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#3724 Dresdner Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) - Dresden (Germany)

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The "Dresdner Frauenkirche" (Church of Our Lady) is a Lutheran church in Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony.
Although the original church was Roman Catholic until it became Protestant during the Reformation, the current Baroque building was purposely built Protestant. It is considered an outstanding example of Protestant sacred architecture, featuring one of the largest domes in Europe. Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed in the bombing of Dresden during World War II. The remaining ruins were left as a war memorial, following decisions of local East German leaders. The church was rebuilt after the reunification of Germany. The reconstruction of its exterior was completed in 2004 and its interior in 2005. The church was reconsecrated on 30 October 2005 with festive services lasting through the Protestant observance of Reformation Day on 31 October. It now also serves as symbol of reconciliation between former warring enemies. The Frauenkirche is often called a cathedral, however it is not the seat of a bishop. The bishop's church is the "Kreuzkirche" (Church of the Holy Cross) in Dresden.

The altar, a relief depiction of Jesus' agony in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives by Johann Christian Feige, was only partially damaged during the bombing raid and fire that destroyed the church. The altar and the structure behind it, the chancel, were among the remnants left standing. Features of most of the figures were lopped off by falling debris and the fragments lay under the rubble. Builders decided not to reproduce the 1736 Gottfried Silbermann organ, despite the fact that the original design papers, description and details exist, giving rise to the Dresden organ dispute (Dresdner Orgelstreit). When installed, the Silbermann organ had three manuals with 43 ranks and over the years had been remodeled and expanded to five manuals with 80 ranks. Daniel Kern of Strasbourg (France) completed a 4873 pipe organ for the structure in April 2005 and it was inaugurated in October of that year. The Kern organ contains all the stops which were in the Silbermann organ and attempts to recreate their sounds. The Kern work contains 68 stops and a fourth swell manual in the symphonic 19th century style which is apt for
the organ literature composed after the baroque period.

Matthijs van Wageningen
Created on
Monday 1 June 2015
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