“Freiberg Temple Dedicated,” Ensign, Aug. 1985, 75
The Freiberg DDR Temple became the thirty-third temple in operation in the world after dedication services June 28.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the new temple. It is the second temple in operation on the European continent.
Dedication of the Stockholm Sweden Temple followed just four days later, with dedicatory sessions beginning on July 2.
The new Freiberg Stake Center building, adjacent to the temple, was dedicated at the same time. The site also includes a genealogical research and processing center. It is located between Dresden and Karl Marx Stadt in the German Democratic Republic.
The dedicatory services followed a two-week public open house during which thousands of Germans toured the sacred edifice—more than ten thousand in the first few days. Many obviously took pride in the building. Church Architect Emil B. Fetzer reported that some local residents, though not Latter-day Saints, nevertheless refer to the building as “our temple.”
The temple sits on top of a rise several blocks outside the walls of the 900-year-old city of Freiberg. It catches the eye not only because of its prominence, but also because of its architecture. “We wanted it to be a German temple, and we designed it accordingly, after getting a feeling for their culture and architectural traditions,” Brother Fetzer said.
Its design harmonizes with the medieval architecture of Freiberg. Its tower is Germanic, and it has a gray-blue slate roof and stained glass windows.
Brother Fetzer worked closely with government officials in getting the exterior design approved. The German Democratic Republic’s emphasis on saving energy was also taken into account. “The exterior walls are two feet thick, and the windows have been triple-glazed,” the architect said.
The temple serves some six thousand members of the Church in the German Democratic Republic and other countries of eastern Europe. The 8,000-square-foot structure is somewhat smaller than others the Church has built, but “it is complete in every way and has everything any other temple has,” Brother Fetzer said.
It has an ordinance room with a capacity of forty, two sealing rooms, and a small celestial room impressive in its elegance. The materials and craftsmanship in the building are noteworthy, Brother Fetzer said, adding that workers who built it took a reverent attitude toward the structure and an obvious pride in their work.
Plans to build the temple were announced in October of 1982, and Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Council of the Twelve broke ground for it on 23 April 1983.