The opera house was originally built by the architect Gottfried Semper in 1841.
This is one of the most amazing and magical buildings I've been in- it has survived and been rebuilt after three major tragic events.
After a devastating fire in 1869, the opera house was rebuilt and completed in 1878.
In 1945, during the last months of World War II, the building was destroyed again, this time by the bombing of Dresden and subsequent firestorm. Exactly 40 years later, on February 13, 1985, the opera's reconstruction was completed. It was rebuilt to be almost identical to its appearance before the war. The Semper oper reopened with the opera that was performed just before the building's destruction in 1945, Carl Maria von Weber's "Der Freischütz".
When the Elbe flooded in 2002, the building suffered heavy water damage. With substantial help from around the world, it reopened in December that year.
You will notice that some of the stonework is darker (black) than the rest of the stonework. The stone is specific to the region, and it "ages" with time from light to dark - as much of the stone that survived these tragic events has been reused. Amazing! (it's the same with the Frauen Kirche, tomorrow's post)