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

Some attractions may have reduced hours or be closed due to COVID-19. Please verify opening hours with the attraction before visiting.

5 Star Rating Loved this huge market- we went two or three times. It was packed every time. In the shadow of the Konzerthaus, there was even an indoor section at this... Read More

Tiffany B. Jul-16-2020

4 Star Rating This is a nice square in Berlin. It's the epicenter of three iconic and historic buildings and often has cute markets. There are stalls for German food,... Read More

Nicole E. Feb-12-2020

5 Star Rating In A Nutshell: -Gendarmenmarkt is an awesome Christmas Market in Berlin. -It's a small square situated between a couple of iconic buildings which act as... Read More

Romeo K. Jan-13-2020

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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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Interesting facts about the Gendarmenmarkt including the French Cathedral

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