Dresden Frauenkirche – Dresden, Germany - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Dresden, Germany

Dresden Frauenkirche

This Dresden church was purposely rebuilt Protestant after being demolished in World War II. 

While a church has stood on this site since the 11th century, the current opulence of the Dresden Frauenkirche was constructed specifically to reflect Protestant influences after the original Catholic building was turned to rubble during the Dresden bombings of World War II.

Sporting one of the largest architectural domes in Europe, the original ornate church in the center of Dresden was constructed in the early 1700’s, replacing a smaller chapel that had stood on the spot for hundreds of years. The newly enlarged holy seat was built in the early 1700’s, instantly becoming one of the most iconic buildings in the German city. 

Of course with such a high profile, when the city was bombed in World War II the lovely church, which rose up above most of the other buildings, was leveled to nothing but low lying piles of rocks. For years after the Dresden bombing the site was left as a ruin and a memorial to the bombing. However when the Berlin wall fell and the country was reunified, efforts began to recreate the church both as a symbol of both newfound permanence and unity between the two sides of Germany.

While the originally Catholic church had been converted to a Protestant site even before it was destroyed, the new Frauenkirche, which was finished in 2005, was built specifically to administer to a Protestant congregation with the pulpit near to the center of audience. The church is now considered one of the greatest pieces of Protestant architecture in the world.