The Stiftung Stadtmuseum is offering, in cooperation with the Department for Art and Culture of the District Office for Berlin Mitte, combination tours for school classes of the Franciscan minster ruins and the Märkischen Museum from June to September. The guided tours, which lasts two and a half hours, allows pupils from the 3rd to 10th grades to playfully get to know Berlin’s history.
Why is there an old church ruin in the centre of Berlin, so close to the television tower? In the Middle Ages, more than 700 years ago, monks in grey habits – the Franciscans – came to Berlin and built the “Grey Cloister” at the edge of the town. After the Reformation in the 16th century the cloister was given up, and the alchemist and physician to the elector, Leonhard Thurneisser, lived and worked in the buildings. Among other activities he established Berlin’s first printing press. Later the cloister became the site of Berlin’s first grammar school, which many famous people attended. The site was destroyed during the Second World War and now exists as a historic monument, and as one of the last remaining relics of old Berlin. Today, the ruins of brick walls, the old funerary monuments and the remnants of inscriptions still tell many stories, which the guided tours playfully investigate. After visiting and learning about the minster ruins, a walking tour leads the visitor past the medieval city wall and across the Spree to the Märkischen Museum. Here you can find original objects from the minster ruins, like a gravestone of the oldest Berliner, the merchant Conrad von Beelitz: the original font from the old minster; and the remains of an important doorway. The models of Berlin also allow visitors to discover how the minster changed through the years as the city around it changed, adding another dimension to the story of the city’s history.
Concept and implementation: Claudia Wasow-Kania
Book guided tours through the Stiftung Stadtmuseum
Call the hotline at: +49(0) 30 24002 162 or
The focus of the guided tour is on the history of the various ways the Franciscan minster has been used, as well as on its significance as a relic of early sacred brick Gothic architecture (Backsteingotik) in Berlin. During the tour various selected artefacts, like moulded bricks and funerary monuments, will be presented and discussed.
The free tour is offered during the summer: it is conducted in German and lasts roughly 60 minutes.
Concept and implementation: Elfi Müller