The Heilig-Geist-Kapelle, or Holy-Ghost-Chapel, is a medieval chapel located in Mitte, between Museum Island and Alexanderplatz. The chapel was built around the year 1300 and was a small part of the Holy Spirit Hospital.
The hospital was demolished in 1825 and today, only the chapel remains. The chapel has undergone several restorations over the years to keep it standing, the latest being in 1995. It was during this time that workers uncovered a foundation from a previous older building and mass graves from those who died from epidemics such as the plague.
While healthcare isn’t generally one of the things that comes to mind when thinking about the Middle Ages, hospitals were very important to Europe’s medieval cities. Hospitals would generally be placed on main roads just outside the city limits, to avoid the sick infecting others. These hospitals (along with churches) provided food and shelter for poor travelers who couldn’t afford them otherwise. The Heilig-Geist-Kapelle was probably at the time built outside the city walls, however in the last 700 years, the city has rapidly expanded and now the chapel finds itself near the “center” of Berlin.
The Heilig-Geist-Kapelle found itself in East Berlin during the cold war and curiously, was used as a cafeteria during this time. The building is now owned by Humboldt University and is used for private functions. While it’s not open to the public, visitors may be interested in walking around the exterior of the chapel and viewing the many different types of bricks and field stones used in its construction.
Website: https://www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/de/hgkdata (German)
Wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heilig-Geist-Spital_(Berlin) (German)
Address: Spandauer Straße 1, 10178, Berlin (Mitte)
How to get there
The Tram and Bus lines runs directly in front of the Heilig-Geist-Kapelle, get off at the Spandauer Str./Marienkirche stop.
S-Bahn: S5, S7, S75 (Hackescher Markt) or arrive at Alexanderplatz.
U-Bahn: 10 minute walk to Alexanderplatz
Tram: M4, M5, M6 (Hackescher Markt)
Bus: Bus TXL, 100, 200, 147, M48