Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Dresden is really a fairly new city. It was blown to smithereens over 2 days in 1945. Not just carpet bombed, but incendiary bombs and napalm were used, which ensured that the whole city burned.
It had little military significance and was really an civilian target. This is uncomfortable stuff- civilians fleeing the firestorm were strafed & killed on the roads. Some consider this 48 hrs to have been a war crime. Certainly not the Allies finest hour. Dresden wasn't the worst fire-bombed city in Germany, but the destruction of the city here was almost total. Some buildings have been restored, but I guess you can't restore a whole city. As it was in East Germany, funds for restoration became scarce, and since reunification it is undergoing another renewal phase. Building work going on everywhere you look.
There had been some feral weather before we arrived, and we saw vision of floods on TV news. Came past a lot of water on train from Berlin, and the Elbe was very high, but has been receding while we've been here.
Enough has been rebuilt to see that it was a beautiful city. Some very attractive suburbs.

The Elbe in flood.

Theatre Plaz - cobblestones as far as the eye can see. This is the restored theatre precinct.

Trying to reproduce Canaletto's painting of Dresden from about 1750

Impressive mural near the Terrace and the River- used to be a wall of the Royal Stables.(including street music)

Part of VW HQ in Dresden

It's easy to pick the new from the old in restored buildings. There has been no attempt to clean the old black parts- don't know it this is a financial or political choice.

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