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"Breathtaking Agglomeration of Fantastic Buidlings" Top 5 Page for this destination Gendarmenmarkt Tip by Kakapo2

Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin: 68 reviews and 144 photos

  Gendarmenmarkt, French Dome in the background.
by Kakapo2
  • Gendarmenmarkt, French Dome in the background. - Berlin
      Gendarmenmarkt, French Dome in the background.
    by Kakapo2
  • Konzerthaus on the left, Französischer Dom. - Berlin
      Konzerthaus on the left, Französischer Dom.
    by Kakapo2

To see this square was one of the most breathtaking moments of my latest Berlin visit, and it definitely is the city’s most beautiful square. You just have to sit down and soak in the atmosphere, and admire the spectacular buildings that surround it. Or have a coffee in one of the open-air cafés. Of which, I must add, they could have more.

The buildings around the square are the German and the French Dome, and the Schauspielhaus/Konzerthaus (Concert Hall), and in front of the latter is a sculpture of the German poet and writer Friedrich Schiller (Schillerdenkmal).

The square was created at the end of the 17th century. Mainly protestant French immigrants (Huguenots) settled there. After many name changes it became Gendarmenmarkt in 1799 because it was home of the police and the stables of the guarding regiment. The name “gendarmes” comes from “gens d’armes” which litterally translated means: “people in arms”. During GDR times the square was named Platz der Akademie, opposite the Konzerthaus you find the Academy of Sciences (Akademie der Wissenschaften).

The two domes stand beside two modest churches that had been built on the marketplace in 1705. Two identical towers, designed by Carl von Gontard, were built beside the churches from 1780 to ’85 to give the square a more spectacular look, and had no purpose at all. The name “dome” is – especially in German – very irritating because a “Dom” is a catholic cathedral, like the “Dom” in Cologne, and in Berlin (Berliner Dom on Museumsinsel). Here it only describes the shape of the two spires’ tops, derived from the French word “dôme”.
The Gendarmenmarkt was hugely damaged in World War II but was – like nearly every building in Berlin – reconstructed. The Nazis had taken the Schiller monument off the square but to Berlin’s 750th birthday celebrations it was shifted back to its original site.

Address: Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
Directions: U-Bahn U2, stations Stadtmitte and Hausvogtei-Platz
U6, stations Stadtmitte and Französische Straße
If you walk it is roughly between the boulevard „Unter den Linden“ and Checkpoint Charlie

Phone: +49 30 22730431

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 15, 2008
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