Monday, January 25, 2010


After the gig in Chemnitz on Tuesday, I had Wednesday night off before crossing the country for a show in Unna on Thursday.  I decided to spend it in Dresden, which is only an hour by train from Chemnitz, and is the capital of the region of Saxony.  I set up a last minute couchsurf with the help of my friend Rolf (Prague), and had a lovely evening.  My host Maria invited some other cs'ers from Dresden over for Poker, and I even taught some of them how to play Euchre.  It turned into a bit of an impromptu house concert, as well.  After getting the hell out of Chemnitz asap I did a bit of sightseeing around Dresden before meeting up with Maria, and so below are some pictures from that.  

Dresden is a beautiful city in the eastern part of Germany, and is still rebuilding and re-inventing itself.  Towards the end of World War II it was the target of a massive bombing campaign by the British and American air forces, and the city was pretty much completely destroyed.  It remains a very controversial military operation, as 3,900 tons of incendiaries were used on a town that was not a strategic military target, and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 24,000 to 40,000 innocent civilians.  Kurt Vonnegut wrote about the firebombing of Dresden in his book, "Slaughterhouse-Five", and the author actually witnessed the attacks first hand as a prisoner-of-war at the time.  All of the buildings in the pictures have been rebuilt since that destruction, even if they look old.

The domed building in the background is the Frauenkirche (church), a proud symbol of Dresden's re-building.  More on that in a moment.

A piece from the original dome of the Frauenkirche, which has been set in this main town square as a memorial.

Ok, so the Frauenkirche is an important symbol for Dresden, because it was almost completely destroyed in the bombing and was only recently reconstructed.  Only one wall remained standing after the bombing, and the ruins of the church sat untouched under communist rule for nearly 50 years, and the ruins became a sort of memorial to the city's destruction.  After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the reunification of Germany, the city began to plan to rebuild the church.  It was only finished in the last few years, opening in 2005.  The few darker blocks you can see are the few usable pieces from the original church.

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