Later the church of the Dominican Order (Schwarze Brüder), located at the south side of the castle, was used as the first cathedral. The first church at this site was a baroque cathedral by Johann Boumann, which was completed in 1747 and, in 1822, remodelled in the neoclassicist style by the Berlin architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
In 1894, on German Emperor Wilhelm II's order, this domed building was demolished and replaced by the current cathedral designed by Julius Raschdorff. At 114 metres (374 ft) long, 73 metres (240 ft) wide and 116 metres (381 ft) tall, it was much larger than any of the previous buildings and was considered a Protestant counterweight to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The pipe organ, built by Wilhelm Sauer, had 113 stops, including three ranks of 32' pipes on the pedal division, played by a 4-manual console.
During World War II, the building was bombed by the Allies and severely damaged on May 24, 1944. A temporary roof was installed to protect what remained of the interior and in 1975 reconstruction started. The restoration of the interior was begun in 1984 and in 1993 the church reopened in an event attended by Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl and televised nationwide in Germany. During reconstruction, the organ was fully restored, although the building's original design was modified into a simpler, shorter form.
The main western façade was designed as an open vestibule to the leisure garden. Four corner towers enclose the main cupola and combine to form a vibrant landscape with a characteristic silhouette in the midst of Berlin. Stylistically, the dome adheres to the eclectic forms of the peak of the Renaissance era and the Baroque period. Its architecture is oriented more toward the architecture of St. Peter's Cathedral, the mother church of the Catholic world, than to that of its predecessor. The old cathedral at the Leisure Garden had been constructed in accordance with Knobelsdorff's plans by Johann Boumann from 1747 to 1750 and was later redesigned by Schinkel from 1817 to 1822. After lengthy preliminary planning of the new structure, paying special attention to the designs of Schinkel and Stüler and the results of a competition in the year 1867 under King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, Julius Raschdorff presented the first official plans in 1885. It was not until Wilhelm II took the throne that actual construction of the structure began. The best-known artists of the Wilhelmine era participated in developing this colossal building so representative of the preferences of its time.