Dresden is a must-see when travelers visit Germany on a Grand River Cruise and Tour, and the Dresden Frauenkirche may be one of the most iconic buildings in the entire city. The Church of Our Lady, as it is known to English speakers, is more than just a place of worship, as it is the latest in a long line of religious structures built on that spot, and serves as a memorial to remind citizens and visitors to Dresden of the city's tumultuous past. No Germany river cruises are complete without a tour of this ornate church, which is steeped in history and beauty.
History of the Frauenkirche
The first church to stand where the current building now rests was built in the 11th century as a missionary, according to the Frauenkirche website. Throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, it was expanded and converted to the Gothic style that was popular at the time, but it was torn down and rebuilt in the early 1700s. This structure stood until 1945, when it was demolished by bombs in World War II. Restoration began in the early 1990s, and the new building was designed to closely resemble its predecessor. The restoration project was funded almost completely by donations from around the world, the Dresden city website reports.
Highlights of the Church
While the building itself may be pretty young, it is no less impressive a sight for senior travel groups than other, older architectural marvels in Germany. MDR.de indicates that more than half the materials used to build the church were salvaged from the rubble of the 17th-century building as well.
Music is a large part of this church, and the Kern organ complements the bells, one of which was preserved from the 16th century. Concerts are often held here, giving visitors the chance to take in local culture during their tour of the Frauenkirche. Guests can purchase tickets for concerts at the church at a nearby visitors' center, which also offers information about the building and upcoming events.
The tombs below the church are worth touring as well. Known as the Lower Church, this burial site also served to protect Dresden residents during WWII. It is a sacred spot in which travelers must observe silent contemplation when they visit, which is sure to make the experience all the more memorable and moving.
Travelers embarking on Danube or Rhine River cruises will want to make a point to stop by the Dresden Frauenkirche. Not only will they get to learn about the city's history, but they might also have the chance to take in a spectacular musical performance. Regardless of what they do at the church, visitors are sure to remember the experience for years to come.