30 October 2005

Frauenkirche, Dresden

The Frauenkirche has been re-consecrated in Dresden 60 years after being destroyed by Allied bombing. The charred remains of the church were left untouched by the GDR authorities to serve as a reminder of the war. The reconstruction began only after Germany's reunification.

At 10 o'clock today, the bells of the Frauenkirche rang. Outside, crowds gathered to watch the service relayed live on a giant screen. Inside, the church was packed with hundreds of dignitaries, including German President Horst Köhler, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the Duke of Kent, as well as many of the architects and donors who were involved in the reconstruction project. There were songs of praise and readings. "Our hearts and minds are moved by gratitude and great joy," the Lutheran bishop told the gathering. Bishop Bohl said the restoration of the baroque church was a "great work in the spirit of reconciliation".