Dresden-The White City
Seven letters incorporated to one word, Dresden, but harbouring so much of human history.
Drježdźany( "people of the river forest") then and today Dresden is the city of many surprises to the traveller.
They called it by a nickname "Elbflorenz" (Florence on the Elbe River) but for me it is just not enough.
I would like to call it for the purpose of this article "The White City" and would be delighted if it is used in the future. If you ask why, I can just say that my experience, my inner feeling was so positive, so human, that I needed to attach the colour to it. It is not gold or silver it is white! White as "inherently positive colour". Associated with purity, new beginnings, innocence, light, goodness, heaven, safety, brilliance, illumination, understanding, cleanliness, faith, spirituality, possibility, humility, sincerity, protection, softness, perfection etc...And porcelain…
Going on foot from the train station towards Elbe River, for the first time you notice modern, “globalised” streets taking you slowly to the part of the history where you start thinking…
My first encounter with history of Dresden was the memorial plate on the building where Frederick Chopin stayed in 1835.
And “So it goes”…
First you stay breathless from the beauty, then you get puzzled with so many different inventions, alchemy and metaphysics, esoteric feelings, beautiful parks, covering such a small space and finally become excited by hospitality of the people of today! In my every step, and there were some thousands of them, I felt I am in the city of good, awake people. From the first natural smile and exact firmness of the lady showing me where to buy tickets for the Dresden tour, or the serious, yet extremely helpful, awake, gentleman advising me where to take the short cut towards the Augustus Bridge till the driver of the bus, when visiting Schloss Pillnitz castle, writing the time of return and presenting me the paper with so natural look of care. There were more, much more situations I experienced during my stay at extraordinary city, The White City of Dresden.
Can not mention them all in this article, but certainly I feel the desire to share with you a wholehearted lough we all had in a restaurant near the Loschwitz Bridge when I visited the rest room and reacted with confirming smile toward the ladies there when I saw the marking they use for ladies and gents. Gents restroom was marked with moustache and one simple BLA and Ladies with a beautiful lips and not so simple BLA BLA BLA!
Reminded me of the notebook bought in Frankfurt having the name "BLA BLA BLA" without red lips!
You will find a photo below as a confirmation!
Tremendous history of annihilation and reconciliation, definitely practical achievements, inventions of human mind done mostly out of necessity and love for beautiful, less for profit seeking, but nicely combined. Stories of success, love and pain, failures and new beginnings, day dreaming and reality, as well as soul searching and human togetherness. Especially when difficult times arrive, those, where we humans show what we are really made of.
Music, opera, writings and poetry, faith for divine, fleshly intuition and self-awareness produce avalanche of strong feelings for the visitors, causing to increase the zeal and continue exploration of this unique city and its great people.
To mention some of the interesting facts about Dresden which could open your appetite to learn more and definitely plan the visit there.
Would start with the popular question:
Did you know?
World famous Dresden Timpani – last great development in the 19th Century(1881)made by Carl Pittrich then Kapelldiener or Chapel Servant in Royal Saxon Orchestra who made foot pedal mechanism attached to timpani. That invention made turning much easier. Later Paul Focke manufactured complete drum and pedal system in Dresden from where “Dresden Model” derivate its name.
Famous German urban architect Heinrich Tessenow, influenced, they say, by English garden city movement created first German garden city in Hellerau,Klotzche at the city of Dresden. It was visited by cultural visionaries of Europe at the time one being famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier ( Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris) where he , as said, discovered “rigorous classicism” of Tessenow.
Richard Wagner was in Dresden from 1842 to 1849 where he, as Royal Saxon Court Conductor composed and first performed three acts opera “Tannhauser” (Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg).
Influenced by the ideas of Ludwig Andreas Von Feuerbach, German philosopher and anthropologist who also strongly influenced Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Friedrich Nietzche, he made friends with August Rocker and Mihail Bakunin. Supporting role that he had in May 1849 Dresden uprising made him leave Dresden and find refuge in Switzerland.
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was frequent visitor to Dresden and particularly to Blasewitz a larger borough of Dresden consisting of six quarters Blasewitz Striesen, Tolkewitz, Seidnitz, Dobritz and Gruna and connected to the borough of Loschwitz by Blue Wonder Bridge. There he visited Gustel von Blasewitz , actually Johanne Justine Renner born Segedin also Szeged, Sagadin, who was a Blasewitzer donor.
She was immortalized in his trilogy poem "Wallenstein" as a sycophant, which she is said to have aroused.
And just not to forget to mention the memorial build in the memory of Mozart visit and performance he had in Dresden situated at the Bluehepark with three golden female figures dancing( Anmut – Grace : Heiterkeit – Cheerfulness: Ernst-Sternness).
Even Martin Luther visited Dresden and preached in the chapel of Royal Palace several times. Saxony was the first German state to introduce Reformation. The first wholly protestant church service in Dresden was held on 6th of July 1539 in the Kreuzkirche (Church of the Holy Cross) with music sung by the Dresdner Kreuzchor( church choir) boys choir which celebrated 800 years of existence in 2012!
Or porcelain! Around 1700 trying to find “gold maker tincture” an alchemist Johann Friedrich Bottger escaping “protective custody” of Frederick I of Prussia was detained by Augustus II the Strong and in 1708 discovered the secret, Arcanum, of the production of hard-paste porcelain. From there on Dresden is famous and for “white gold” which was the source of wealth for whole Saxony. So even from here we could derive the nickname of Dresden I mentioned: “THE WHITE CITY”!
The “white gold” is produced in the White City of Dresden from 1710!
Maybe this was one of the hard feeling Frederick I had which passed to and triggered his grandson Frederick the Great who 1756 occupied Dresden. In 1759 Dresden has been taken back by Austria led forces and in 1760 was besieged by Frederick the Great as a try to retake the city. He was accused of deliberately shelling the city causing great damages including the Elector of Saxony gardens at Prima. And even destroyed it was rebuild!
Dresden, the White City, is full of symbols! Each building has its own meaning from obvious to esoteric.
Dresden today Is a modern city, rebuild again,proud of its colossal past and confident about its high future.
“Did you know” part of this article could be continued nearly indefinitely. Hope that it has achieved the purpose of initiating the thirst and curiosity for obtaining further knowledge.
I could not finish this article without mentioning, most probably, the greatest work of Kurt Vonnegut, his novel “Slaughterhouse five”. It deals with the carpet bombing of Dresden of February 1945 by Anglo-American air force which he witnessed as POW at the time. Having immense tragic experience he needed to write a book! Twenty three years struggle to write it! The book combined humour, satire, social criticism, pacifism in a word life! It is a nonfiction and fiction, science fiction or some would say metafiction. Where ever they classify the book it is strongly recommended for reading!
And “so it goes”!
“If there is no guilt and no innocence, and if there is no difference between “right” and “wrong” then what principle is left to stop us all from committing horrible acts against one another?”
Having this in mind it is important to note that Dresden tween city between others is Coventry of UK. The link is established in 1959 as both shared common fate during the World War Two.
It shows how important is to reconcile and proceed for the good of all humanity!
Our common future as human beings is more important than personal egoism and ambition!
Thank you city of Dresden, the White City, for giving me the opportunity to feel, learn and write about your history and people!
And this is just the begining!
Please enjoy below the photos of Dresden with our explanation.
Wishing you all who decide, a good visit to the White City of Dresden.
Philosophy of good news
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