Before I headed out to Germany, I mentioned to Peter that I’d like to visit Dresden. With this in mind, he suggested that we all visit together and so he hired a funky car to make 130 miles journey down the Autobahn. In the event, he hired an Audi A6 to make the journey, and so we headed down the Autobahn this morning, reaching 130 mph (legally, of course) at one point and arrived in Dresden late this morning.
We headed straight over to the recently reconsecrated Frauenkirche, which had been destroyed in World War 2, along with most of the city and at least 25,000 civilians during a raid in January, 1945. The raid itself was (and remains) one of the most controversial episodes of the war, serving no strategic importance and supposedly designed solely to destroy German morale, which (to most people) was already resigned to defeat following the Normandy landings in 1944.
The Frauenkirche has been completely rebuilt from as much of the original stonework as possible and was, up to its completion, layed out like a giant jigsaw puzzle in the vicinity. Now reopened, it’s an impressive building in its own right and serves as a symbol of reconciliation. Dresden is Coventry’s twin city and the reconciliation theme is common to both cities, suffering, as they both did, the most destruction of any city during the war for their sizes.
Following our visit to the crypt/cellar under the church, we headed back out of the Frauenkirche and walked around the old part of the city, which was rebuilt after the war. Finally, we walked around the shopping area and before heading back to the car and back to Potsdam, via a quick visit to IKEA.