Petrikirche (Berlin-Mitte)

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Petrikirche from the southwest on Gertraudenstraße , which merges into Mühlendamm at the Köllnischer Fischmarkt ; on the right the confluence with Grünstraße; at the end of Gertraudenstrasse you can see the Kölln town hall on the left behind the church ; left the confluence of the Brüderstraße ; Steel engraving of the church building, which was rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style between 1847 and 1853
Baroque Petrikirche as the southern end of the Brüderstraße ;
Copper engraving based on a template by Franz Ludwig Catel , 1808

The Petrikirche stood on Berlin's Petriplatz and, as the parish church of Kölln, was one of the first five churches in the twin cities of Berlin- Kölln. It was built around 1230, rebuilt and rebuilt several times and demolished in 1964.


First Petrikirche

Map of Berlin and Kölln in the beginning of the 13th century with the Petrikirche (for example at the “K” of “Kollne”); Karl Friedrich von Klöden

In documents from the year 1285, a Premonstratensian foundation in Kölln is mentioned, which originated from the cathedral chapter of Brandenburg an der Havel . The first church was built for this institution and was named after the apostle Peter by the bishop of that time . In 1237 a pastor is named Simeon zu Kölln (Symeon plebanus de Colonia), which confirms the existence of the Petrikirche at that time. The year 1237 is also the first documentary mention of Kölln, which was later incorporated into Berlin. Archaeological excavations carried out on the church premises in 1967 testify that the Petrikirche, like the Nikolaikirche in Berlin , must have been built around 1200 or 1230 at the latest. A floor plan of the first, certainly late Romanesque , building of 45 meters × 20 meters can be reconstructed without otherwise anything of the building fabric having been preserved.

Second and third Petrikirche

New buildings in the early Gothic and 1379 in the High Gothic style followed. The latter was a three-aisled brick church with five bays in hall construction, whereby only the lower part of the walls was walled up with field stones , as was often the case at the time . In 1505 a master baker Fritze donated a Marienkapelle, which was attached to the church in the south. In 1606 an elaborately carved pulpit was added inside . However, the tower of the church had to be demolished in the 17th century; probably because the ground didn't bear the weight.

In 1615, the Berlin tumult emanated from the Petrikirche .

Kölln and Alt-Berlin merged in 1709, and the church organization of the royal seat was adjusted accordingly. From 1717 the church was extensively rebuilt under the direction of Martin Heinrich Böhme , now in the baroque style. In addition to a pulpit made by Johann Conrad Koch , this mainly concerned the construction of a new church tower , which was planned by Johann Friedrich Grael and whose construction began in 1726. Shortly before completion of the tower, when it had reached a height of 108 meters, lightning struck the scaffolding of the tower and the church on May 29, 1730 and caused severe damage, so that the structure had to be redesigned from scratch. The reconstruction was headed again from 1731 by Grael and from 1733 by Philipp Gerlach . In the early spring of 1734 “the helmet bar weighing 26  quintals could be erected”. The Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I had agreed to finance the construction costs with 30,000 thalers. The pressure he exerted to complete the church as quickly as possible led to improper construction, so that the tower collapsed on August 28, 1734. Above all, the "heavy stone crown of a tower" fell down. It was salvaged by the residents and stored in the cellar of a neighboring house. A commission of inquiry, consisting of Johann Carl Stoltze , Friedrich Wilhelm Diterichs , Philipp Wilhelm Nuglisch and Johann Gottfried Kemmeter , confirmed the correctness of Grael's draft. Nevertheless, Grael was arrested in January 1735 and Stoltze was appointed his successor. In 1737 Titus de Favre delivered a new design for the reconstruction of the tower. Together with Stoltze, he took over construction management in 1738. The construction was not completed. On September 20, 1809, the church burned to the ground again. The rubble was cleared away. The ruins stood here for around 40 years and there was a dispute as to whether a park should be built here or a church building again.

Fourth and last St. Peter's Church

Finally, in 1846 a new building was decided, for which the foundation stone was laid on August 3, 1847 . The master builder was Heinrich Strack , who built a neo-Gothic building whose 111 meter high tower was for a long time the tallest building in Berlin. The central building was single-nave, cross-shaped and made of brick, the choir was polygonal . The architect August Dieckhoff was responsible for the construction . The church was consecrated on October 16, 1853 in the presence of Friedrich Wilhelm IV.

In 1928 the city and the parish celebrated the 75th anniversary of the new Petrikirche with a festive service .

During the Second World War , the church was badly damaged in the last days of the Battle of Berlin . After surviving the bombing unscathed, it came under fire in April 1945 because SS units were holed up in it. After the end of the war , only a ruin remained. Since the GDR had no interest in financing the reconstruction of the church and stood in the way of road planning in the course of the re-routing or straightening of Gertraudenstrasse in the direction of Mühlendamm , the parish council in 1960 was forced to approve the demolition. The last remains of the building were removed in 1964. Since then, the community rooms have been located in a building on Neue Grünstrasse, where the services are also held.


Archaeological center

In 2007, the Senate Department began archaeological excavations under the direction of Claudia Melisch to re-examine the historical nucleus of Berlin on Petriplatz. The foundations of the church, some of which were still in the ground, were uncovered and measured, and the nearby burial site, which was used until 1717, was carefully examined.

Planned new building

House of One Pavilion

In 2009 plans for a new building were announced by the St. Petri parish. A house of God is planned as an "interreligious house of prayer and teaching" that will be open to Jews , Christians and Muslims . For each of these religions there should be a separate room for prayer and a common central area as a so-called “house of learning”. For this concept, the association “Bet- und Lehrhaus Petriplatz Berlin e. V. “, located at the Evangelical Church Community St. Petri - St. Marien, an architecture competition. The design by the architectural office Kuehn Malvezzi was awarded . The realization is planned for 2018, the house will be named House of One .


  • Klaus Koziol: Small chronicle of the St. Petri Church in Berlin . Evangelical Publishing House, Berlin 1965.
  • Heinz Seyer: Berlin in the Middle Ages. The creation of the medieval city . Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-326-00075-8 .
  • Architects and Engineers Association of Berlin (ed.): Berlin and its buildings . Part VI - Sacred Buildings. Berlin 1997.
  • Marina Wesner, Claudia M. Melisch: St. Petri Church . Berlin Story Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-929829-87-7 (Ms. Melisch led the excavations).

Web links

Commons : Petrikirche (Berlin)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Vossische Zeitung , morning edition, October 20, 1928 ( memento from February 22, 2015 in the web archive ), accessed on January 11, 2016.
  2. Sights . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1875, part 4, p. 172.
  3. Berlin, Petriplatz . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , December 24, 2012, p. 26
  4. The Petrikirche is to rise again . In: Berliner Morgenpost , June 2, 2009
  5. ^ Text for the exhibition "Petriplatz and Breite Straße - Planning for Alt-Cölln", Berlin, August 2012 (PDF) Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment
  6. Presentation of the concept on the association's website

Coordinates: 52 ° 30 ′ 48 ″  N , 13 ° 24 ′ 15 ″  E