The construction of St. Matthew’s Church
Those who could afford it moved out of the city to the west. When St. Matthew’s Church was consecrated on May 17, 1846, it still stood outside the city gates in the midst of meadows and fields. “Des lieben Gottes Sommervergnügen” (“God’s Summer Delight”) was the name given to the church: “It was quite quiet around the little church. It is completely surrounded by greenery. In front of the portal is a lawn where children sat and played with dandelions; in the gardens the nightingales sang, behind the church you could hear frogs and toads.” Mine Bardua, May 16, 1847
A paradisiacal place of longing – and at the same time a royal representation: The Prussian King Frederick William IV had personally supported the construction and the royal architect Friedrich August Stüler had created it according to the Italian longing of the time in the neo-Romanesque round arch style: A piece of Italy in Prussia. The close connection between throne and altar shaped the piety of the early St. Matthew’s Church: its first pastor, Carl Büchsel (1803-1889), was the king’s pastor and took his side in the turbulence of the March Revolution of 1848: “It was quite clear to me that the reason for the uproar in Berlin was that the ecclesiastical conditions and the cultivation of the fear of God had been incomprehensibly neglected by the city’s authorities.” Carl Büchsel, 1886
The idea of a far-reaching unity of state and church belonged to the widespread images of longing of a Protestantism, which found a sounding board in the so-called “Geheimratsviertel” with its high state officials and influential patrons.