Expatica news

Rebuilt church marks Dresden bombing

13 April 2004

DRESDEN – As cheering crowds looked on under sunny skies Tuesday, a crane set the last stone in place in the spire of Dresden’s landmark Frauenkirche, destroyed during the 13 February 1945, Allied war-time bombing of city.

Masons mortared the stone into the 78-metre-tall spire, marking completion of the 150-million-dollar external structural re- construction of the Baroque structure.

Now all that is left is for workers to hoist the gilded cross into position atop the spire in ceremonies scheduled for 22 June. Upon completion of the interior, the Lutheran church is to be reconsecrated on Reformation Day, 30 October 2005.

First completed in 1743, for 200 years the Frauenkirche dominated Dresden’s skyline until the firebombing of the city by British and US forces from 13 to 15 February 1945.

After the war, Communist authorities stalled rebuilding efforts. The church remained a pile of rubble for nearly 50 years and became a warning memorial to the war and increasingly a place of pilgrimage for peace activists.

In 1990, following the demolition of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, a group of Dresden citizens launched the rebuilding fund drive and construction got under way in 1994.

British donors paid for the new cross that will adorn the top of the church, while the man who made it is the son of a British pilot who took part in the 1945 bombing.



Subject: German news