Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

The Unique Charm of Dorotheenstadt Cemetery: A Piece of History in Berlin

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

Hidden amidst the bustling streets of Berlin, Germany lies the serene and historic Dorotheenstadt Cemetery. As one of the oldest burial grounds in the city, this cemetery dates back to the late 18th century, and is a captivating place that holds deep cultural and historical significance. It is a must-visit destination for anyone curious about Berlin’s rich past.

The Origins and Evolution of Dorotheenstadt Cemetery

Dorotheenstadt Cemetery, also known as Friedhof I der Dorotheenstädtischen und Friedrichswerderschen Gemeinden, was established in 1762 during the reign of King Frederick the Great. Originally, the cemetery spanned a relatively small area, but over the years, it expanded to its current size of approximately 17 acres.

The cemetery’s design reflects the changing architectural and cultural trends of different eras. Initially, it followed a Baroque style, with symmetrical pathways, ornate tombstones, and elaborate sculptures. As time went on, the cemetery adopted a more naturalistic approach, embracing the ideals of the Romantic period. This transformation is evident in the picturesque landscape, winding paths, and the presence of old trees that provide a peaceful ambiance to those who wander through its grounds.

Final Resting Place of Prominent Figures

Among the many individuals laid to rest at Dorotheenstadt Cemetery are some of Berlin’s most prominent historical figures. One notable grave is that of the famous German playwright Bertolt Brecht, who was best known for his works such as “The Threepenny Opera” and “Mother Courage and Her Children.” Brecht’s tomb, adorned with a simple wooden cross, has become a place of pilgrimage for literature enthusiasts worldwide.

Another significant burial site within the cemetery is that of the influential German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel’s philosophy played a crucial role in shaping Western thought, particularly in the realms of politics, history, and aesthetics. Visitors to Dorotheenstadt Cemetery can pay their respects to Hegel at his understated grave, which features a thoughtful inscription paying homage to his intellectual contributions.

Artistic Expression in Stone and Metal

Dorotheenstadt Cemetery is home to a wealth of artistic expressions displayed through its tombstones and monuments. These artworks not only commemorate the deceased but also shed light on the prevailing artistic styles of their respective eras.

One striking example is the tombstone of sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow, who is not buried at the cemetery but has a memorial dedicated to him. This monument, designed by Schadow’s son Rudolf Schadow, is an exquisite representation of neoclassical art, with a sculpted female figure grieving over a funerary urn.

Additionally, the cemetery houses numerous unique examples of funerary art, such as the monument to the German Romantic writer and poet Heinrich von Kleist. Crafted by the acclaimed sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch, the monument depicts a grieving couple—a man and a woman—symbolizing the sorrow and memory associated with loss.

A Place of Reflection and Remembrance

Despite its historical significance, Dorotheenstadt Cemetery is not merely a tourist attraction. It serves as a place for contemplation, a space that allows visitors to connect with history, pay homage, and remember those who have passed away.

Countless visitors find solace in the serene atmosphere of the cemetery. Its carefully manicured lawns, towering trees, and graceful tombstones provide a serene setting for quiet reflection. The blend of nature and artistry is truly captivating, allowing visitors to escape the city’s hustle and bustle, even if only for a short while.

Engaging with Dorotheenstadt Cemetery’s rich history often evokes profound emotions. It sparks conversations, both among locals and tourists, about the essence of life, the passage of time, and the interconnectedness of generations. It stands as a testament to the importance of preserving history and cherishing the legacy that lies within each grave.

Exploring Berlin’s Hidden Gems

If you’re planning a trip to Berlin, make sure to include Dorotheenstadt Cemetery on your itinerary. It offers a unique and intriguing experience that combines historical significance, artistic expressions, and a place for introspection. As you wander through the cemetery’s quiet pathways and admire the beautifully crafted tombstones and monuments, you will undoubtedly develop a newfound appreciation for the individuals who shaped Berlin’s culture and history.

Remember to take your time, read the inscriptions, and allow the atmosphere to guide your thoughts as you explore this hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Berlin. Dorotheenstadt Cemetery is more than just a fascinating historical site—it is an open invitation to ponder the nature of life, death, and the lasting impact each individual can leave behind.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.


  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free