7 November 2011

Squeezing in Some Spirituality (7): Ehemalige Elias Kirche


Place Making ∕ Spiritual ∕ Urban Environment

The former Evangelische Elias Kirche on Senefelder Str. struggles to inspire faith in God, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, as evinced by the fact that it was long ago abandoned as a place of worship. Although the parish was able to sustain the church during the cold war period in spite of the iron-fisted rule of East Germany’s totalitarian regime, by 1990 the shrinking number of worshipers caused the church to close. For a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the building’s fate remained unclear, until it was finally converted into a children’s museum -a fitting transformation considering that it lies the district of Prenzlauer Berg, which has one of the highest birthrates to be found in Germany.

Aesthetically, the former church seems a likely candidate to have been abandoned by its congregation. To be honest, it’s really just a clumsy hodgepodge of disparate elements slapped together with little sensitivity or grace, the highlight of which is the little towerette on the right hand side, crammed cozily against the wall of the neighboring apartment house.

Many thanks again to Victor Brigola for this, the penultimate photograph to be featured in this series. All of the pictures are on view in the show “Feeling the Void” at the Vero Linzmeier Galerie until November 17th.