Staircase in the French Cathedral, a church at the Gendarmenmarkt square, Berlin Mitte, Germany, Europe. The Französischer Dom was built between 1780 and 1785 wall to wall next to the Französische Friedrichstadtkirche (French Church of Friedrichstadt). Both buildings are often collectively referred to as the Französischer Dom. The sanctuary was designed by the architect Cayart as a haven for the Huguenots, French Protestants seeking refuge in Berlin. The building continues to serve the congregation and is regularly used for worship, organ meditations, various concerts, lectures, exhibits and events.  You can enter the impressive structure on the Gendarmenmarkt from both sides. On the side facing the square you will come upon the stairwell where you can climb the 284 steps to the viewing balustrade around the tower, offering panoramic views of the Gendarmenmarkt and Berlin's historic city centre. The Französchischer Dom is also home to an old library and the archives of the French parish which are open to students and researchers.