Previous buildings

dominikanerkirche_1536.gif schinkeldom-foto.gif The history of the Cathedral on Berlin’s Spree Island began in 1465, when the St. Erasmus Chapel in the newly built royal palace of Cölln on the Spree was elevated to the stature of collegiate church. The German name for the Cathedral, “Dom”, can be traced back to the term “Domkirche”, which was used for such collegiate churches at that time. In 1536, Elector Joachim II moved the “Dom” into the former Dominican church, south of the palace.

With Martin Luther’s support, the elector established the Reformation in 1539, and the “Dom” became a Lutheran church. In 1608, the collegiate church was dissolved, and the Dom was declared the highest parish church in Cölln on the Spree. When Elector Johann Sigismund converted to Calvinism in 1613, the Cathedral became Court and Parish Church.

From 1747 to 1750, Frederick the Great commissioned Johann Boumann the Elder to build a new baroque building to the north of the city palace. After the coffins were transferred from the crypt, the old, dilapidated Cathedral was torn down.
On the occasion of the union of Prussia’s Lutheran and Reformed communities, the interior and exterior of the Cathedral were renovated. The classicistic conversion by Karl Friedrich Schinkel was completed in 1822.