All the energy we stored up after a leisurely day six we spent on our way to Dresden for a bit of a day trip. This city was destroyed by allied bombing in World War II and I was very curious to see how they had decided to rebuild it. What they have done is try to re-build the historic buildings using as much of the original material as possible.
You can tell the original material because it is burned black while the new material is….well new. This gives you an idea of what the damage was like. You can buy some postcards with the pictures of the destroyed monuments and take pictures of them re-built. This is one place that you can go and really see the damage that this war caused.
The total bombing killed an estimated 25,000 people. This number has recently been confirmed by the city in 2010. The recent study shows just how raw this bombing continues to be.
This YouTube is from the allied perspective at the time of the bombing. You can see the different perspectives on it where many people believed it to be a war crime. But enough of politics lets take a look at some of the pictures.
One thing that I tried to do through most of the Prague vacation was to keep my D800 GPS on to track where I was when I took the pictures. Looking back at my Dresden shots it is fun to be able to see the map with my location plotted out. It helps remind me of the day and where I was relative to other buildings.
We went to a Church that was once Catholic before being converted over. It is amazing but rather bare compared with the Baroque Churches in Prague due manly to the destruction during the war there
Walking around Dresden we were able to see some great historic buildings (rebuilt) with large boulevards and streets. The artwork was awe-inspiring and what the people of Dresden have been able to do after such destruction is truly to their credit.
Inside the Church we were able to see a remembrance alcove dedicated to all those that died during the bombing of Dresden. There was a broken marble statue which was destroyed during the bombing and three lonely chairs set at equal spacing from it. The light that came in from the small, narrow windows threw shadows all over the place. It was very well done but photographing it posed a problem. I could not capture the entire alcove in a shot so I focused on the shadows.
We then walked to Zwinger Palace (you can read more about it HERE). This is an amazing mix between park and palace with some interesting artwork all around. Above is a photo after the bombings of 1945. By the 1960’s it had been rebuilt and once again they did an amazing job.
Throughout this Palace they have artwork displayed with stairs taking you from the top floor back down to the park. The labyrinth of stairs were wonderfully done as you can see below.
Finally here is a shot of one of the statues on display. There were hundreds of these throughout the park, each with their classic Germanic feel.