Freiberg Germany Mormon Temple
Plans to build a Mormon temple in Freiberg, Germany, were announced on October 9, 1982. With the temple’s completion in 1985, it became the 33rd operating Mormon temple worldwide. The Freiberg temple was the only Mormon temple to be built in a Communist country. The German Democratic Republic government actually suggested the building of the temple for the Mormon members in the country, because the government wanted to reduce the amount of travel outside of its own country.
Mormon history in Germany goes back to 1840 when members of the Mormon Church began moving there. A small branch was set up in Darmstadt, but it was not until 1852 when the first Mormon missionaries arrived in Germany. They brought with them the Book of Mormon in German. In 1939 with the onset of World War II, missionaries were evacuated from Germany, and missionary work slowed. After the war, missionaries were only allowed to re-enter the Western part of Germany. It was not until March 1989 when Mormon missionaries were finally able to enter Eastern Germany; in November of the same year, the Berlin wall came down. Today there are 36,000 Mormon members in Germany, two temples—Frankfurt and Freiberg—and 14 stakes.
A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held on April 23, 1983. Thomas S. Monson presided at the ceremony. The site of the temple is one acre. The Mormon temple was open to the public for tours June 3-15, 1985. Those who attended the tours of the 14,125 square foot temple were able to see the exterior and enjoy the beauty of the German influenced design of the temple with its gothic style arches, as well as the interior with its one ordinance room, two sealing rooms, baptistry, Celestial room, and other facilities. More than 90,000 people visited the temple during the open house.
The temple was dedicated for official use by Mormon members on June 29-30, 1985, by Gordon B. Hinckley. When the temple was dedicated, there were 29,9000 members in Germany. Renovations were called for, because when the temple was originally built, some of the best materials were not available, and the Church was not allowed to put a statue of the angel Moroni on the spire. The renovations of the temple almost doubled the square footage and added twelve oxen to support the baptismal font, a waiting room for those not able to enter the temple, a matron and bride’s room, as well as an office for the temple president. On December 20, 2001, an angel Moroni statue was placed on top of the temple. A second open house was held August 17-31 2001. After renovations, Gordon B. Hinckley rededicated the Freiberg temple on September 7, 2002. The renovations were also needed because the temple, which before could only be used by Church members in the German Democratic Republic, is now open for use by members in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania.
HAINICHENER STRASSE 64
c/o Europe Area Administration Office
Phone: (49) 3731-35960
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