To me Dresden is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited in Germany. It was almost completely destroyed towards the end of Word War II but has been rebuilt since, partially during the time of the German Democratic Republic but noticeably also after Germany's reunification in 1990.
One specific building of interest to me was the Dresdner Frauenkirche or Church of Our Lady, a Lutheran church designed by George Bähr and completed in 1743. Here is what was left by the end of the war. Its ruins remained a war memorial until 1994 when a Dresden Citizens' initiative started a private fund-raising campaign to have the church reconstructed.
|Bundesarchiv, Photographer: Giso Löwe|
When I visited Dresden in Nov 1999, only the basement had been rebuilt. What is unique about its reconstruction is that some of the old material, about 3,800 stones, was utilized and placed back were it originally was. The old and dark stones are clearly visible within the new, light-colored sandstone structure.
It cost ~180 million Euro to rebuilt the church and I'm proud that I chipped in a tiny bit of this amount back in 1999 and again during our visit to support the church's maintenance.
Did I mention that Dresden is beautiful? Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony and located not far from the Czech border. It has a long history of being the royal residence and is known for its baroque and rococo architecture. And btw, it is my father's birthplace.
|Brühl's Terrace and Elbe River|
|Dresden Cathedral "Hofkirche"|
|Entrance gate of Dresden Castle "Residenz Schloss"|
|Church of Our Lady from a different angle|
We spent the second day in the southern part of the city, across the "Augustus Bridge". This part is dominated by pubs and all kinds of multicultural eateries and stores. Quite different to what we saw before: colorful, young and vivid.
|Some kind of youth cafe|
|Do I really have to translate? :-)|
|One of the many beer gardens|
Also, I have never noticed before that there is a traffic light woman. She apparently only lives in a few Eastern German cities like Dresden, Fürstenwalde, Leipzig and Zwickau. I'm so glad they did not get "killed" in the course of Germany's reunification and replaced by the characterless symbol we have in West Germany!
|Traffic Light Woman "Ampelfrau" in Dresden|
|Traffic Light Man "Ampelmann" in Berlin|
Back to the older part of town we came by one of PEGIDA's weekly Monday demonstrations. What do they stand for: Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West. Their founder is facing an investigation for suspected incitement.
|"PEGIDA" demonstration in front of the cathedral|
|Semper Opera House states: "For a cosmopolitan Dresden"|
|The organ and pastel-colored painting at the inside|
|Church of Our Lady and "Neumarkt"|