. The honeycomb-like tracery is combined with stained glass. Between the inner and outer walls is a 2.15 m cavity in which lamps are installed, emitting their light to the inside and the outside when darkness falls. This construction was chosen to keep out traffic noise. The new tower is similarly constructed, but with a single wall. The walls of the church and the new tower contain altogether 21.334 panes of stained glass, designed by the French artist Gabriel Loire of Chartres.

The interior
Maximum seating capacity is over 1000 when the curtains are open. The church is 35m wide with a floor area of about 1,000 square metres. The height of the church is 22m.

The floor
The floor of the church is composed of round, partly glazed and unglazed ceramic slabs of different sizes and colours.

The Baptismal Font
The baptismal font is made of aluminium and is filled with pebbles of Carrara marble. It was created by the Becker Co. at Sinn.

The Organ
The Organ was built at the Schuke workshop in Berlin-Lichterfelde. It is a mechanical organ with four manuals and one pedal keyboard and an electric stop. 63 stops serve about 5,100 pipes ( among them 170 Spanish trumpets).

The statue of Christ
Above the altar is suspended the figure of Christ. This sculpture, donated by Bishop Dr. Dibelius and created by the Munich artist Karl Hemmeter, is worked  in tombac, a special kind of brass with a high copper content. Height: 4.60 m; weight: 300 kg.
The statue shows the resurrected Christ, in the form of a cross with His  hands lifted in blessing.

The Martyrs? Memorial
A crucifix from Spain commemorates the Protestant martyrs under the Nazi regime, donated by Bishop Dr. Otto Dibelius on the 20th anniversary of the 20th June 1944 revolt.

The Stalingrad Madonna
The Stalingrad (Volgograd) Madonna, drawn in 1942 by Kurt Reuber, reminds us of the war with its suffering and the death of hundreds of thousands of soldiers on  both sides. Copies can be seen in a chapel of Coventry Cathedral and in the Russian Orthodox church in Volgograd.

The Memorial Hall 
The church is  named after Wilhelm I. who can be seen in the well-preserved mosaics in the vestibule of the old church. Today it is also a war memorial, represented by historical illustrations of the church and the theme of reconciliation. This is symbolised by the crucifix from the altar of the old church, by the Cross of Nails from Coventry and the icon cross of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The adjoining buildings
The Foyer
The foyer lies to the west of the new church - towards Kantstrasse. In the basement there is an assembly area. The upper level offers rooms for discussions, information, social counselling, mission events or for reading.

The Chapel
The chapel stands to the north-east behind the old tower. It seats about 100 persons and was originally intended for christening ceremonies and weddings.
Nowadays it is also used for children´s and family services.