Kladow village church

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Kladow village church

The Protestant village church of Kladow in today’s Berlin district of Kladow is one of over 50 listed village churches in Berlin. It was built in the early 19th century as a hall church using the surrounding walls of a burnt church from the 14th or 15th century. In 1952-1953 it was redesigned and extended. In 2007 the village church was extensively restored.


In the Middle Ages, the Benedictine convent of Spandau, founded in 1239, had already before 1267 the entire landed property in Kladow and until the Reformation also the church patronage over the parish church there, thus ordered and paid the pastor.[1] After the introduction of the Reformation and the dissolution of the monastery in 1558, the village and its patronage rights came to the Spandau office.

The first late Gothic church was built in the 14th or 15th century;[2] it consisted of a small, flat-roofed rectangular hall with four axes, which was unusually narrow. The masonry consisted of split fieldstones. They were ashlarless, so could not be laid in courses. There was no brick material under the gussets of the joints. This construction method is typical for the late Middle Ages. Since the land register of Karl IV. (1375) already mentions eight parish heaps for Kladow, the stone building must have had a wooden predecessor. The late Gothic church burned down in 1808.

The poor economic situation in the Kingdom of Prussia due to the war initially prevented reconstruction. It was not until 1818-1919 that a new building was erected. Although the church had not suffered any damage in the Second World War, it was remodelled in 1952/1953 by Artur Reck. The neo-Gothic design and furnishings were destroyed during the reconstruction.


The new construction of the building in 1818, using the surrounding walls of the burnt-down church, was not designed in the Prussian, baroque-style early classicism, but in a romantically transfigured and neo-Gothic style. This early testimony of historicist architecture was the exception at the beginning of the 19th century.


The masonry of the nave with a gable roof was plastered and received an arched frieze under the main cornice. The windows were created with Gothic pointed arches. In the west of the roof sits in half-timbered construction a square roof tower crowned with a curved dome. The brick east wall of the tower is opened to the nave by a low round-arched doorway.

In 1953, a square choir room was added to the east of the nave, as the church room no longer met the needs of the congregation. At the same time, the galleries were removed. The pointed arched door and window openings of the old part were changed and closed with segmental arches in accordance with those of the extension in order to achieve a uniform Baroque-Classical impression. The arched frieze also disappeared. In addition, the rotten beams of the roof and ceiling were replaced.


The tower, rebuilt in 1819, received a curved dome from baroque tradition. It was originally covered with shingles and carried a cast-iron spire with a tower cross. This cross had to be replaced in 1862 by a gilded sheet metal cross, as the old one was completely rusted. During this repair, the dome received a slate covering.

Striking tone
b 281 86 62
g 167 72 54

The stocky tower shaft received a tower clock with a dial on each side in 1953, next to each a sound opening, below a round arch window. The old bronze bell had to be sent to the armaments industry in 1943. In 1953, the church received a ringing of two chilled iron bells, which were cast in the iron works in Berlin-Neukölln.


View to the altar

Until 1953 there were also congregational galleries on both long sides of the nave. The nave ended at the level of the base of the present, enlarged choir loft, and the galleries reached up to the last window of the old church. Inside, the pews of 1818 had to make way for new furnishings. In the room under the tower there are installations from the last renovation in 1953, e.g. the organ loft can be reached from here via a spiral staircase.


The communion chalice of gilded silver is a work of the 15th century, restored in 1520. The large brass baptismal font dates from the end of the 17th century. The new altar made of bricks, with a wooden top, replaced the pulpit altar which was removed in 1953. The baptismal font, other baptismal utensils and the present pulpit were made in the classicist style on the occasion of the renovation in 1953.


View to the organ loft

The classical organ from 1865 is the only surviving older part of the interior. It is difficult to see because the gallery, which projects far into the room, hides its prospect. The first organ was made by the organ builder Carl Ludwig Gesell and installed here in 1865. The organ case is executed in a transitional style between rococo and classicism, according to a design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Most of the organ has been preserved in its original condition. It was restored in 1953 and 1976 by the firm Karl Schuke, and in 1976 a new stop Mixtur 3-fold was added.[3] The specification can be found at Orgel Databank[4] can be viewed.

Literature (chronological)

  • Kurt Pomplun: Berlins alte Dorfkirchen. Berlin 1962, (6th ed. 1984).
  • Günther Kühne, Elisabeth Stephani: Protestant Churches in Berlin. Berlin 1978.
  • Klaus-Dieter Wille: The Bells of Berlin (West). History and inventory. Berlin 1987.
  • Matthias Hoffmann-Tauschwitz: Old Churches in Berlin. Berlin 1991.
  • Markus Cante: Kirchen bis 1618, in: Berlin und seine Bauten, Teil VI: Sakralbauten. Ed.: Architekten- und Ingenieur-Verein zu Berlin, Berlin 1997, p. 359.
  • Christel Wollmann-Fiedler, Jan Feustel: Old Village Churches in Berlin. Berlin 2001
  • Georg Dehio: Handbuch der Deutschen Kunstdenkmäler. Munich/Berlin 2006 (Volume Berlin).

Web links

Commons: Kladow village church– Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual references

  1. Joachim Pohl: Das Benediktinernonnenkloster St. Marien zu Spandau und die kirchlichen Einrichtungen der Stadt Spandau im Mittelalter. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne/ Weimar/ Vienna 1996, ISBN 3-412-03496-7, p. 92; Joachim Pohl: Das Spandauer Benediktinerinnenkloster St. Marien in seinen Stadt- und Landbeziehungen. In: Kaspar Elm (ed.): Wichmann-Jahrbuch des Diözesangeschichtsvereins Berlin. Neue Folge 4, XXXVI. volume 1996/1997, pp. 47-94, here p. 70.
  2. Cante (see literature) assumes without further justification: “probably second half of the 14th century”.
  4. Organ Databank

Coordinates 52° 27′ 10.4″ N, 13° 8′ 41.9″ E