The splendour that emanates from the Sermon Church (Predigtkirche) has a profound effect on many visitors when entering the church for the first time. The central area appears bright and sublime thanks to its large windows, gold decorations and colourful splendour created by the pictures and dome mosaics. The architecture supports this impression.
The room is framed by sandstone pillars with pilasters attached. Here you can see the figures of the four great reformers: Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli and Calvin. They are faced by the Princes Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse, Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony, Joachim II, Elector of Brandenburg and Albert, Duke of Prussia.
Reliefs depicting the lives of the Apostles can be seen above the statues: the stoning of Stephen, the conversion of the Apostle Paul, Paul in Athens and the healing of the lame by Peter and John. The reliefs were created by the artist Otto Lessing.
In the semi-domes situated above the small galleries and the pulpit, mosaics with beautiful portraits of the evangelists can be seen. These were created by the artist Woldemar Friedrich; he also decorated the area above the organ library with stunning mosaic paintings.
The chancel, which sits at an elevated level above a seven-step staircase, is particularly splendid. The glass paintings on the three main windows represent the Nativity, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection and, like the oval windows situated above, are based on designs by the artist Anton von Werner.
The chancel’s fixtures and fittings predominantly originate from the Cathedral’s predecessor building. The altar, which was designed by Friedrich August Stüler, was made using white marble and onyx; situated behind it is the gilded Apostles’ Screen. This (originally bronze) choir screen, which was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and which is now fully gilded, is framed on both sides by a cast-iron candelabra and separates the baptismal area. This area behind the Apostles’ Screen is home to the white marble baptismal font of Christian Daniel Rauch and a small altar surrounded by woodcarvings above which sits the image of the apostle Peter.
The chancel, a magnificent carving made of oak, was designed by Otto Raschdorff, son and employee of the Cathedral master builder, and bears the inscription ‘Des Herrn Wort bleibet ewiglich’ (‘The Word of our God shall remain forever’.