25 July 2015

Tourists in Germany - Dresden

After a day in Berlin we thought "Hey, would an additional ~125mi/200km matter, now that we are already so far east? No!" So, we decided to continue our journey south to Dresden.

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"

Can you tell that I'm really fascinated by this church?

The organ and pastel-colored painting at the inside

Church of Our Lady and "Neumarkt"


  1. Such beautiful architecture. While I am not a fan of the church and what it stands for, I have always admired the architecture of their buildings and attention to detail. So beautiful. I am pleased they could re-use some of the original bricks too.

    1. Same here. It is the architecture that interests me and less what churches stand for. I visit all houses of prayer with this same approach, no matter the religion behind them.

  2. I'd love to revisit Dresden, too. The rebuilt architecture is well worth a visit. Although I do not agree with those right wing tendencies evolving from "the valley of the clueless", as the area was called before the wall came down.

    1. In terms of those right wing tendencies we are in agreement with you. It is a problematic topic and should receive a better political approach. The way it is currently dealt with results in conflicts and even violence which is unacceptable. People's fear and unsureness (if this is the right word) should be addressed and worked on by politicians and the society.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks. Have you had the chance to visit at some point?

      I love you sunset pics!