Landeshauptstadt Dresden - 21.10.2016 13:59:22 Uhr 23.05.2024 08:28:11 Uhr

Reconstruction of the Frauenkirche

It is thanks to the untiring efforts of committed local citizens  that the Dresden Frauenkirche could be rebuilt faithfully to the original.

Following the ceremonial setting of the first stone in May 1994, the construction work continued unerringly. Stone by stone, with old and new in perfect harmony, the Frauenkirche grew slowly back to its former height.

It was initially planned to reconsecrate the church as part of the city jubilee celebrations in 2006. But thanks to the excellent progress made, the reconsecration was already possible at the end of October 2005!

The reconstruction costs of around 250 million DM for the Dresden Frauenkirche were paid almost exclusively from donations collected all over the world.

It began with an idea

Over several decades, the ruins were merely "maintained" by Dresden's monument preservationists.

On 13th February 1990, 45 years after the destruction, a citizen's initiative for the Dresden Frauenkirche came together and addressed a »Call from Dresden« to the world.

They proposed an international effort to raise the church from its ruins as a symbol of peace.

The dream comes true

After numerous controversial debates, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony approved the project in March 1991.

In February of the subsequent year, the local city council also promised its support, whereupon a Dresden Frauenkirche Foundation was set up to act as principal. Intensive planning followed and, one by one, the bureaucratic hurdles were pushed aside.

The so-called "archaeological clearance" of the ruins lasted 18 months. A total of 22,000 cubic metres of stone and architectural elements were salvaged from the 13-metre high mound of rubble and carefully catalogued. By the end of May 1994, the cross-shaped layout of the cellars was visible once more - reconstruction could begin.

Stone upon stone

Before the first stone was set to mark the commencement of reconstruction on 27th May 1994, a copper capsule with contemporary documents was placed into the stonework of Portal A.

The Saxon building workers were busy on the site day and night, and slowly transformed the ruins into a complete and historically faithful reconstruction of George Bähr's Frauenkirche.

As many as possible of the stones salvaged from the ruins were to be incorporated into the new church. In the end, some 40 per cent of the original building substance was found to be suitable for re-use. The individual stones were repaired and remodelled by the masons, and then returned to their original places in the church walls.

The result of this process is a building whose patchwork of differently coloured stones stands as vivid and impressive testimony to its history. The contrast between old and new sandstone ensures that the sad fate suffered by the Dresden Frauenkirche is not forgotten.

The wonder of the Frauenkirche

The regional television company MDR has dedicated a special section of its Internet site to the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche.