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Marienkirche, Berlin, Germany
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Bernd das Brot Team
N 52° 31.243 E 013° 24.380
33U E 391871 N 5820149
Quick Description: Berlin's oldest church
Location: Berlin, Germany
Date Posted: 7/5/2008 3:25:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM44BR
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Jyrki&Sari
Views: 212

Long Description:

Click on any picture for larger images and click the blue links for more information.

St. Mary’s and Berlin’s TV Tower Interior of St. Mary’s

Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church) is Berlin’s oldest church and the last remaining of six medieval churches originally located in this area. Its precise age has been lost in time but it was first mentioned in German chronicles in 1292, 200 years before Columbus landed in America.

The foundation is still original dating back to the 13th century; the rest has been rebuilt at least twice, since the church has been partially destroyed twice; once by a fire in 1663 and then again during the air raids of World War II.


The Dance of Death

Computer-generated reconstruction of the "Dance of Death" mural.


The church is especially famous for one of Europe’s oldest murals, a fresco called "The Dance of Death." Like the church itself, the precise age of the mural is unknown but it is generally believed that it dates back to 1448, the year when the "Black Death" hit Berlin.
Medieval Totentanz (German for Dance of Death), Murals can be found in several old European churches. They are a late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one's station in life, the dance of death unites all. The mural consists of the personified death leading a row of dancing figures from all walks of life to the grave—typically with an emperor, king, youngster, beautiful girl, all skeletal. They were produced to remind people of how fragile their lives were and how vain the glories of earthly life were.

Unfortunately, when we visited the church in 2007, the mural was under massive reconstruction and could only be watch from far away through a glass window. (Picture bottom left). The church was raising funds for the reconstruction and every donor put a little mosaic stone one a replica of the mural.(Picture bottom right).

The author of the German wikipedia article on the church created a fantastic reconstruction of the mural (Picture above).

Building Materials: Stone

Visit Instructions:
Logs for Medieval churches waymark must contain a date found and any details about the visit there. Also photos and other experiences related to the building are welcome.
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