French Cathedral

The impressive tower is 70m tall and is on the right of the concert hall when you’re looking straight at the Gendarmenmarkt. It is the counterpart to the German Cathedral, built on the left of the concert hall. The cathedral is actually made up of two buildings – the tower, built in 1781 and the French Friedrichstadt church, constructed eighty years earlier by the French religious refugees. The Edict of Potsdam by the prince-elector had ensured their religious freedom and civil rights.

Viewing platform.

254 steps lead up to a large, 40m tall spiral staircase. The panoramic view over the Gendarmenmarkt and the capital is a must for any visitor to Berlin for their photo album.
To get the full acoustic experience you need to climb the tower on the hour: between 1000 and 1800hrs the bronze bells sound out different melodies and you can see them inside the domed tower. This is Berlin’s second largest set of bells.

Opening hours: daily between 1000 and 1900hrs (last entry 1800hrs). From Jan to Feb daily between 1000 and 1800hrs (last entry 1700hrs).
Entry: 3 Euros, children up to 14 years 1 Euro.

More information can be found on the French Cathedral homepage.

View of the German Cathedral and Concert Hall. Background: districts of Kreuzberg and Tempelhof. © K. Poehls


The Friedrichstadt Church is the smaller building next to the domed tower (entrance on Charlottenstraße). The Huguenot 1000-strong community, which became German-speaking, shares the building on the Gendarmenmarkt with the Evangelical Church community and the French-speaking Protestant community.
The interior of the church is in a simple style, in keeping with the tradition of the Reformation. An exception to this is the organ with its gold-leaf carving: the eye of God, surrounded by a corona. This extravagant decorative piece, dating from 1754/55, is the only original piece in the church that has survived from before the war!

Services: Sun. 0930hrs Evangelical Church service, 1100hrs French Church of Berlin (Huguenots) Reformed service, 1100hrs Protestant French-speaking service in the George Casalis room in the basement.

More information can be found on the French Friedrichstadt Church homepage.
The carvings on the organ were stored elsewhere during the Second World War, which saved them. © K. Poehls

Hugeuenot museum.

There has been a museum here since 1935, the 250th anniversary of the Edict of Potsdam. The history of French religious refugees is told in the exhibition using documents, paintings, engravings, books, manuscripts and medals. Some famous figures from the reformed community in Berlin are described, such as the writer Theodor Fontane and the artist Daniel Chodowiecki, who also created the designs for the sculpted figures in the gables of the French Cathedral.
There are also documents on the construction history of the cathedral and the neighbouring French Friedrichstadt Church in Gendarmenmarkt, the bombing of the buildings in the Second World War and their re-building.

Opening times: Tues to Sat 1200 – 1700hrs, Sun 1100 to 1700hrs.
Entry: 2 Euros, concessions 1 Euro.

The exhibition includes documents and photos that detail the development of the cathedral. © K. Poehls


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