Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Summer Solstice 2019 in Dresden

I'm lucky enough to work in the city of Dresden in Germany a couple of times per year. I've been going back and forth there since 2008.

When I mention the city of Dresden, to the average non-German, the first topic that is usually said in response is about the almost complete destruction of the city by Allied bombers in the Second World War. This was destruction so severe that it caused a firestorm which sucked oxygen from protective basements suffocating thousands, and lifted people from their feet into tornados of swirling fire. It's an apocalyptical image so terrible that it is difficult to imagine. After the Second World War, Dresden became a part of East Germany and placed under Soviet Rule until the revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe – a little known fact outside of Dresden is that up to the fall of communism, Vladimir Putin was head of the KGB (secret police) in Dresden. 

Historically Dresden dates back to the 12th Century, it has been visited by Napoleon and was the home to many rulers and kings, most notably King Augustus II the Strong (actually of Poland). With such a rich history the city's Old Town (Alstadt) reflects this with magnificent buildings including the Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House, Dresden Palace, Church of our Lady (Frauenkirche) and Catholic Cathedral.

The bombing of the city in the Second World War, caused almost complete destruction, most historic buildings were either flattened, or the sandstone bricks simply disintegrated in the heat.

Reconstruction following the war has seen these former magnificent buildings recreated in their original form, occasionally you can see black bricks in the buildings – these are the original bricks that were rescued from the bombed rubble.

In June 2019, I was lucky enough to be invited to Dresden to work with on a social media project with a superb local events and marketing company, Know-How Event & Marketing GmbH and also to meet with colleagues from the nearby University of Cooperative Education in nearby Riesa to work on an Erasmus+ relationship.

It just so happened that I was in Dresden on the 21st of June for the Summer Solstice. Armed with my walking pole mounted Hero7, I wandered the almost empty streets of the Alstadt as the sun rose. It was an absolutely beautiful experience to see this fabulous city bathed in the glow of the rising sun, without tourists, seemingly having the Old Town to myself. Here is a little bit of film that I made during my walk around, I hope you enjoy watching it, as much as I enjoyed making it.

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