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Frauenkirche Dresden English

The Frauenkirche Dresden looks back on a history of over 1000 years. It ist a history full of changes, of great splendour and utter destruction. The first Frauenkirche was built in the 11th century as small Romanic missionary church.

Later the church was repeatedly rebuilt and Gothic elements were added. With the Reformation in 1539 the Frauenkirche became a protestant church. At the beginning of the 18th century the building had to be closed due to its dilapidated condition. In 1722 the City Council of Dresden decided to erect an entire new church. The architect and master carpenter George Baehr (1666-1738) was commissioned with the building project. Baehr created a Baroque masterpiece whose unmistakable dome was to become a landmark of the city of Dresden. The monumental dome was made entirely of stone and ranked among the biggest in Northern Europe. With its opulent interior arrangement including the centrally located pulpit, baptismal font, altar and organ the Frauenkirche was a remarkable example of sacred Baroque architecture.

On February 14th 1945, shortly before the end of World War II the Frauenkirche was completely destroyed by a fire storm following the bombing of the Dresden city centre. For more than 40 years the ruins of the church were a reminder of Dresden’s destruction and the horror of war. In 1966 the pile of rubble right in the heart of the city was officially declared as a memorial by the government of the German Democratic Republic. With the reunification of Germany in 1990 the idea of rebuilding the Frauenkirche matarialised. Thanks to the efforts made by the citizen’s action group the reconstruction concept was published and spread throughout the entire world in 1990. The international feedback was overwhelming, the generous donations from all over the world paid for two thirds of the construction sum. The renovation started on May, 27th 1994. Over a period of 11 years the Frauenkirche was rebuilt piece by piece using George Baehr’s original design and materials to the largest extent possible. In June 2005 the renovation was completed. On October 30th, 2005 the consecration of the restored Dresdner Frauenkirche was celebrated. More than 60.000 people gathered in the church and outside on the Neumarkt square to join the consecration service and witness this historical moment. Once a memorial of war and destruction the Frauenkirche now has become a symbol for peace and reconciliation.