History of the Schinkel Church

In its present form, the church of Neuhardenberg adjacent to the castle grounds was largely designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1801. He was still only a young, relatively unknown architect at the time. It replaced the original, badly damaged baroque building. Although its construction therefore began when the estate was still owned by the von Prittwitz family, it was not completed until 1814 at the behest of Fürst von Hardenberg. Schinkel had a flat ceiling installed, designed a tower with a flat conical broach roof and rearranged and redesigned the interior. The church was officially consecrated on 31 October 1817, the 300th anniversary of the day Martin Luther fastened his 95 theses to the door in Wittenberg.

Inside, an extraordinary curiosity is on display: the heart of the state chancellor, who died in Genoa in 1822. It was placed in the back wall of the mensa five years after the consecration of the church and has remained there ever since.

The church organ donated by Carl-Hans Graf von Hardenberg in 1924 to mark the birth of his son Friedrich-Carl is no longer fully functional; on 4 December 2004, it was replaced by the reconstructed large Buchholz organ that had originally been installed in the church in 1817.

A society, the Förderverein Schinkel-Kirche Neuhardenberg, was founded in 1998 in order to maintain and restore the church. To fund the renovation of its interior, the society encourages sponsors to adopt one of the stars in the church's ceiling painting. They were painted by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who had designed stage sets for a production of Mozart's opera 'The Magic Flute' at the Königliches Schauspielhaus in Berlin in 1816 that featured a star-strewn cupola, an idea which he then transferred to the ceiling of the Neuhardenberg church.

The local parish Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Neuhardenberg kindly permits the Stiftung Schloss Neuhardenberg to use the Schinkel Church as an event venue, particularly for its concerts.

Tourist groups and potential 'star sponsors' are welcome to contact Ms Silke Galle on T 0173 5888 628 to arrange a visit.

We are sure you will appreciate that the church is not open to visitors on the days when the Stiftung Schloss Neuhardenberg hosts an event there.