Das Buddhistische Haus

Berlin, Germany

Das Buddhistische Haus

Das Buddhistische Haus (English: Berlin Buddhist Vihara, literally the Buddhist house) is a Theravada Buddhist temple complex (Vihara) in Frohnau, Berlin, Germany. It is considered to be the oldest and largest Theravada Buddhist center in Europe and has been declared a National Heritage site.

The main building was designed by the architect Max Meyer for Paul Dahlke, a German physician who had undertaken a number of trips to Ceylon prior to World War I and became a Buddhist. It incorporates elements of Sri Lankan ( Sinhalese) Buddhist architecture and culture and was completed in 1924. Under Dahlke's direction it became a center of Buddhism in Germany. After his death in 1928, the house was inherited by his relatives and Buddhists met in a house nearby. By 1941 Buddhist meetings and publications were prohibited by the Nazi government. After the war refugees lived in the quarters. The place deteriorated and was even considered for demolition, when Asoka Weeraratna, founder of the German Dharmaduta Society based in Sri Lanka, became aware of its existence. In December 1957 he bought the building from DahlkeÔÇÖs nephew on behalf of the Trustees of the German Dharmaduta Society (GDS). As a result, the 'Haus' became the first Buddhist mission on German soil not operated by German but Sri Lankan Buddhist monks. It was renovated at that time as a Buddhist temple complex.

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