Vorsprung durch Technik

Speaking of cities: another drive-by picture. Of a church steeple in Berlin.

interbau 1957

I had no idea, which denomination it is, and what it is called. I took this picture, because I quite like the architecture of it. I looked it up on the internet today, and found the curch to be called St. Ansgar, a roman-catholic church designed by Willy Kreuer. I am very surprised to learn, it is a residue of the Interbau 1957, an international fair of modern building and architecture initiated by the city of Berlin. Which desperately needed reconstruction after World War II has left most of the city flattened. Much of post-war modernism stems from the necessity to quickly get things up and running again.

If one thinks of Germany and churches, one tends to have gothic spires of grandeur in mind (Dome in Cologne), or postcard – picture onion domes (little villages in Bavaria, each crowned by one of those bulbous spires), or robust looking romanesque bulks (like the basilica in Speyer), or baroque beauties overloaded with gold ornaments inside (or not so overloaded, like the  “Michel” – St. Michaelis – in Hamburg).

But I think, this St. Ansgar church fits the image of the country much more. Today’s Germany is all about industry and production. Engineering, still at it’s best. Modern solutions and modern industrial design. Even German fashion has that clear-cut edge to it, just think of Jill Sander or Hugo Boss. And then the automotive industry, the fast cars, Vorsprung durch Technik – the VW dieselgate disaster notwithstanding. So, this concrete slab church spire fits nicely, I think. With the city’s smog having left marks on it. And the ubiquitous dove s(h)itting on it.

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