The signature landmark of Dresden is the Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady. It is one of the most talked about German buildings in the recent past.
In World War II, air-raids wiped out Dresden, destroying many historic buildings and churches. Among them was the Frauenkirche, which collapsed into a 42 feet high pile of rubble; the ruins were left untouched for 40 years, a reminder of the destructive powers of war.
In the 1980s, the ruins became a site of the East German peace movement; thousands gathered here to peacefully protest the regime of the East German Government.
The Resurrection of the Frauenkirche
Due to the increasing decay of the ruins and those who thought it an eyesore, the painstaking reconstruction of the Frauenkirche began in 1994.
The rebuilding of the Frauenkirche was financed almost entirely by private donations from all around the world; it took 11 years and over 180 Million Euro to finish the reconstruction.
Critics of the project felt that this money could have been better spent, e.g. on housing projects.
In 2005, the people of Dresden celebrated the resurrection of the Frauenkirche, which has become their landmark of hope and reconciliation.
Interesting Facts about Dresden's Frauenkirche
Original stones charred from the fire were salvaged from the ruins and combined with new, lighter colored stones - an architectural mosaic of past and present. The Frauenkirche was reconstructed using original plans from 1726. The architects determined the position of each stone from its spot in the rubble.
The colorful murals inside the church and the artistically carved oak doors were recreated with the help of old wedding photographs. The golden cross on top of the church was crafted by a British goldsmith, whose father was an Allied pilot in the air-raids over Dresden.
Essential Visitor's Information
Address: Frauenkirche, Neumarkt, 01067 Dresden
Getting There: The closest tram and bus stops are:
- "Altmarkt“, tram lines 1, 2, 4, 12
- "Pirnaischer Platz“, tram lines 3, 6, 7 and bus line 75
Organ Recitals and Services:
- Organ recitals: Mon-Fri 12 p.m.
- Service (in German): Daily, 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.; 6 p.m
- Service in English: Every third Sunday in a month, 6 p.m.
- Audio guides are available in English
- Guided tour through the church only available in German (free); daily, after the organ recitals and the service
- November - February
- Mon-Sat 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sun 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- March - October
- Mon-Sat 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sun 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Photos: Taking photos/ filming is not allowed inside the church