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The Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, is a church in the German city of Dresden. It was destroyed in the Bombing of Dresden in the Second World War and is currently being rebuilt from the stones of the original church.


The church was built in the years 1726 to 1738 under the guidance of Georg Bähr. Its dome, called the "Stone Bell", towered over the inner city of Dresden. It gave the city a distinctive silhouette, captured in famous paintings by Bernado Bellotto (better known as Canaletto). After initial doubts the dome proved to be extremely stable: In 1760 it was shelled by the Prussian army led by Friedrich II, but the shells simply bounced off, the church survived. After the Bombing of Dresden on February 13, 1945, the church burnt out and its dome finally collapsed at 10:00 a.m. on February 15.


There had already been intentions to rebuild the church during the last months of the Second World War. However, due to political circumstances in the GDR, the reconstruction later came to a halt. The heap of ruins was conserved as a monument within the inner city of Dresden.

After the reunification of Germany efforts were revived and after two years the construction work began. The reconstruction, costing an estimated 130 million Euro, is mainly financed through donations from all over the world.

As far as possible, the church, except for its dome, will be rebuilt using original material and plans with today's technology. To this end, the heap was carried off stone by stone. Every usable piece then was measured and catalogued. The original position of each stone could be determined from its position in the heap.

As older stones are covered with a darker patina, due to weathering, the difference between old and new stones will clearly visible during the early years. Because of that, the rebuilt church will remain a monument, reminding people of its history. It is created to be a symbol of hope and concilation.

Reproducing a facsimile of the original organ of Johann Gottfried Silbermann, however, was declined. Instead, a modern organ will stand in the church in a baroque case. Also, seven new bells were cast and rang for the first time for the Pentecost celebration 2003.

The intensive efforts over the last few years to rebuild this world famous Protestant landmark give justifiable hope that by the year 2006 - the 800th anniversary of Dresden - the Frauenkirche will again dominate the city's skyline.

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