10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.
21 December 2012.
Coming to a close is my time in Berlin, as well as my year on the road. It’s (northern) winter solstice, and I’ve decided to make a quick day trip south to Dresden. Because of limited daylight compounded by overcast skies, it’s no surprise my time here is too short, and I make a note to come back (which I make good 3 years later). Meanwhile, with fading light on Königsufer on the bank of the Elbe river, I get a brilliant view of Dresden’s Old Town, highlighted at centre by the Sächsisches Ständehaus, Residenzschloss (palace), and Kathedrale Sanctissimae Trinitatis (cathedral); Augustusbrücke bridge is at right.
I made the image on 21 Dec 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/10-sec, f/4, ISO800, and 18mm focal length (29mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-nfJ.
Above/featured: “Luther war hier. // Luther was here.” Eisleben, Germany – 27 Oct 2016.
In pre-teen years, I attended a Catholic elementary school by weekday, and a missions-oriented Protestant church by weekend. I already had multiple questions running around my pre-scientist brain, like electrons appearing and dissipating in a fuzzy halo. When various disparate elements began to settle with few satisfying answers, I left behind the churches and their respective religions. But one thing that’s remained is my love of history. History has never been boring, because I carry the past (as offspring of immigrants), and I’m determined to bring history’s lessons into the present.
Even in youth, I had to ask: why was one set of churches called “Protestant”? What was under protest? How did one man help spark a movement that would help merge and create a version of a language that continues today, that would bring accessible means to literacy for the public, and that would begin to change rule by religion to rule by law?
Martin Luther (‘Luder’, at birth)
From his birth in Eisleben; to formative years in Mansfeld, Magdeburg, and Erfurt; to the bulk of his working and teaching years in Wittenberg; to his death in Eisleben, Martin Luther set upon a course that helped change language, education, culture, religion, and governance. In many ways, Luther had much to thank Jan Hus for the latter’s efforts to reform the Catholic Church in Bohemia one hundred years earlier.
Every year on the 31st of October, a number of cities, regions, and federal states in Germany mark an important event in this movement. It’s widely understood Martin Luther walked up to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and pinned his 95 Theses to the church doors on 31 October 1517. Even if direct evidence Luther actually posted papers to the doors is debatable, what’s not is that 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Germany.
The illuminated Luther memorial stands tall in front of Wittenberg’s town hall at Market Square. As UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town hosts 4 sites: Luther House, Melanchthon House, St. Mary’s Town Church, and the Castle Church. 2017 is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Reformation in Germany. Various German federal states, regions, and cities will mark the quincentenary throughout the year. Photo at Wittenberg Marktplatz on 30 Oct 2016.
When I lived in Germany, I remembered the ads for Radeberger Pilsner, and I wondered about some of the venues shown. I realized the buildings were in the famous city of Dresden on the Elbe river in southeast Germany, and the city of Radeberg was only 15 kilometres from Dresden. Images of the Dresden’s landmarks have been an important part of Radeberger brewery’s advertising campaign to show the beer’s exceptional quality and to associate that very same quality by (physical) proximity with the symbolism of Dresden’s historic landmarks.
Dresdner Wahrzeichen (Dresden Landmark)
As one of the city’s most well-known landmarks, the Semperoper (Semper Opera House) appears in countless images representing Dresden. The Semperoper is the showpiece structure at Theaterplatz (Theater Square) looking over the river Elbe in the city’s Altstadt (Old Town). The first version of the building opened in 1841 with the design provided by Gottfried Semper. After destruction by fire in 1869, the second version of the building, also to Semper’s design, was completed in 1878. Only the Semperoper’s outer facade remained in 1945 during the final stages of the Second World War. Built once again to Semper’s original designs, the third and present version of the Semperoper opened to great acclaim on 13 February 1985. The interiors were reconstructed according to original plans and designs, whereas stage machinery and technical and engineering requirements are all updated to the best standards in audio quality.
