Mar 13, 2007
Aug 10, 2007
One major change to the eastern German landscape over the last decade is the profusion of giant whirligigs spinning in the wind, probably more wind farms than I've seen anywhere else. It's great to see Europe using a renewable source of energy to such a degree, but it unfortunately does give otherwise bucolic landscapes a rather industrial appearance.
We stopped in Dresden, new territory for me, on the way from Prague to Berlin. Dresden was once considered one of Europe's most beautiful Baroque cities and was nicknamed "Florence on the Elbe". Most of the city was destroyed, though, in a single air raid in February 1945. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall the city center is being reconstructed to its prewar splendor, not only the major monuments like the Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House, Frauenkirche, and Residenz of the Saxon Electors but also many less prominent commercial and residential buildings around the market squares. Many of these recently completed buildings are stunningly beautiful, almost too pretty to be realistic. When looking at the Frauenkirche, though, it's nice to be reminded that mankind has not lost its ability to build pretty things, even if it means building a carbon copy of something from the past.