Dresden was almost wholly destoyed in February of 1945.
The firebombing raid leveled 90% of the old-city, and some 25,000 were killed.
With these terrible statistics in mind, it’s a wonder that Dresden is one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations. With an old quarter that looks as though it were built during the reign of the Prussians, Dresden just feels old.
Many of the buildings are in fact reconstructions; one of the largest churches, Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) opened it’s doors as recently as 2005.
Dresden is also an easy city to get to; only 2 hours by train from Berlin or 3 hours if you ride the (much) less expensive regional trains. We took a morning train and spent a healthy eight hours in the city.
We spent the second half of the day in Neustadt, the newer portion of the city that sits across the Elbe river. The Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr is the museum of the German Bundeswehr, the nation’s armed forces.
The museum does a great job of explaining conflict history from 1300 to present day, with over 1.5 million artifacts and exhibitions. Not particularly a warmonger, the historical perspective and tremendous architecture of the building were most fascinating to me.
I’m very excited to check out the Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival) tomorrow night; it’s one of the world’s largest film festivals with over 1,000 screenings. I’m seeing two films with my Contemporary Cinema class, and hopefully another documentary or two on my own.