From: Dresden, Germany
The Frauenkirche in Dresden is the Reformation's answer to St. Peter's Basilica: It was built in 1743 with the biggest dome north of the Alps, and it remains the largest Protestant church on the European continent.
The Frauenkirche that stands on the Neumarkt today is a reconstruction of the original, which was destroyed in the Allied fire bombing of Dresden in February, 1945. Wikipedia's illustrated article about the Frauenkirche describes what happened:
The ruins were a painful eyesore in the heart of Dresden's Altstadt until the early 1990s, when--following the reunification of Germany--an international fundraising and reconstruction effort began.
It took 11 years to rebuild the church, but work was completed in 1995, and the Frauenkirche was officially reconsecrated in October, 2005, six decades after its destruction by incendiary bombs.
Visiting the Frauenkirche
The nave and lower church are open for tourist visits from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekend hours vary. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. See the Frauenkirche's Visitor Center, Open Church, and Guided Tours pages for details.
If you're physically fit and don't mind heights, you can visit the church dome and its outdoor viewing platform. Part of the ascent is by elevator, but you'll also need to climb steps and walk up a long, steep spiral "donkey ramp" to the top of the 67-meter or 220-foot dome. See the church Web site's Ascent to the Dome page for hours and ticket prices.
For more information about the church--including its history, reconstruction, religious services, organ recitals, and concerts--visit the Frauenkirche Dresden Web site.
Back to: Dresden index
1st inset photo scan copyright © Grafissimo.
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