Breitscheidplatz and Europa Center, Berlin, Germany. Breitscheidplatz lies within the Charlottenburg district near the southwest

- Image ID: DXR2GX
Breitscheidplatz and Europa Center, Berlin, Germany. Breitscheidplatz lies within the Charlottenburg district near the southwest
Sergi Reboredo / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: DXR2GX
Breitscheidplatz and Europa Center, Berlin, Germany. Breitscheidplatz lies within the Charlottenburg district near the southwestern tip of the Tiergarten park and the Zoological Garden at the corner of Kurfürstendamm and its eastern continuation, Tauentzienstraße, leading to Schöneberg and the Kaufhaus des Westens on Wittenbergplatz. The Europa-Center mall and highrise closes off the Breitscheidplatz to the east. At its centre is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church with its damaged spire. Breitscheidplatz is at the end of the former Kurfürstendamm bridle path of 1542 which led Elector (Kurfürst) Joachim II Hector of Brandenburg to his hunting grounds in the Grunewald forest. In 1889 the square was given the name Gutenbergplatz after Johannes Gutenberg, the designer of the printing press; in 1892 it was renamed Auguste-Viktoria-Platz in honour of the German Empress Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein. Shortly after the square was laid out, Auguste-Viktoria's spouse Emperor Wilhelm II determined it as the site for the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in honour of his grandfather, Emperor Wilhelm I. The church, designed by royal architect Franz Schwechten, was a prime example of Romanesque Revival architecture. It was consecrated in 1895. Around the square until World War I, further development took place in a similar Neo-Romanesque style, including on the west side the Ausstellungshallen am Zoologischen Garten, an exhibition and event space completed in 1896, and opposite it the 1899 building on the site of today's Europa-Center which after 1916 housed the Romanisches Café. The square was sometimes called the Romanisches Forum (Romanesque forum) or Romanisches Viertel (Romanesque quarter) as a result.