The Marktkirche was first mentioned in 1054 and some parts of the basilica date back to the 11th century. It used to be the parish church of Essen and was therefore the religious centre of the town. This place of worship was originally called St. Gertrudiskirche (Church of St. Gertrude) but was renamed Marktkirche in 1890. After being severely damaged during World War II, it was rebuilt in 1952 and the still intact east wing restored. The new west choir was consecrated in the spring of 2006. It was built according to the competition-winning design of architect Eckhard Gerber: a blue glass cube opening onto the interior of the church and breaking through the west wall of Marktkirche. The colour symbolises the blue of heaven as people have always imagined it. A bronze statue of Alfred Krupp by F. Scharper stands in front of the church.