Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dresden Frauenkirche

The Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) is a Lutheran, Baroque church that was originally completed in 1743. It dominated the Dresden skyline for 200 years.

Unlike the majority of the buildings in the city center, it survived the two days and nights of heavy Allied bombing in 1945.

The sandstone pillars which supported the church's dome finally collapsed at 10 AM on February 15, 1945. When the outer walls shattered, nearly 6,000 tons of stone came crashing down. Fortunately the 300 people who had sought refuge inside the church got out before it all came down.

East Germany's communist government let the blackened stones sit in a pile in the city center for 45 years. It had been declared a memorial against war and was a symbol of British and American aggression.

Due to the continuing decay of the ruins, the government decided in 1985 that it would rebuild the Frauenkirche.

It wasn't until after German reunification that rebuilding efforts actually began. It took 11 years and €180 million (+$234 million) but the Frauenkirche was re-consecrated on October 30, 2005. Just in time for Dresden's 800th anniversary.

Approximately 3,800 of the 8,500 salvaged stones from the original church were used in rebuilding efforts.

It is a very beautiful church! There's a lot to see in Dresden but it's worth the visit just to go see this church.

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