A circular building made of clay stands on the site of the Berlin Wall Memorial. Its primary purpose is to be a spiritual place.
Dedicated to those who died at the Wall
As soon as you enter, you can feel the special atmosphere of the chapel: the quiet of this simple room, the modern cross at the open clay altar with its opened Bible. The building is dedicated to the many victims who lost their lives at the Berlin Wall. Biographical devotions from Tuesday to Friday at 12.00 p.m. recall the individual fates of these 138 people. Every Saturday the devotions at 12.00 p.m. conclude with a midday prayer in which the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation is recited.
A contribution to peace and reconciliation
Since 1999, the chapel on the grounds of the Berlin Wall Memorial has been part of the worldwide Cross of Nails Community dedicated to promoting peace and reconciliation between peoples. At regular intervals, the Saturday devotions include a commemoration of the individual fates of those who fled and died at the present-day border of the European Union. The misery of the border and the pain of partition are as palpable here as the joy of the Peaceful Revolution and the happiness of reunification.
The old church was blown up
Until 1985 an old church stood here which from 1961 onwards was within the death strip and was thus inaccessible to the people of the East and the West, and which was finally blown up by order of the GDR government. Today’s Chapel of Reconciliation not only bears the name of its predecessor built in 1894 but also contains rubble from its walls. The preserved altar retable with its heavily damaged depiction of the Last Supper hangs in exactly the same place as in the old church. The former sandstone altar plate was visibly embedded in the clay floor as a memorial and a foundation for the new altar.
From field of death to field of rye
From the outside colonnade a field of rye can be seen on either side of the chapel: a sign of life. Here, on the border of the Cold War, the field of death became farmland once again in 2005. Seeds from Bernauer Strasse were used to sow a further twelve fields of rye from the Baltic to Bulgaria, each at a site commemorating a painful period of history.
To find out more about the history and current activities of the Evangelical Reconciliation Congregation, please contact the
Bernauer Strasse 111, 13355 Berlin,
Phone: 0049-30-463 6034.