Saturday, August 11, 2012

Frauenkirche - Dresden

The Dresden Frauenkirche, Church of Our Lady was built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed in the firebombing of Dresden during World War II. It was reconstructed as a landmark symbol of reconciliation between former warring enemies. The reconstruction of its exterior was completed in 2004, its interior in 2005 and, after years of rebuilding, the church was reconsecrated on 30 October 2005.

Using original plans used by builder Georg Bähr in the 1720s, reconstruction finally began in January 1993. The foundation stone was laid in 1994, the crypt was completed in 1996 and the inner cupola in 2000.

As far as possible, the church – except for its dome – was rebuilt using original material and plans, with the help of modern technology. The heap of rubble was documented and carried off stone by stone. The approximate original position of each stone could be determined from its position in the heap. Every usable piece was measured and cataloged. A computer imaging program that could move the stones three-dimensionally around the screen in various configurations was used to help architects find where the original stones sat and how they fit together.

Of the millions of stones used in the rebuilding, more than 8,500 original stones were salvaged from the original church . As the older stones are darker due to fire damage and weathering, the difference between old and new stones is amazing to see in real life! 
Frauenkirche in 1880 (from the Bundesarchives)

This photo from the Bundesarchives was taken in 1958.
July 2012


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