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  • CENTRAL EUROPE 2011

    Day 6 

    September 7 Wednesday - 

    Dresden

    In Berlin, our apartment was only a block from the Hackesten Market metro station and two stops would put us in the train station, but since it was morning commute tim, we thought it best to take a taxi  since we had our luggage.  We had no trouble finding the train.  We had made reservations several months before.  All of the train stations that we encounter on this trip had a nice board  near the track that showed each train by number and where on the platform our coach was located.  It was a nice two hour train ride.  We arrived at lunch time, and there was…you guessed it…a Burger King in the train station.  Nothing like American fast foods. We took a taxi to our hotel. It seemed like a very long ride. 

      We checked in to the Bulow Residence at Konigstrabe 14 which was three blocks from  the bridge to the Old Town. We had a beautiful, large room with an attractive seating area and desk.  We were on the second floor. 

     Of course, the first place that we went to visit was the Frauenkirche.  We have been looking forward to our visit for many months.  For our story about our attraction for the Frauenkirche, read the story on Day 3.   Click here to see my model of Frauenkirche.

    Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)

     In 1726 the new Frauenkirche, designed by George Bahr (1666-1738), was started on the site of the former 14th church.   It took three years to get to the level of the dome, at which time the church was consecrated.   The dome was finished and thus the church was completed  in 1743.  For centuries, it survived all the wars in which the city was involved.  During the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) when Dresden was devastated by the Prussian army of Frederick the Great, the cannon balls bounced harmlessly off the church.    It also survived the revolutionary riots in May 1849 when other buildings like the opera house were completely destroyed.

    During the devastating air raid on the city on February 13, 1945, it seemed once again that the Frauenkirche would withstand the bombing.  On February 15,the church collapsed and reduced to a pile of rubble. After the war consideration was given to rebuilding.  But owing to the changed political condition in what was then the Soviet Zone work on restoring was stopped.

    For 47 years the rubble remained undisturbed as a reminder of the horrors of war.  Then in 1992 a group of Dresden citizens formed a commission to rebuild the church just as it had been.   Funds were raised from around the world.    The new foundation was laid in 1994 and construction began.  As much of the old stone work as possible was used and in many cases put back in its original position, which accounts for the different color stone.   The work was finished and the church consecrated on October 30, 2005. (see model)

    After walking around the outside, taking general photos, we went inside.  It was beautiful - very baroque and rather colorful- with pastel colors.  The interior is almost square, being only 150 feet wide.  The interior of the dome is 120 feet under a 225 foot main dome. The Baroque sandstone altar shows Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane with soldiers led by Judas on their way.   Eighty percent of today’s altar is from original material…more than 2000 individual fragments.

    Then we went back outside where I spent a long time outside taking pictures of all the little details that I spent so much time putting together on my model.  I was particularly interested in how the roof of the apse met the curve of the bottom of the dome.  It was thrilling to see it in person.

     We went into a book store and bought a small book on the church.  All of the beautiful historic buildings are located a short distance from each other. Most were closed by the time we got there. We checked out the location of the Green Vault which we have tickets to visit tomorrow.

    We went in the Zwiger Palace complex which contains many buildings each featuring different exhibits - the Old Master’s Picture Gallery, the Armory, the Porcelain Collection and the thematics/ Physics Salon. The palace was built 1710-28 by the architect Pöppelmann in cooperation with the sculptor Permoser.  Originally designed as an orangery and a setting for court festivities, it was later used for exhibitions.  it is said To be the most perfect of late Baroque architecture in Germany

    As it was near closing time, we only had time to visit one hall which was called the  Nymphenbad, a small enclosed courtyard with a baroque fountain featuring numerous statues of nymphs and tritons – mythical Greek gods.

    We had made reservation back in August for dinner at Canaletto restaurant in the Westin Bellevue hotel.  My wife had read a number of reviews about it which recommended it as one of Dresden’s finest.  The hotel was a combination of new and old and very attractive. We went to the Canaletto restaurant and were told they were having a private party and were not serving dinner.  We showed them a copy of our confirmed reservation from Bookatable.  They said that didn't have it.  We had to go somewhere else but they promised to seat us tomorrow at 5:00 before the opera and then dessert after the opera. We did write an email to Bookatable.  They wrote an apology, but we didn’t hear anymore from them.  We have found that you cannot always depend on restaurant booking websites.

    My model enthusiast friend, Mike Stamper, in London had recommended Ontario- a Canadian Steakhouse.  It was right across the street from the Frauenkirche.  It was lovely inside.  We each had a fish dinner. So much for Canadian steaks!!  I had Halibut and my wife had a Pike Perch. We shared a delicious dessert—two kinds of sorbet and a cheesecake.  We walked around the Frauenkirche and took a lot of night photos.  Back across the bridge to our hotel.  The weather today has been cool and cloudy.  I am glad that I brought my sweater and jacket.

    Next Day

    Day 1 - Berlin

    Day 2 - Berlin

    Day 3 - Berlin

    Day 4 - Berlin

    Day 5 - Berlin - Potsdam

    Day 6 - Dresden

    Day 7 - Dresden

    Day 8 - Prague

    Day 9 - Prague - Kutna Hora

    Day 10 - Prague

    Day 11 - Brno

    Day 12 - Budapest

    Day 13 - Budapest

    Day 14 - Budapest

    Day 15 - Vienna

    Day 16 - Vienna

    Day 17 - Vienna - Melk Abbey

    Day 18 - Vienna

    Day 19 - Salzburg

    Day 20 - Salzburg

    Day 21 - Salzburg

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