Dresden prepares for crowds as church re-opens

28th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 October 2005, DRESDEN, GERMANY - The German city of Dresden was preparing Friday to host 100,000 people at the re-opening Sunday of its Frauenkirche, the magnificent church flattened in 1945 by Allied bombing and rebuilt as a symbol of reconciliation.

28 October 2005

DRESDEN, GERMANY - The German city of Dresden was preparing Friday to host 100,000 people at the re-opening Sunday of its Frauenkirche, the magnificent church flattened in 1945 by Allied bombing and rebuilt as a symbol of reconciliation.

The Frauenkirche Foundation said it had accredited hundreds of media people for the grand re-opening of the Lutheran church, which will be televised nationwide on two public channels in Germany.

Since there is only seating in the huge church for 1,700 people, most residents and tourists are expected to watch the main ceremony Sunday on giant screens on the streets outside.

A programme of church services and concerts on the new organ will continue right through to Tuesday.

Some 850 of the donors who contributed a total of 100 million euros (120 million dollars) for the rebuilding have been allotted seats in the church near dignitaries including Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, his successor Angela Merkel and ambassadors of the World War Two Allies.

Britons and Americans contributed generously to the project in a sign of the friendship that followed the hatred of the war.

The re-dedication is to begin in the open air outside the church, with a procession of young people carrying inside its bible, altar cross, chalices and baptismal font before Lutheran bishop Jochen Bohl declares the former ruin hallowed ground.

The service includes separate dedications of the pulpit, the baptismal, the altar and the organ.

Catholics and other faiths will attend an ecumenical service at the church on Sunday evening, with the Anglican Bishop of Coventry, Colin Bennett, to preach. Coventry Cathedral in England was rebuilt in 1962 in a similar act of reconciliation.

Unlike the new Coventry Cathedral, a modern church next to the ruin of the old, the Frauenkirche is a replica of the old, with old and new stone mingled to recall the years when it lay in rubble.

DPA

Subject: German news

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