A Trip to the Other Side
We cross over the Elbe on the Augustusbrücke, which takes us past the Blockhaus and the “Goldener Reiter” a gilded equestrian statue of August the Strong smiling in the face of a grand boulevard, the showcase of local socialism. It is a wide boulevard with a center pedestrian path that separates two lanes of traffic. There are a lot of sycamore trees, and some statuary. On either side are a series of long low-rise (four stories) apartments sitting atop retail. It’s a nice arrangement, but they are in bad repair.
Our goal is to find Dreikönigenkirche, and soon find it. What has happened here is very interesting. Having to rebuild the church after the firestorm, the congregation shortened the church itself (and by that I mean the nave of the church) so as to accommodate a parish hall, community rooms and offices, and other social amenities. It works well. There is still a large worship space, and from what we could tell, ample outreach into the community. Again, the name of the church bears little semblance the iconographic program of the church. The large altarpiece of the church which one would think would be devoted to the visit of the Three Kings (this would have required a representation of the Blessed Virgin Mary) is instead devoted to the Story of the Wise Virgins. One wonders. Was this to avoid the BVM or was there some other reason.
There is another strange thing, something I’ve noticed at Frauenkirche, Kreutzkirche, and now again at Dreikönigenkirche. All of them have multiple balconies. At Franenkirche it is almost ridiculous, but all of them seem to be designed primarily as Predigerkirchek – rooms especially devoted to sermonizing. Thus the concern for seating a great number of people but not communing them. That doesn’t seem operative at Dreikönigen and at Kreutzkirche, but it certainly obtains at Frauenkirche. (There now, I’ll stop my FK rant.)
We continue our trek, after stopping for tea and Dresdner Eierschecke (click here for the recipe) and a Donauwelle (click here for the Donauwelle recipe). Both are quite delicious, and I can’t wait to try baking them when I get home. We are heading toward what ought to be a monumental building given the scale of the boulevard, but there is nothing – perhaps there once was. There are two large fountains on either side of the grassy plaza, and the one to the west notes that at one time a memorial for the Red Army was located there – but is there no more.
We head east on Bautzner Straße, with the intention of visiting the Dresdner Molkerei Gebrüder Pfund – Der schönste Milchladen der Welt, and it is! People crowd in to look, but very few are buying anything – so I pick up some chocolates. The cheese selection looked wonderful, and I wished I could have purchased some of them. On the way, we also found a wonderful building with some Jugendstil details.
There is lunch at a rose garden, in which we explore the German take on Bruschetta and Crostini. Both were good, but an Italian wouldn’t have recognized them. The rose garden is quite long and sits on the edge of the Elbe River. There are many varieties planted along with other plantings. It is quite lovely and made for a relaxing walk.
At the Carolabrücke we cross over back to the Altstadt. What we head for first is the Synagogue, built across the street from the original building that was burned by the Nazi’s in 1938. It is a striking building, but closed, and curtains don’t allow us to peer inside. On a sidewall, stones note how many Jews were driven out of Dresden, and murdered. It is always sobering.
We amble back through the gardens behind the Art Academy, first determining that we want to visit the Albertinum later in the week.