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

French Cathedral Berlin Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Address: Gendarmenmarkt 7, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Phone: 030 52680210

Official Website: French Cathedral Berlin

French Cathedral Berlin Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating We did not go inside the church, but instead climbed up to take in the view. This was €6 each and definitely worth it. There are a lot of stairs and there is no lift available, so this would not suit you if you have mobility issues. However, the view from the top is beautiful.
Beth K - 3 months ago

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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 - 5 months ago

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5 Star Rating It is a must-visit - the French Cathedral stands proudly on Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt square. Built in the early 18th century, it's a key French Protestant church in Germany. Inside, marvel at the altar, pulpit, and stained glass windows. Plus, there's a museum telling the story of the Huguenots who found sanctuary in Berlin. Whether you're into history, architecture, or simply seeking serenity, this cathedral offers a rich glimpse into Berlin's cultural tapestry.
Axel - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating It is a very beautiful cathedral. I was not able to visit the inside, as there was a renovation of the area around it, but from the outside it is majestic. A lot of details and an interesting architectural style
traveling_and_inspiration traveling_and_inspiration - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating Amazing church with hundreds of years of history. The 400 steps up for an outside view of the city is worth it but take your time.
karl krause - a week ago

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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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