French-Cathedral-Berlin

French Cathedral at Gendarmenmarkt Square
French Cathedral at Gendarmenmarkt Square cc licensed photo by Jorge Láscar

The French Cathedral or Französischer Dom in German is not actually a church, but rather a tower topped with a dome that sits upon the French church Friedrichstadtkirche. It is still referred to as the French Cathedral in English as dom is German for cathedral.

It is best understood in context of its location opposite the German Cathedral in Gendarmenmarkt Square. These two opposing domed towers, situated on top of their respective churches, make this one of the most aesthetically beautiful squares in all Berlin.

The French church, or French Friedrichstadtkirche, was completed in 1705, to serve French Protestant refuges under the Edict of Potsdam.

Both the German and the French church had no towers when they were first built, but in 1785, Friedrich II commissioned the design and construction of the two towers. They served no function relevant to the churches, but were intended purely as an aesthetic addition to add splendor to the square. Their interiors are completely separate from the churches they sit upon.

The churches and towers were substantially destroyed during the bombing raids of the Second World War. For many decades they lay in ruin, but in 1981 reconstruction began.

The French tower, complete with viewing balustrade and carillon, opened to the public in 1987.

Due to major restorations the French Cathedral is once again closed to the public, but this type of work is necessary to maintain the splendor of these magnificent structures.

When it reopens, visitors will once again be able to climb the 284 steps to the viewing balustrade. From there you can can enjoy magnificent views of Gendarmenmarkt and the beyond.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No

Regular Hours:
May differ on holidays

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Address: Gendarmenmarkt 7, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Phone: 030 52680210

Official Website: French Cathedral Berlin

Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating This is a review of the viewing platform of the church, rather than the Huguenot Museum within the church. We visited on a cold February lunchtime and had the place to ourselves. The climb is quite easy as the stairs are wide and open so there is no feeling of being cramped. The architecture inside is as beautiful as the outside appearance and the whole building exudes elegance without extravagance. As you climb there are information boards and then eventually you reach the door to walk around the outside of the tower. As you'd expect, the views were great and it was a lovely way to spend a lunch break.
Marcus Hurley - a week ago

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5 Star Rating There are two activities in the French Cathedral (three if you count eating at the deftly named Hugo & Notte cafe). One can visit the museum to learn about Huguenotes and the church, and there is a separate ticket to go up about 280 stairs to the observation platform. The walk up to the platform is quite comfortable because it is a modern staircase with a plenty of space to rest. I'd say it is not for the people with a fear of heights, not just because, obviously, the observation platform, but also because the stairs open to the empty space inside a tall tower as you climb. It is a beautiful tower. On the platform, there are plaques showing which landmark you can see in the respective direction. The platform is fairly wide and has benches to rest on, and the cafe in fact offers picnic baskets to take upstairs. The views are phenomenal. Note that the museum ticket is separate from the observation platform.
Natalia Postrigan - 7 months ago

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4 Star Rating A beautiful piece of architecture. This church is located next to Gengarmenmarkt. The reception is free to visit but it costs 6,5 euros to get up to the dome. I think it's worth it because you get a panoramic view over the city and it is not packed with tourists.
Anas Alsayed - 8 months ago

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5 Star Rating Excelent Experience and Amazing Show and Great Professional Performance 🫶
William Vallejos - 2 weeks ago

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5 Star Rating Really excellent place to visit - fascinating building and great views.
Chris G - 5 months ago

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Directions

How to get to French Cathedral Berlin by U-Bahn, S-Bahn or Tram

Nearest U-Bahn, S-Bahn or Tram Line(s): U6, U2
Nearest U-Bahn, S-Bahn or Tram Station(s): U Französische Str. , U-Bhf Hausvogteiplatz

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