Sunday, October 30, 2005

Quixotic Dresdeners Get Their Windmill

After an eleven year effort, Dresden's Frauenkirche, which has laid in ruins since WW II, was re-consecrated today. The ruins of the church, which was destroyed in 1945 by Allied bombing raids, were a useful propaganda tool for the communist East German government to showcase the "barbarity and ruthlessness" of the western world. This actually turned out to be a good thing for the reconstruction. Because the ruins were never completely cleared away, many of the original stones and elements left onsite were used to rebuild the edifice.

Some interesting tidbits about the reconstruction:

**Two-thirds of the $218 million needed to rebuild the church was donated by the private sector.

**The project was completed within budget and came in a year ahead of schedule.

**Naturalized American citizen and Nobel Prize winning Guenther Blobel donated his entire $960,000.00 Nobel award to the effort.

**"Of all the contributions, none seem as appropriate as a gold orb and cross, given by Britain, that now sits atop the dome. Alan Smith, the London goldsmith who fashioned it, has a personal tie to the city: His father was a member of the British bomber squadron on the night of the Feb. 13, 1945, raids."

Well done!