Klaus Willem Sitzmann, Reconstruction of the Frauenkirche, 1996-2005.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dresden’s construction (or reconstruction) drive was stimulated by a long-held secret dream: to raise the Frauenkirche, Europe’s most beautiful Protestant church and Dresden’s historic pride, from its ashes.
The reconstruction of this building was not envisaged in the GDR under a regime which did not favour religious expression. This changed in 1989 when a citizens’ association came together to campaign for this famous project, known as the “Dresden Appeal”. This appeal received the population’s full support and this was shown by the results of a local referendum. The land was cleared by demolishing the brutalist extension of the police headquarters building, which had been erected near the ruins of the church.
On 27th May 1994, the foundation stone of the Frauenkirche was laid. The construction work lasted seven years, during which time the photographer Klaus Willem Sitzmann regularly visited the site to document the work’s progress.
The reconstruction was based on numerous archival documents, academic papers and studies of the remaining ruins. The fire-blackened stones of the old church were laid out on the Neumarkt, numbered and integrated into the new building. This explains why the new Frauenkirche has a two-coloured appearance that bears witness to its eventful history.
Sonia de Puineuf