Tuesday 29 March 2016

Koenigsberg Cathedral Rebuilt

On August 30, 1944, 100 people, mostly children, hid under the spire of the Koenigsberg Cathedral, covering their ears to block out the sound of the bombs exploding over their heads (http://alinefromlinda.blogspot.ca/2011/08/koenigsberg-burning.html).  Sadly, the bombs killed most of the people in the church that day.  However, the 600 year old Gothic cathedral, which sat on an island in the Pregel River, remained, the only building left standing on the island.  In the decades after the war, nature started to overtake the burnt out shell of the cathedral.  In the 1960's, there was talk of demolishing the cathedral, just as they demolished the Koenigsberg Castle, but local residents would have no part of its destruction.

Koenigsberg cathdedral prior to its restoration circa 1988 courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6nigsberg_Cathedral.

In the early 1990's, with the opening of the Soviet Union to foreigners, people showed a renewed interest in the Koenigsberg Cathedral.  In 1994, a new spire was added to the roof using a helicopter.  Over the next decade, Koenigsberg Cathedral's interior was rebuilt, including an Orthodox chapel, a Lutheran chapel and a museum.  The Lutheran chapel is the location of where the 100 Koenigsbergers hid during the Second World War Allied bombing of their city.

Koenigsberg Cathedral today courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6nigsberg_Cathedral.

Note:  For more information, read A Childhood Under Hitler and Stalin by Michael Wieck.

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