Day 29, Monday, September 23, 2019
We only have one day in Dresden so we walk outside and do not visit any museums. On our way to the old town, this bus gives us a chuckle. We are pretty sure that its destination is not what we phonetically sound out! We walk through the Zwinger Palace grounds. There are a lot of beautiful buildings here, which is surprising because Dresden was heavily bombed during the Second World War. I don’t know what these buildings are but we enjoyed walking about and looking at their exteriors. We go inside the Dresden Cathedral, which was heavily damaged during war but was restored by 1962. Here are photos showing the damage caused by the bombing. We walk along the Elbe River, looking for a bathroom, or WC as they are called here. They are few and far between! We do find this lovely terrace where the trees form a canopy over the whole area.While we were still looking for the elusive WC’s, that were marked on our map but didn’t seem to be anywhere to be found, we discover this beautiful big tree that begged us to take its photo. The Frauenkirche Dresden, or Church of Our Lady is a Luthern Church that was almost completely destroyed during the war. Only parts of its crypts remained intact. The interior is very beautiful with luminous pastel colours and lots of light.
“On 13 February 1945, Anglo-American allied forces began the bombing of Dresden in World War II. The church withstood two days and nights of the attacks and the eight interior sandstone pillars supporting the large dome held up long enough for the evacuation of 300 people who had sought shelter in the church crypt, before succumbing to the heat generated by some 650,000 incendiary bombs that were dropped on the city. The temperature surrounding and inside the church eventually reached 1,000 °C (1,830 °F). The dome finally collapsed at 10 a.m. on 15 February. The pillars glowed bright red and exploded; the outer walls shattered and nearly 6,000 tons of stone plunged to earth, penetrating the massive floor as it fell.” ~Wikipedia
Check out this link for more really interesting information on the rebuilding of the church.
The crypt was huge, not what we were expecting at all. There were modern sculptures displayed here. This one shows ‘Construction’ and ‘Destruction’ opposite each other. This burned and twisted cross is from the original church. Here is the church from our vantage point in the square outside. The dark stones are the ones that were from the original church.
The Fürstenzug or Procession of Princes is the largest porcelain mural in the world. It is 101.9 metres (334 ft) long and 10.5 metres (34 ft) high. This very long mural depicts 35 Dresden rulers from the 12th to the 20th century. There are also 59 scientists, artisans, craftsmen, children and farmers in the mural.
This is an impressive sight, and the detail is amazing. It is also amazing that this mural survived the bombing of Dresden with minimal damage. We notice a doorway…looks like Bob is ‘walking towards the light’! The doorway opens on this courtyard with a different horned animal on each pillar. I think someone liked hunting? Back to the Zwinger Palace and Bob discovers that we can walk up to the elevated walkway for some great views of the palace and its grounds. Statues line the walkway and this dome is over the entrance to the grounds. There are some interesting sculptures on the interior walls of the palace and one of the walls has fountains all along its length. There is some work taking place on the outside wall of the palace and I really liked the graffiti on the construction barricades.We end our day with a ride on the ferris wheel. It has been many years since we were last on a ferris wheel. Here are some views from the top of the ferris wheel. The people and cars below are very tiny!