Architectural Walk

Between Baroque and Modernism – Architectural Walk through Dresden

Dresden’s silhouette © Holger Oertel

“I have lost Dresden repeatedly. Not only when it was destroyed before my very eyes, but also when I had to watch its ‘reconstruction’, which once again senselessly disfigured it.” These words of the writer Heinz Czechowski make clear how difficult it was and is to build in Dresden.

A popular quip has it that of the 525,108 inhabitants of Dresden, one half are architects and the other half architecture critics. And in fact every plan, every design, is passionately debated, accompanied by petitions pro and con or brought before court. A glance into old Council acts shows that this state of affairs is no sign of only our times.

Nevertheless, the face of the city has changed dramatically since the political turnaround of 1990. Numerous solitary modernist buildings have been erected and the reconstruction of the Baroque Frauenkirche attracted worldwide attention. Very large plans for construction and renovation have been completed in the last twenty years. Now Dresden is focusing on closing the last gaps and supplementing already existing buildings. The process will continue for some years – Dresden is a prosperous big city with a growing population.


The ten stops

Waldschlösschen Bridge Military History Museum
Congress Centre Academy of Music
Hotel Altmarkt Centrum Galerie
Transparent Factory Fire Station in the Old Town
Glass Globe House State and University Library
Holger Oertel
is a native Dresdener. He works as a freelance journalist and writer and has a quite ambivalent relationship to his city. As a sailor, journalist, book author and publisher, he has many, sometimes extensive, travels behind him. Today he lives again in his home town.

Translation: Jonathan Uhlaner
Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V., Internet-Redaktion
August 2013

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