Dresden is a beautiful city. It has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor. The controversial bombing of Dresden in World War II, plus 40 years in the Soviet bloc state of East Germany, changed the face of the city dramatically. Unlike other cities in Germany that were bombed in the height of the war, Dresden was only attacked three days before the end of the war. It was attacked by the Royal Air Force as well as by the United States Army Air Force, who used incendiary bombs to destroy the city. The city was engulfed in an immense fire, where more than 12 ooo dwellings were destroyed and between 25 000 and 35 000 people lost their lives.
The Dresden of today has completely been rebuilt, but you can still see some of the signs of the bombings of the Second World War.
Dresden is famous for its Frauenkirche (church) that was completely destroyed during the war. The reconstruction of its exterior was completed in 2004, its interior in 2005 and after 13 years of rebuilding, the church was reconsecrated on 30 October 2005. Architects have tried to use as many of the original stones as possible, so although it looks much cleaner and brighter than most of the buildings in Dresden, you can still see a few of the original darker stones on its façade.
Besides the church, we also saw the Zwinger Palace, which now houses four different kinds of museums,
the Semperoper, an opera house in Dresden that is world-famous. There is a one-year waiting list for tickets!
and the Dresden castle:
All in all, it was a really nice day.
The day got even better when I got back home and received a phone call telling me that I have found a new home! I visited a room in a flat on Monday night and liked it right away. I had seen five places before that, and it was by FAR the nicest place that I have seen. The room that will be mine is nice and big. It has a window facing a quaint interior garden, two beds (ideal for visitors!!!), a writing table, and two wardrobes. The apartment itself is open and spacious, with a big bathroom and kitchen and a common room (living room), something not often found in flats here. Three people live there: Jurica, who was born in Croatia but who has grown up in Germany, Anja, who comes from Russia and who is Jurica's girlfriend, and Axel, who comes from the south of Germany. They were all three very nice and I think I will very much enjoy living there. It is situated in the Mitte (center) neighborhood of Berlin, not far from the main train station (Hauptbahnhof). Although it is not far from a busy street, it is very quiet as there are community gardens just in front of our building. I look forward to posting pictures so that all of you can see where I will be living for the next little while!