In the middle of the Altstadt on the Dresden Neumarkt, is the most important church of Dresden, completed in the year 1743; dominating the skyline of the city, stands tall the Lutheran Church – Dresden Frauenkirche. The church is one of the most beautiful churches in Germany consecrated in the honor of the Virgin Mary.
Here are some of the facts about this famous cathedral:
- Dresden’s old town is influenced by amazing Baroque architecture amidst which is the most recognizable edifice in the city, Dresden Frauenkirche. Dresden Frauenkirche literally translates as Church of Our Lady, which is located in Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony. The church was completed in 1743. The church is a medley of artwork and frescos, domes, and cupolas.
- The church is one of the great examples of Protestant sacred architecture in the world.
- The Lutheran church was designed by the architect George Bähr, who didn’t even live to see it completed. George Bähr started the work on his most ambitious project in 1722. He was later granted the title of Architect later in the year 1730 for his service to the city of Dresden. Unfortunately, he died in 1738 due to pulmonary edema. His skeleton remains were initially buried in the Johannis cemetery. Later in 1854, after the construction of the church, the remains were moved to the crypt of Frauenkirche.
- This explicit masterpiece was completely destroyed during the allied bombings in World War II. Frauenkirche stood two days after the attacks but fell on February 15th, 1945. The church lay in the rubble for some time and then was put together as a war memorial. Later the parts were moved to storage to prepare for its reconstruction. The structure’s reconstruction was completed in 2005. The orb atop and the new gilded cross were forged in London as a gesture of reconciliation. The old damaged cross is still found at the church’s new altar. Its reconstruction is a symbol of international reconciliation after World War II. The statue of Martin King Luther which was placed outside the church survived the bombing and still stands glorious and tall as ever.
- The Frauenkirche was reconstructed using the original plans from 1726. The majority of the church including the façade, dome, and interiors has been constructed with original materials that remained after the demolition. More than 8,500 stones were salvaged from the original church and around 3,800 were reused in the construction. These stones were put back in the exact same position as back in history. About 80 percent of the altar is made of 1,642 fragments put in their original position. Even the colorful murals, artworks, and the old carved doors were recreated during the reconstruction. It is said that around 1,600 people gathered in 2005 to see the final touches and finishing of the church.
- The original name of the church when it was founded in the Middle Ages was ‘Unserer Lieben Frauen’. Over time, the name shortened to ‘Frauenkirche’. This name was retained even after the reformation of the church despite the Protestant church knowing no adoration of the Virgin Mary.
- The church is created by one of the largest unconventional domes in the entire Europe. The 314-foot-high dome is called Sternerne Glocke or stone bell and a size that big was considered an engineering edifice at the time. Around 12,000-tonne sandstone stones were placed on eight supports for the dome. The older stone can be easily identified due to its darker hue as a result of fire and weathering. The architecture indicates the past and the present in unison, standing ironically in the city.
- The church was erected at the site of a small chapel that stood at the spot for hundreds of years. After the reconstruction, the church took the status of the historical center of the city. The rebuilding of the church reminds people of its troublesome yet beautiful history. It is a symbol of hope and reconciliation. The concept of faith has been translated into architectural form.
- In 1995, a funding campaign was started to raise the church and cover the costs of its rebuilding. Huge donations were obtained from the Germans and International foundations. An estimate of 180 million Euros was raised for the rebuilding.
- The interior of the church has a circular naïve surrounded by galleries, rising till four storeys. The inner dome around the nave is vibrantly painted, depicting the four virtues and evangelists. A ramp runs between the inner and the outer dome till the viewing platform at the top, capturing the astounding views of the city. Even an elevator runs to the top of the church.