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Best Religious Sites in Berlin

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Throughout the centuries, many churches have stood on the location of the current Berliner Dom. The first one was erected in 1465 for the reigning royal family, the Hohenzollern, and was little more than a chapel at that time. In 1747, it was replaced by a Baroque cathedral designed by Johann Boumann, before being transformed once again in 1822 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Today's Dom was built between 1894 and 1905 during King Wilhelm II's reign. Almost completely destroyed in World War II, the Berliner Dom remained a ruin until restoration work finally began in 1973. Some of the cathedral's highlights include the mosaics covering the cupola, the crypt, the altar and the altar windows. The Dom also enshrines over 80 members of the Hohenzollern family. Those visiting must take a look at the Sauer organ within the cathedral, one of the largest in Germany, and take in the views from the roof promenade.

Built on the site of Berlin's oldest church, the Nikolaikirche today is still the site of regular services, but also houses a museum highlighting its rich history, a tower which boasts some spectacular views, and fantastic acoustics, which are a boon when it hosts musical acts. This attraction is also worth a visit for its Medieval architecture and twin green spires.

Built in the late 19th century in honor of Kaiser Wilhelm I, the once magnificent, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche was gutted by fire after a British air-raid in November 1943. The only parts left standing were the nave and half a spire. Nowadays, the spireless ruin and the modern chapel next door provide the city with more than just a famous landmark - they are also a poignant symbol of the senselessness of war. The 'Stalingrad Madonna' in the futuristic blue-glass chapel next to the ruin is worth a visit, as is the exhibition documenting the history of the church on Breitscheidplatz.

Opened in 1904, Rykestrasse synagogue in Berlin was built in a neo-Romanesque style by local architect Johann Hoeniger. This grand structure withstood the test of time and war and still retains much of its ornate interior. In recent years, the synagogue has witnessed a revival of sorts, establishing itself as one of the foremost centers of Jewish learning in central Europe. This unique attraction is popular among architecture and history enthusiasts. Regular tours conducted in both English and German allow a personal discovery of one of the city's most iconic religious sites.

The Franzosischer Dom (French cathedral) is an imposing structure which stands on Gedarmenmarkt, directly opposite its identical twin, the Deutscher Dom (German cathedral). It was designed in 1701 by architects Louis Cayard and Abraham Quesnay in order to serve the French community in Berlin and to serve as a religious home for the Huguenots who had fled persecution in France. The 55 meter (180 foot) tower is particularly impressive and its bells chime three times a day. The cathedral houses the Huguenot Museum, which documents the life of French protestants in Berlin during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Church services take place next-door at the Franzosische Friedrichstadtkirche.

Berlin was a multicultural city long before the Doner Kebab took over the mantle as Berlin's favourite fast food snack. Built in 1927 to cater to the city's growing Islamic community, the Berlin Mosque, located in the well-to-do district of Wilmersdorf - is a picturesque example of classic Arabic design, surrounded by sober Prussian villas. The mosque caters predominantly to Berlin's large Turkish community.

The imposing structure, with its striking golden dome makes Neue Synagoge one of Berlin's most instantly recognizable landmarks. Designed by architect Eduard Knoblauch in 1859, the synagogue was the center of Jewish life in Berlin until the the night of 9th November 1938 (Kristallnacht), when it was attacked by Nazi storm-troopers. After an Allied air raid in 1943, the synagogue lay in ruins for around 40 years after the end of the war. It was then restored and reopened as a museum of Jewish culture on the fiftieth anniversary of Kristallnacht, in 1988.

Built in 1253, this church is popular in the area for its exceptional architecture, reflective of the Gothic style. Biblical stories are depicted through the stained glass windows at this architectural marvel. Serving the christian community of Frankfurt (Oder) for over eight centuries, the church offers thematic guided tours for visitors. Some of the delightful sights inside include bronze candlesticks and ancient paintings. Architecturally-inclined travelers can definitely include this church in their itinerary of the city.

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