This morning we went to the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniss Kirche, a beautiful edifice in the late Romanesque style with a lofty tower erected in memory of the late Emperor in 1895. It took four years to build it, and it cost about 2.5 million dollars, of which amount the majority was donated in Memorial Windows, mosaic decorations pulpit fixtures, etc. Just like in America
The entire interior decorations are in glass mosaic, a beautiful gray or rather mouse colored marble with white streaks and oak wood. No painting at all. The mosaic work was done by Puhl and Wagner of Rixdorf near Berlin, and it took them three years to execute the order. I understand that a very pretty mosaic Barbarossa (about 7 x 10 feet) cost the donor $25,000 mark, or $6200, say $100 a square foot. They use a good deal of gold and mother of pearl in the mosaic work, and the execution is excellent—the faces are fine!
You can see that the entire work was in the hands of an artistic architect and was planned every detail even the minutest. Baurath Schwechten is the name. The altar window was made by Linnemenn of Frankfort. The mosaic pictures on the walls have all been designed by well known artists. There is one “Jesus of Bethany” by Prof. Sesliger, which is especially fine. Another, “The entrance into Jerusalem,” is very good too.
But the prettiest nook is in the lofty vestibule where the “Hohenzollern” are shown, including the present Emperor. The staircase from this vestibule to the galleries is very graceful, the balustrade and the panels are made of copper. Everything connected with the building has been “Made in Germany.”
From here we went to see the Charlottenburger Brucke, which has been completed lately and cost several million marks. It has at each side immense bronze figures, one of Frederick I, the splendor loving king and one of his consort Charlotte.
We, that is, Mother and I went home for a nap, but later on I went with Herman to see some of the Old Berlin. The old Molken Market, where the second hand shops were carried on in former days and entering through a very narrow passage, we came into a narrow street called Am Kroegel, with houses more than 500 years old.
Here in the old Hausvogtei, “Theo. Reuter, an author of stories in low German” was confined for quite a while on account of his revolutionary ideas. A boy acted as guide and in a sing song voice told us the entire story explaining that one street looked just like the narrow streets of Venice, except that the water was lacking.
An old sun dial, old signs, and the very narrow and dilapidated stairs are ample proof of the age of the houses and, in spite of their unsanitary conditions, they are still inhabited, bringing a rental of $2.50 a month for two rooms (no bathroom or modern improvements).