Saturday, July 18, 2009


My first visit to Dresden was in 1990 (the same summer as my first visit to Oxford). This was very shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall and the city was not used to many visitors. My memory of the city was that it had not remotely recovered from the firebombing of WWII which literally wiped it off the map in one night. Forty-five years later, there were still large sections that were still simply rubble. And much (if not most) of the construction and reconstruction since the war were hideous eastern-block buildings.

Since the reunification of Germany, the real reconstruction of Dresden has begun. The historic churches and palaces of Dresden have been slowly reassembled with combinations of new stones, and old stones recovered from the rubble. Although the reconstruction is far from finished, the city is already quite beautiful now. One can almost imagine what it looked like in the 1800s when it was the center of power in Saxony.

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