The Semper Oper is a natural part of any walking tour of Dresden, as Theaterplatz is minutes from the Zwinger, Residenzschloss, and the Frauenkirche. I’m awed by the night tour, a chance to see up close the building’s Baroque style exterior and the classic ornate interior. Everybody speaks in calm hushed voices, the unspoken agreement to be mindful and respectful of this venue. Despite the presence of other people in other tour groups, it feels like I have the Opera House to myself at 11pm.
Classic shot of the front by day
Classic shot of the front at night; also featured on the “night watch”
Some columns real marble (cool to touch); some faux-marble plaster (warm to touch). Full replacements were too expensive for the GDR/DDR at the time
S. Kurpiers, one of the stage managers and our guide for the evening
Main stage & orchestra, from central box section in the 1st balcony (Loge, 1. Rang). Clock at top-centre reads “XI 5”, or 1105pm
“Box” seats normally reserved for representatives and guests of the German federal state of Saxony
Separate guided tour to our left; there are 4 balconies
Another tour to the right
Looking up; lip of the 2nd balcony appears at top
Massive central chandelier light-fixture overhead; clock reads “XI 20” (1120pm)
Thanks to Semperoper for opening their facility to the public at night, and thanks to S. Kurpiers who kindly guided our tour of the venue. Thanks also to Germany Tourism, Saxony Tourism, and Dresden Tourism for their support and hospitality. I made all of the photos above on 22 April 2015 with the Canon EOS6D. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-7sx.
The following is an advertisement for Radeberger brewery from 2014. The advert for their Pilsener ends with an image of Dresden’s Semper Oper at night and the slogan “schon immer besonders” (always special).
You’re visiting Dresden, either on a day-trip from Berlin or Leipzig, or you’re staying in Dresden for a couple of nights. By day, you’ll see, for example, the Semper Oper and the Zwinger, and you’ll walk through the Neustadt. At night after dinner, you might catch the golden glow cast by lights on the architecture.
But by late-November in the Saxon state capital city, you will likely encounter at least one of the following Christmas markets in the city:
I’m out and about, at 8 on a Wednesday morning in late-April.
In the midst of the (in)action.
A creaky door opens and closes.
Clanging sounds of pots and pans.
From around the corner, a dog barks.
A word from a woman to her young daughter, on their way to school.
A delivery van slowly makes its way down the narrow cobbled-stone streets.
And a morning passes, in the middle of Neustadt in the German city of Dresden.
After identifying a number of places to view Prague at night, Dresden is equally worthy to photograph after sundown. With its nickname “Florence on the Elbe” (Elbflorenz, Florenz an der Elbe) leading the way, I highlight these four places to photograph the city at night.
It’s 6am in southeast Germany, and I’d like to know how this city will look on a spring morning. Unfortunately, there’s mid-level cloud and there won’t be any direct sun this morning. I’m no longer in a rush, and by 7am, I’m on the Carolabrücke over the Elbe river for the following view of the Dresden skyline.
Later that evening I’m in Pulverturm Restaurant near the Frauenkirche, and I’m among about two dozen other travel-trade and -press representatives from around the world. I have a Saxon version of the Sauerbraten, accompanied by red sauerkraut and a big potato dumpling: the right combination of sweet, savory, and sour, representing Saxony.
At Pulverturm: Saxon Sauerbraten with apple red-cabbage slaw with raisins and a King-size potato dumpling. Photo on 22 Apr 2015.
The evening ends with a guided-tour of the interior to the city’s famous Semperoper opera house. Other groups outside are waiting to enter the opera house to have a look inside; we’re fortunate to leap ahead and have a look inside.
Located on the bank of the Elbe river, Dresden is the capital city of the state of Saxony in east-central Germany near the Czech border. The Zwinger Palace in the Old Town is one of the most famous baroque buildings in Germany. Along with the Frauenkirche nearby, the Zwinger is one of many famous landmarks in Dresden.