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A Place of Remembrance by Kronimus

The early Gothic St. Christoph’s Church on Karmeliterplatz in Mainz was built between 1292 and 1325. It was almost completely destroyed in the heavy bombing raids on the city in 1942 and 1945. In 1963/64, the ruin was transformed into a war memorial and a chapel. However, there was no real concept for the surroundings of the memorial, and so over time a hodgepodge of functions and materials developed. On the 70th anniversary of its destruction, it was decided to restore the monument’s dignity. In addition to the renovation of the building fabric of the church ruins and tower, the aim was to fundamentally restructure the existing urban space, to combine uses and to bundle areas.

Raible Landschaftsarchitekten + Ingenieure from Mainz structured the square, paths and green spaces into a spacious and functional overall structure. Today, the church ruin stands in the centre of the newly-created square. The memorial is located at the intersection of several streets and squares with traffic-calmed and barrier-free access, and at the same time offers people a place into which to retreat. Filigree metal benches inside the monument serve as reminders of the building's previous use and allow visitors to contemplate its history in peace. Raible Landschaftsarchitekten have linked the church ruins and the square inseparably to each other. The design language and zoning of the area are characterised by the interplay of benches and surface strips, metal and concrete. Kronimus’s large slabs in the dark grey colour “Graffito No. 739” are used as paving and extend into the interior of the ruined church. In contrast, light-coloured, custom-made strip coverings measuring 100 × 45 cm transfer the division of the interior to the exterior, while colourful glass panels inform visitors about the history of National Socialism in general and that of St. Christoph in particular.

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