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Budapester Straße 50, 10787 Berlin

Budapester Str. 48-50, 10787 Berlin, Germany
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Missing Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Berlin  Germany

Missing Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Two must-sees on Kurfürstendamm Street in Berlin are the KaDeWe department store (with its foodie-heaven top floor) and the remaining spire of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. The structure is all that remains of the original 1890-era church after a 1943 bombing raid on Berlin in World War II.

Left in its bombed-out condition as a memorial, the spire is a powerful sight to behold—when you can see it. On a recent trip to Berlin, I decided to walk by one more time. As I know the location well, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me when it seemed to have vanished.

As it turns out, repair and conservation work is being done on the spire. Rather than cluttering the view with scaffolding, and out of safety concerns, the city opted to hide the old church behind a temporary façade, resembling a modern office building.

Imagine going to Paris and seeing a big square box where the Eifel Tower should be. One gets that same feeling here on “the Ku’damm.” Disappointing as it is, this is a necessary process to preserve the memorial.

The photo on the right is the church as it normally appears. The photo on the left is the view until completion in late 2012.