Dresden is the capital of the German state of Saxony. It is the second largest city on the River Elbe after Hamburg. The urban area has a population of 790,000. The name of the city as well as the names of most of its boroughs and rivers are of Slavic origin. The city centre and nearby surrounding areas have several historic and cultural attractions.
Afternoon and evening of Wednesday 22nd January 2020
Standing at the north side of the enormous Neumarkt Square close to the Dresden Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). This Lutheran church, first built in the 11th century and reconstructed in the 18th century, was destroyed during the bombing of Dresden during World War II. The remaining ruins were left for 50 years as a war memorial, following decisions of local East German leaders. The church was rebuilt after the reunification of Germany, starting in 1994. The reconstruction of its exterior was completed in 2004 and the interior in 2005. A section of old wall is visible to the left, this is a surviving remnant of the old Frauenkirche, which has been preserved as a memorial. It stands a few metres from the outer wall of the rebuilt church.
The north edge of Neumarkt Square. The buildings around the square were almost completely destroyed by the bombing and resulting firestorm in February 1945. Many have since been rebuilt with at least the façades, sometimes the whole structure, in the style of the original buildings. This restoration program is still ongoing.
Shops and offices on the edge of the square. This rebuilt block is a mix of 20th century and older styles.
Rather dimly lit view across Neumarkt Square showing many of the recreated historic buildings that line its sides. The Frauenkirche just visible to the left.
A large block of recently reconstructed buildings on the west side of the square. The architectural style includes elements of Roccoco or Late Baroque. To the right, a statue can be seen (although it is dimly lit). This is a bronze of reformer and theologian Martin Luther, which survived the 1945 bombings and has since been restored. It is the work of sculptor Adolf von Donndorf from 1885.
The stone base of the Martin Luther statue including what appears to be an ornamental wreath made of metal.
The Baroque front façade of the rebuilt Frauenkirche. Out of view above, the church is topped with a high dome rising to 96 metres (315 ft) in height. It is one of the tallest domes in Europe. The building is considered an outstanding example of Protestant sacred architecture.
Inside the church with part of the main altar visible to the left, and around the sides, raised tiers of seating on balconies.
The central aisle with rows of pews.
Slightly blurred view of the white and gold main altar containing a relief depiction of Jesus’ Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives by Johann Christian Feige. The altar and the surrounding structure were among the remnants left standing, although damaged, following the 1945 bombing.
View across rows of pews with the main altar and pulpit part visible beyond.
Looking over the pews, showing their arrangement in a semi-circle around the pulpit and altar.
To the right side of the main altar with organ pipes just visible above. The original 1736 organ was built by famed organ maker Gottfried Silbermann. This new 4,873 pipe organ completed in 2005 aimed to recreate the sound of the original but is not an exact copy.