I think Nesting Man is finally gone.
Most people know what Dresden looked like after the second World War. It was pretty trashed. There was a nifty church there, the Frauenkirche. The name means Church of Our Lady (even though it was a Protestant church - the Germans were weird that way). I found a German website with a bad English translation that called it "the Woman Mrs. Church." After the war, it looked like this.
Back last year when the Elbe was flooding, I got curious and researched Dresden. I discovered that the post-war East German Communist regime had actually recreated some old buildings that had been destroyed, like the Zwinger Palace and the opera house.
But until about ten years ago, the Frauenkirche was still a pile of rubble. That was when the new government begin a project to rebuild the Frauenkirche. They sorted through the rubble and identified what old pieces they could, and fitted them into the new structure. The church was sandstone, and the old stones were black from the incendiary bombs, while the new ones are pale, giving the building a cool, mottled appearance. This is about how far they've gotten now. I think they plan to be finished in 2004.
And in a gesture that I think speaks volumes about the New Europe, and people of Coventry, England, bought the people of Dresden a cross to replace the one which was on top of the dome, which was smushed when the building collapsed. This is terribly cool, because I have heard the fire-bombing of Dresden was retribution for the Germans' fire-bombing of Coventry. Or was it the other way round?
Another interesting note is that the eighteenth century Italian landscape painter Belloto, the nephew of the famous Canaletto, went to Dresden, and painted views of the city in which the Frauenkirche can be seen. Your eyes did not deceive you - that painting is in our very own North Carolina Museum of Art.
Finally, brush up on your German.
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The week is dead. Long live the weekend.