Düsseldorf’s fortified church

This evening we went to a concert in the world’s most heavily fortified church.

The Bunkerkirche in Düsseldorf has to be one of the most unique churches in the world. The land was acquired in 1928 with the intention of building a church on the site. Lack of funds during the 1930s depression meant that although plans were drawn up, construction was delayed for over a decade and then in 1940 the land was confiscated by the Nazis.

In 1941 the site which had been intended for the church was used to build an overground air-raid bunker. The building was deliberately constructed to look like a church from the air, in the hope of deterring allied bombers from targeting it.

After the war, the land (complete with fortified bunker) was returned to the Church and the bunker was converted and consecrated in 1949, in a lovely symbol of turning swords into ploughshares.

Interestingly, for a building which was constructed for entirely different purpose, it actually has rather impressive acoustics.

The concert (works by Schütz, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Bach, sung by the excellent choir and the fabulous Stringendo orchestra from Meerbusch) was a real treat… and the experience of being in such a historically unique setting added to the experience.

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7 Comments

Filed under About Germany, Life in Germany, World War 2

7 responses to “Düsseldorf’s fortified church

  1. Does flak go off during services or do they just fire in the week?

    • Actually Jeremy, the place was always seen as a place of refuge. It was where the population hid when the allies were bombing the area (and it was very heavily bombed)..
      I think anyone around here would find your comment in very poor taste…

    • Jeremy

      I suppose they might. And I apologise. There is just something so ironical about its history and purpose.

  2. robin mulcahy

    Any chance of some pictures from inside to appreciate the stained glass windows?

  3. Nice view of the church .The building was deliberately constructed to look like a church from the air, in the hope of deterring allied bombers from targeting it.

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