If you’re looking for Jesus, head to Tiergarten. At Ave Maria, you’ll find not just one, but a startling multitude in all colours and sizes: Jesus standing arms outstretched, Jesus crowned in thorns and of course Jesus on the cross – to various degrees of kitsch and explicitness (bloody stigmata for example).
There are also Jesus-themed coasters, amulets and necklaces, and iconic pictures and postcards including the negative of Secondo Pia’s photo of the Shroud of Turin. “Our mission in Berlin” is how co-owner Ulrike Schuster defines this little sanctuary in Potsdamer Straße.
In 1995 the ex-school teacher, along with her friend, the filmmaker Dieter Funk, set out to create a Catholic oasis in a bastion of Protestantism. Fifteen years later, miracle of miracles, Ave Maria has become the emporium for devotional accessories. The clientele is an assortment of believers, kitsch-hunters, even stageprop- seekers (such as the Deutsche Oper). Whether you’re motivated by earthly desire or divine inspiration, this holy shop is worth the pilgrimage.