Dresden Celebrating Luther Anniversary

The protestant Frauenkirche, the Catholic cathedral, the Zwinger, the Semper Opera House, the Residential Palace, the Elbe river, over 50 museums and more than 30 theatres – this is Dresden.

Choir boys singing

The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. Dresden boasts a unique collection of historic buildings, great history and art treasures and fascinates with its own distinctive character. The city owes its description as ‘Florence on the Elbe’ to the combination of the riches to be found in its art collections and the Italian influence on its architecture built under Augustus the Strong (1670-1733).

Dresden is the capital of the Free State of Saxony, the most south-easterly of the 16 federal states in Germany. Only two hours drive to the north lies the capital Berlin and to the south Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The city with its more than 540,000 inhabitants not only has a strong cultural attraction, it is also the political, economic, scientific and religious centre of the Free State of Saxony.

The famous skyline of Dresden’s Altstadt attracts millions of visitors every year. © Dresden Marketing GmbH / Photo: Frederik Schrader

The famous skyline of Dresden’s Altstadt attracts millions of visitors every year.
© Dresden Marketing GmbH / Photo: Frederik Schrader

Even Martin Luther visited the state capital Dresden, preaching to the Saxon royal court in the chapel of the Royal Palace on several occasions. Saxony was the first German state to introduce the Reformation. The first wholly protestant church service in Dresden was held on 6th July 1539 in the Kreuzkirche (Church of the Holy Cross) with music sung by the Dresdner Kreuzchor. This boys choir celebrates its 800th anniversary in 2016.

When the Saxon ruler August the Strong converted to Catholicism in 1697 to become King of Poland, the Lutheran citizens of Dresden built the Frauenkirche as a symbol of the Reformation, hewn in stone. The cupola was modeled on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The use of a dome to symbolize the heavenly firmament was an architectural expression of the universality of the Evangelical Church. The first organ concert in the Frauenkirche was given on December 1, 1736 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), who is considered to be the most important composer of Protestant church music.

The Frauenkirche was reduced to rubble in the final months of the Second World War, and it was almost half a century before reconstruction began (1994-2005). Services in the Anglican tradition are celebrated monthly in English.

The Frauenkirche in Dresden is the best known symbol of protestantism in Germany © Christoph Münch

The Frauenkirche in Dresden is the best known symbol of protestantism in Germany
© Christoph Münch

The juxtaposition of the denominations in Dresden did not result in conflict but rather spurred both sides on to excel in the fields of architecture and sacred music. The Catholic cathedral, which enjoyed royal patronage until 1754, was built within sight of the Frauenkirche.

The colourful side of Dresden is to be seen in the artistic quarter of Äußere Neustadt with its characteristic buildings, many of them dating back to the end of the 19th century. The untold number of bars, cafés, restaurants, clubs, galleries and small theatres make this lively area of Dresden the undeniable centre of the young, alternative Dresden scene. The Gründerzeit quarter embodies a highly creative spirit of innovation, reflected above all in the abundance of great shops and trendy labels. The church which’s tower overlooks this neighborhood is called “Martin-Luther-Kirche”.

Before Christmas the Dresden Striezelmarkt shows the very best of Germany’s Christmas traditions © Sylvio Dittrich

Before Christmas the Dresden Striezelmarkt shows the very best of Germany’s Christmas traditions
© Sylvio Dittrich

As “All-in-One-Destination”, Dresden attracts not only religious travellers, but also tourists who want to discover the culinary varieties of Germany. Dresden is the northernmost wine growing city in the world hosts several breweries, a lot of restaurants, some of them star-awarded and bakeries. Founded in 1434, this is the oldest and also one of the biggest Christmas markets in Germany. Active tourists take the occasion to ski in winter in the close Ore Mountains, to cycle along the longest and most popular bike trail in Germany “Elberadweg” or to hike or climb in the closeby National Park of “Saxon Switzerland”.

Less than one hour drive from Dresden: the Saxon Switzerland National Park © Sylvio Dittrich

Less than one hour drive from Dresden the Saxon Switzerland National Park
© Sylvio Dittrich

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Contact:

Dresden Marketing Board
Messering 7, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Phone: +49 351 50173-135, christoph.muench@marketing.dresden.de ,
www.marketing.dresden.de

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Summary
Dresden Celebrating Luther anniversary in Germany’s “All-in-One -Destination”
Article Name
Dresden Celebrating Luther anniversary in Germany’s “All-in-One -Destination”
Description
The protestant Frauenkirche, the Catholic cathedral, the Zwinger, the Semper Opera House, the Residential Palace, the Elbe river, over 50 museums and more than 30 theatres – this is Dresden.
Religious Travel Planning Guide

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