Maria Regina Martyrum
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|Maria Regina Martyrum|
Fritz Koenig's sculpture the Apocalyptic Woman on the façade of Maria Regina Martyrum
|Location||Charlottenburg-Nord, a locality of Berlin|
|Province||Ecclesiastical Province of Berlin (German)|
|District||Archdiocese of Berlin, Deanery of Spandau, St. Joseph parish|
|Year consecrated||5 May 1963|
|Website||St. Joseph parish (German)|
|Architect(s)||Friedrich Ebert, Hermann Jünemann and Hans Schädel|
Maria Regina Martyrum (German: Gedenkkirche Maria Regina Martyrum (actually Gedächtniskirche Maria Regina Martyrum der deutschen Katholiken zu Ehren der Blutzeugen für Glaubens- und Gewissensfreiheit in den Jahren 1933–1945) literally in English Commemorative church Mary Queen of Martyrs of the German catholics in honor of the martyrs for freedom of religion and conscience in the years 1933-1945) is a Roman Catholic church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Berlin in Berlin, borough Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, in the locality of Charlottenburg-Nord. The church was built on behalf of the German Catholics to honour the Martyrs of Freedom of Belief and Conscience from the years 1933–1945. It is located 20 min of walk from the place of execution of Nazi resistants and opponents within the Plötzensee Prison, now the memorial Gedenkstätte Plötzensee.
The episcopal ordinariate of the then Roman Catholic Diocese of Berlin commissioned Friedrich Ebert, Hermann Jünemann and Hans Schädel to build the church. In 1960 Cardinal Julius Döpfner laid the cornerstone, and in 1963 he – together with Alfred Bengsch, then Catholic bishop of Berlin, and Louis-Marie-Fernand de Bazelaire, then Archbishop of Chambéry in France – consecrated the church. The church also serves as a parochial church for the Catholic St. Joseph parish (Berlin-Spandau).
The campanile of the church is a landmark at the entrance to the ceremonial courtyard, paved with cobblestone and surrounded by walls covered with slabs of black and grey basalt. The sober interior of the upper church, covered by an even ceiling, impresses with its indirect illumination. The building is regarded an outstanding example of combining church architecture and sculpture.
The crypt, originally a single room, has been divided by a gold-coated wall of concrete. The front part is dedicated solely to the memory of the martyrs, symbolised by three inscriptions. At the right grave the ashes of Erich Klausener are reposing, the first martyr of Berlin's Catholic diocese in the Nazi period. The left inscription is dedicated to blessed Provost Bernhard Lichtenberg. His relics are meanwhile resting in St. Hedwig's Cathedral. The middle, only symbolic, grave commemorates all those martyrs, whom the Nazis denied to have a grave. A convent of Carmelite nuns hold canonical hours and the Holy mass in the rear room of the crypt.
Upper church: A tripartite sculpture Apocalyptic Woman by Fritz Koenig is hanging on the long façade of the upper church. Inside on the altar wall there is a monumental fresco by Georg Meistermann. A seated wooden Madonna from southern France, created around 1320, is shown at the altar. In the confession chapel there is a sculpture of a Man of Sorrows from southern Germany, around second half of the 15th century. The Bonn-based organ constructor Johannes Klais created the organ on 5 May 1963.
Ceremonial Court: Stations of the Cross from bronze and an open air altar by Otto Herbert Hajek, composed of two pillars from concrete, are flanking the entrance gate and the campanile. A bronze relief of Johannes Dumanski depicting the Holy Family at its Flight into Egypt decks the narrow side of the courtyard.
Theo Wieland and Klaus Worring built next to the church a Carmelite Nunnery, the first of its kind in Berlin, which was opened in 1984. It offers room for 24 nuns and provides a public chapel for canonical hours. The erection of the Carmelite convent was facilitated by the episcopal ordinariate. There is a monastery shop too.
There is a close Ecumenical cooperation with the nearby Protestant Church of Plötzensee, which is also designed as a memorial for the victims of National Socialism. This cooperation is especially dedicated to remember the martyrs of Plötzensee. The most important ecumenical memorial events of these churches are the Ecumenical Plötzensee Days every January and the annual anniversary of the assassination-attempt of 20 July 1944.
- Handbuch der Deutschen Kunstdenkmäler / Georg Dehio: 22 vols., new ed. by Dehio-Vereinigung, Berlin and Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2000, vol. 8: Berlin, pp. 151seq. ISBN 3-422-03071-9.
- Maria-Theresia Smith, Catholic Commemorative Church Maria Regina Martyrum, Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 11989, (Kleine Kunstführer; 1703e), 32 pp.
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- Carmelite Convent (Berlin), official website
- Catholic St. Joseph Parish (Berlin-Spandau), official website
- Schädel was then the architect in charge of the reconstruction and maintenance of the cathedral of Würzburg, which had been destroyed in the Second World War.
- Handbuch der Deutschen Kunstdenkmäler / Georg Dehio: 22 vols., new ed. by Dehio-Vereinigung, Berlin and Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2000, vol. 8: Berlin, p. 151. ISBN 3-422-03071-9.
- Handbuch der Deutschen Kunstdenkmäler / Georg Dehio: 22 vols., new ed. by Dehio-Vereinigung, Berlin and Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2000, vol. 8: Berlin, p. 152. ISBN 3-422-03071-9.