Thanks to immense financial efforts and very long hours on the part of the team managing the project, the reconstruction was completed in 2005, one year earlier than planned, and cost approximately $218 million (Landmark Dresden Church Completes Rise from the Ashes, http://www. dw-world. de/dw/article/0,2144,1758986,00. html). The process of rebuilding Frauenkirche was greatly supported by modern technology. The most impressive technology consisted of computer software which could move the recovered original stones three-dimensionally around the screen in various configurations.
This helped architects find where the original stones were and how they fit together, in order for the reconstruction to respect the authenticity of the original. Among the numerous personalities who attended the Frauenkirche consecration in October 2005, was the Duke of Kent representing Britain’s royal family, the French, British and American ambassadors to Germany, as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Nonetheless, perhaps the most fortunate witnesses of this event were 844 Dresdners who were given this honor as a result of a lottery drawing (Rebuilding Dresden’s Frauenkirche, http://www.expatica. com/actual/article. asp? subchannel_id=56&story_id=24739).
As a result of its reconstruction, the Frauenkirche is once again a place of worship, pilgrimage for Protestants, and a must-see for all visitors of the city. The church will return to its status of ‘oasis’ of tranquility and peace in the heart of a very vibrant and economically stable city such as Dresden, but it will also host ecumenical meetings where people from all corners of the world will gather.
The number of visitors who attend weekly services, Christmas vespers, and cultural events of all sorts in the church testify to the spiritual power that is generated by the Dresden cathedral. Apart from the desire to resurrect a monumental edifice, itself a victim of WWII, this project has a great merit: it links Germany with its own cultural heritage, which appears distinct from the nation’s burdened past, and offers a symbolic touchstone for modern German history.
In this way, the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche embodies something more complex than mere forgetting of what happened 60 years ago. It contributes to healing the German people’s wounds, undoing feelings of loss and guilt, while at the same time embracing a hurtful past.
Asch, Kenneth. “Rebuilding Dresden. ” History Today. Vol. 49, Oct. 1999 “Ceremonial Consecration of Dresden’s Frauenkirche. ” Allianz Group, 28 Oct. 2005, April 2007, http://www. allianz. com/en/allianz_group/press_center/news/commitment_news/culture/news9. html