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Press Release

11.06.2009

Barack Obama visits Dresden

US President Barack Obama meets Chancellor Angela Merkel in Dresden on 4th and 5th June.

The first week of June 2009 held a very special event in store for Dresden, and one which will remain etched in the chronicles of the city. US President Barack Obama was visiting Germany and stopped off in the Saxon capital to meet Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. The very first rumours that such a visit was planned already triggered feverous anticipation. Trams were decorated with stickers proclaiming "Welcome Mr. President" and everyone started to make their own guesses: Where will he stay, and which places will he visit?

"It is very pleasing that the American President, Barack Obama, is making his first stop here in Dresden," said Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in her statement at a joint press conference in the former Royal Palace. "This is a highly symbolic city. It is a city that was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, was then rebuilt, and especially since German unification has again turned into a jewel of German culture and civilisation. The people here are so glad that you've come to see them, because it shows that you also pay tribute to the tremendous efforts they have made in those 20 years after the fall of the wall. Once again, a very warm welcome to you!"

US President Barack Obama replied in equally friendly words: "Well, thank you very much, everybody. Good morning. It is wonderful to be in the beautiful city of Dresden, which obviously is steeped in history and, as Chancellor Merkel discussed, has overcome great tragedies and is now this beautiful city full of hope."

Following his talks with Chancellor Merkel, the President took the time to visit some of the most important sights in the city, such as the Zwinger and the Historical Green Vault. "Wonderful!" was his immediate expression of awe as he entered the Dresden Frauenkirche. In the end, it was just a few hours which Barack Obama was able to spend in Dresden.

A short stay, but still long enough to leave its marks. So much so, that Dresden Marketing GmbH is planning to organise tours "In the footsteps of Barack Obama" for press representatives and tour operators, taking in all the points of interest which the American president also visited during his stay.

Programme of the visit to Dresden by US President Barack Obama

4th June 2009
Arrival of the US President aboard Air Force One at Dresden Airport and motorcade into the city with the presidential limousine.
Overnight stay at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden.

5th June 2009

Official appointment in the Royal Palace, Dresden
Meeting of government leaders Merkel and Obama in the "Historical Green Vault". One-hour discussion on various world issues behind closed doors in the Bronze Room. One particular topic was the state of preparations for the next world financial summit in September.

Signing of the Golden Books of the City and the State of Saxony
The entry in the Golden Book of the City of Dresden now reads: "Greetings from the people of the United States".

Tour of the Historical Green Vault with the Royal Saxon treasure collections.

Joint press conference under the new glass roof spanning the courtyard of the Royal Palace.

Visit to the Frauenkirche accompanied by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Saxon Minister-President Stanislaw Tillich, Bishop Jochen Bohl and the Mayor of the City of Dresden, Helma Orosz. The "Prince of Denmark's March" sounded from the organ gallery, and President Obama lit a candle with the message "May peace be with you" by the tower cross.

Visit to the Zwinger
Barack Obama walked back to the hotel from the Zwinger together with Angela Merkel.

Departure in the afternoon

Barack Obama visiting the reconstructed Frauenkirche in Dresden

Barack Obama visiting the reconstructed Frauenkirche in Dresden
(© Oliver Killig)

The inner courtyard of the Dresden Royal Palace, with its new transparent membrane roof, offered a worthy setting for the press conference during Barack Obama's visit to Dresden.

The inner courtyard of the Dresden Royal Palace, with its new transparent membrane roof, offered a worthy setting for the press conference during Barack Obama's visit to Dresden.
(© Robert Michael)

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