Auf Wiedersehen, Dresden!

This was a great trip, and actually pretty cost-effective, despite staying in a swanky hotel (thanks Expedia). I came to Dresden hoping to find the dichotomy of old and new with at least a touch of “the East” mixed in.

The “Old + New = Dresden” formula is more complicated that that, though. The “old” stuff is more “conceptually old” than “physically old,” owing to pretty much everything old being rebuilt following World War Two. And I looked pretty hard for evidence of socialism and communism and pretty much the only trace I found was in the form of a shop specializing in wine and gifts from the Caucasus region.

It was a little unsettling though: I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the obvious age of the city juxtaposed against all the high-rise office buildings and rebuilt churches. Which raises an important question: does “old” count for something that has only existed in more or less its current form over the last 50 years? My instinct is to give the people of Dresden a pass on this one.

“Yes, Dresdeners, your stuff is still old, even though you just finished building it two years ago, since it had been old prior to February, 1945. You’ve obiously put forth a monumental effort* and have thus earned the title ‘old.'”

But old as it was styled, it just still didn’t look old and it definitely didn’t feel old to me.

A wrap-up of yesterday’s activities and a couple reviews are still forth-coming.

4 thoughts on “Auf Wiedersehen, Dresden!”

  1. tqe / Adam

    Ha!

    Cute.

  2. CN Heidelberg

    I love Dresden!
    As for signs of communism, did you miss the big mural on that big cultural center building? Or the orange-stairwelled block apartments? I often take run-down buildings as a sign of it, too, since they seem to be much more common when I have visited former communist areas/countries than in places which were never communist. Especially in the case of Germany, when the buildings are sometimes ownerless because they never found the pre-communism owners to give them back to.

  3. Cliff

    did you miss the big mural on that big cultural center building? Or the orange-stairwelled block apartments?

    Uh, apparently. Where was that? I would have liked to have seen those. Got any pictures?

    I often take run-down buildings as a sign of it,

    Summer in communist architectureYeah, me too — like in Romania (pictured). Didn’t see too terribly much of that in the Dresden Altstadt (probably for obvious reasons) or even very much during our trips to the Neustadt.

  4. CN Heidelberg

    Hey Cliff,
    Here are some photos of the mural:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/carmellernh/DresdenJan08/photo#5168440069557831810
    http://picasaweb.google.com/carmellernh/DresdenNov07/photo#5134637502088269490

    Here’s an apartment block:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/carmellernh/DresdenNov07/photo#5134637927290031874

    On my second trip to Dresden I got a lot more photos of run-down buildings, but I also had a camera card malfunction and lost most of them. I can see if my sister, who was with me, has some more. This one is from my first trip there.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/carmellernh/DresdenNov07/photo#5134638794873425874

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