Dresden, Germany, is classy and elegant. A center for the arts, the unity of the Baroque buildings and the thoughtful care executed in the many fine details of the Christmas atmosphere shows that the city has refined its well-honed culture. The city is impressive and we were impressed! Harmony, harmony, harmony in the beauty.
It started as soon as we stepped off the train from Nuremberg. The main station was aglow with garland and lights over the giant archways of the main entry. The enormous Christmas tree was a focal point. As the cab wound its way to our hotel on the Elbe River, I noticed that the massive train bridges had modern paintings where most other train ways have had graffiti in other cities we have visited. Classic buildings were evident.
Kathy and I received a room upgrade to a wondrous suite for our five day stay. Yeah! Unfortunately, because Randy has never admitted he forgot my coke light, Melisa has to suffer along with him in a standard, but quite nice, room. (This is somewhat an inside joke that has carried on now for days.) As we walked to the old town (Altstadt) we saw beautiful Christmas displays. Randy and Melisa were astounded by the historic city that few have visited. The massive baroque towers and steeples, buildings with winged angels and statuary, the castles and palaces and then–the German Belle, the mighty Frauenkirche! As if the exterior was not impressive enough, when we walked inside, both Randy and Melisa were flabbergasted by the light and airy beauty of the baroque design. (Melisa opined, “I could stay here a day just to soak in the beauty.”) Blue and pink with white and gold angels and saints all looking upon Jesus while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane as God the Father looks down from heaven. The altar (180 feet tall) is topped with the pipes of an acclaimed pipe organ creation by Silberman. J.S. Bach played on the organ. A Lutheran church, the Frauenkirche is crowned with a massive dome painted with saints in baroque style. The church is somewhat circular with tiers of balconies reaching skyward. We were blessed with a short Advent service, the pastor in black robe with a broad white bifken.
We ate at one of Kathy and my favorites. Filled with antique furniture and tiffany lamps, each table is different than the next. We ate a filling German meal. Then, to some of the many markets in the city. We were amazed with the medieval market in the palace courtyard. The buildings were aglow with specialized projections of snow and torches. The market stalls were all medieval in character staffed with people in medieval costume. Live medieval Christmas music filled the air. Randy was impressed with the blacksmith shop and the owner invited him back midweek to work along side him, heating and shaping metal into objects. Of course, Randy is ready to go! The blacksmith told him to ditch the puffy coat and wear only natural fibers. We will make sure Randy ditches the lighted Christmas hat he has been sporting around as well.
Kathy and I have loved Dresden for a long time and have stayed here for prolonged periods. It is such a pleasure to see our friends fall in love with it also. WEG