The Gendarmenmarkt is a square in Berlin, and the site of the Konzerthaus and the French and German Cathedrals. In the centre of the square stands a monumental statue of Germany's renowned poet Friedrich Schiller. The square was created by Johann Arnold Nering at the end of the seventeenth century as the Linden-Markt and reconstructed by Georg Christian Unger in 1773. The Gendarmenmarkt is named after the cuirassier regiment Gens d'Armes, which had their stables at the square until 1773.
During World War II, most of the buildings were badly damaged or destroyed. Today all the buildings have been restored to their former state.
Gendarmenmakt was first built in 1688. It stood as a marketplace and was part of the city's Western expansion of Friedrichstadt, one of Berlin's emerging quarters.
The French Cathedral (in German: Französischer Dom) the older of the two cathedrals, was built by the Huguenot community between 1701 and 1705. The cathedral was modelled after the destroyed Huguenot church in Charenton-Saint-Maurice, France. The tower and porticoes, designed by Carl von Gontard, were added to the building in 1785. The French cathedral has a viewing platform, a restaurant and a Huguenot museum.
The German Cathedral (in German: Deutscher Dom) is located in the south of the Gendarmenmarkt. It has a pentagonal structure and was designed by Martin Grünberg and built in 1708 by Giovanni Simonetti. This church belonged to the Lutheran community. It too was modified in 1785 by Carl von Gontard, who built the domed tower. The German Cathedral was completely destroyed by fire in 1945, during World War II. After German reunification it was rebuilt, finished in 1993 and re-opened in 1996 as a museum of German history.
The Konzerthaus Berlin is the most recent building on the Gendarmenmarkt. It was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1821 as the Schauspielhaus. It was based on the ruins of the National Theatre, which was destroyed by fire in 1817. Parts of the building contain columns and some outside walls from the destroyed building. Like the other buildings on the square, it was also badly damaged during World War II. The reconstruction, finished in 1984, turned the theatre into a concert hall. Today, it is the home of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
The Gendarmenmarkt hosts one of Berlin's most popular Christmas markets.
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