The Dresden Frauenkirche (above)
To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Dresden before I went backpacking (aka “bussing”) around Europe in 2008 and I’m ashamed to admit that!
Dresden is located in eastern Germany and it’s a city that was totally destroyed during World War II by a fire bombing on February 13th through February 15th from the British and American air forces. It’s estimated that between 1,181 and 1,477 tons of high explosive bombs. The total casualties were estimated by Nazi propaganda to be 200,000 (there were around 600,000 refugees hiding in the city at the time) but a 2012 report came out from the German Dresden Historian’s Association that estimated the actual number of casualties was between 18,000-25,000.
Post-WWII, Dresden became a major industrial center, although the rubble from the bombing was left as a memorial. After the reunification of Germany, reconstruction of the city started with the Dresden Frauenkirche in 1994 and it was completed in 2005, a year before Dresden’s 800th anniversary. You can read more about Dresden’s history here, but here are some photos (which aren’t even half bad considering it was 2008!).
the Royal Palace (top left), the Academy of the Arts (top right), and I have no idea what the last building it – I think it is an art museum (let me know if you know!)
A statue of Martin Luther (left) and an old piece of the original rubble (right)
More of the stunning architecture of the Old Town.
Some of the rubble is still there from when they were bombed. This is a fenced in portion that is kept in it’s original state for all to see.