Frauenkirche, Dresden, Germany
What comes to everybody’s mind when you encounter the word “Dresden”? It’s bombing, of course. Sadly, this controversial bombing killed 25,000 people, levelling the city centre to piles of rumble. And then after the war, it was hidden behind the Iron Curtain, left to be rebuilt during the East German Communist era…which wasn’t exactly known for its beautiful architecture. However, much of the old town has been restored, showing the resilience of the people, much like their neighbours over in Warsaw (who suffered similar fates, except their town was rebuilt by the Soviets, which is a far worse fate), and other parts of Poland and Eastern Europe obliterated by the war. The Dresdner Frauenkirche was one of the main buildings to be reconstructed. Not formally a cathedral, this building only dates back to the 18th century. Dresden was flattened in mid-February 1945 when the RAF and the USAAF dropped more than 3,900 tons of bombs on the German city, leaving it as nothing more than a heap of rubble with thousands dead. The church managed to survive two days of attack, but it could not withstand the intense heat from the blasts, and eventually collapsed. It would remain in ruins for the following 45 years. Happily, by 2005, the Frauenkirche‘s reconstruction was completed and the church was more beautiful than ever! If I remember correctly, then the black bricks represent the original stones used.