Die Frauenkirche zu Dresden

I have mixed feelings about this. I have been here several times over the years, visiting family and friends. The last time I was there many of the new pieces had been arrayed, and construction was about to begin. A part of me would have liked to see a construction project of the same cloth as the Gedächtniskirche in Berlin, only somehow less glassy. I hope that over the years the colors of the newer stones and those of the older, original stones, remain distinct. To me it would be a shame to lose touch with the tragic history of the building.


2 Responses to Die Frauenkirche zu Dresden

  1. Anonymous says:

    It reminds me of some of the Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem (there might have been more than one, but it reminds of the one I can remember, duh). Here in this rather nicely redone quarter of Jerusalem is just a little burned out husk. They don’t want to fix it, as it has much more symbolism as an unused building than as a used one.

    Instead of maybe giving my own opinion, I would ask – what symbolism do you think the destroyed church had? What symbolism does it have now? It is principally a question of the power of symbols for me, and so I’m curious as to what you think of them. The Kaiser’s church (from the Wikipedia entry) was fascinating, in that they left the old church there too. Seems like a fascinating symbol.

    Thanks, I had heard they did this but it barely blipped my radar today.

  2. OSC says:

    The legitimacy of the bombing of Dresden has been debated, at times rather hotly, for decades. Was it necessary? Was it a legitimate target? Was the firepower proportionate to the target? Some have even gone so far as to invoke the term “war crime.” I have done some reading, but wouldn’t presume to make a judgment on it.

    There were some interesting bits of coincidental trivia about the ruin, though. Like, for example, the statue of Luther on the grounds–it remained standing, looking almost defiant with the destruction in the background.

    Symbolism? Perhaps that war is hellish. This was a small picture of what bombing does. We hear about bombings daily, nowadays, but rarely do we get to see it, upclose, to really start to grasp the magnitude of man’s destructive potential. It’s easy to become desensitized to it all given news reports and the like. It becomes something a little more to see it personally while maintaining a safe distance from it, if that makes sense.

    Another symbol came to mind, as I remember, that church isn’t primarily a building. It’s the people of God gathered by Him around His Word and His Sacraments. The building might accomodate that gathering.

    It’s also interesting to me that recent history has gutted the church in Germany. The Frauenkirche was maybe a little more honest than some of the other beautiful churches. The country is lousy with them, but they’re all empty on Sunday mornings. The congregations that worship in these beautiful buildings are generally small. They’re tourist attractions, primarily.

    That’s some of what struck me.

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