A landmark which is both old and new: the church's dome, known as the "Stone Bell" has arisen from the ruins and people now queue to see it up close.
Dresden's new old landmark! The impressive Protestant church was built from 1726-43 based on plans by city architect George Bähr, who took his inspiration from the domes of Italian churches. Neither the architect nor August the Strong, who supported the building of the church despite his conversion to Catholicism, lived to see its completion. The huge dome, the "Stone Bell", survived the bombardment by the Prussians in the Seven Years' War. Initially, although burnt out, it also survived the night of bombing on 13 February 1945. But on the morning of 15 February the annealed pillars gave way, and the church collapsed in on itself. After the war, the ruin became an anti-war monument, and in the 1980s a symbol of the GDR peace movement. In 1993, the reconstruction began with the salvaging and cataloging of the stones which were still useable, and the Frauenkirche was then officially opened to great ceremony on 30 October 2005. The interior of the church, which is flooded with light and is in the shape of a central room with five galleries and can accommodate 1800 people, greets visitors with great baroque splendour. The altar created by Johann Christian Feige was restored using parts which had been preserved. The organ backdrop was also reconstructed, the organ built in the Silbermann guise by the Strasbourg company Kern. The damaged original dome cross recalls the night of bombing in Dresden, the new one on the dome - a symbol of reconciliation - was created by a London goldsmith, the son of a British bomber pilot. The lower church, the "place of tranquillity", houses the restored monument to George Bähr. You are very much urged to ascend up to the viewing platform above the dome. Services take place on a regular basis (Su 11 a.m., 6 p.m.) along with concerts and other events. The building offers an excellent view. Entry to the building is free.