The many faces of Dresden

May 30, 2017, JNS

Cross the August Bridge over the Elbe River towards the Altstadt (Old Oity) of Dresden on a tour bus, and you’ll likely hear “oohs” and “aahs” from tourists as they behold the restored Baroque skyline that made Dresden the “Florence of the Elbe.”

These days, most people don’t associate the capital of the German state of Saxony with its historic beauty. The infamous Anglo-American firebombing of February 1945 turned the Old City into rubble, killing an estimated 40,000.

While other German cities suffered equal or greater devastation, Dresden captures the public’s imagination because the city houses some of the world’s most stunning Baroque churches and palaces—like the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) and the Zwinger, both destroyed in the bombing and later rebuilt—as well as fine Renaissance artworks.

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