Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dresden : the hill from 1813

Dresden's "old city" has some beautiful old buildings, buildings which have been re-created from post war rubble, some like the Semper Oper during DDR times and other like the Frauenkirche, relatively recently. 

There is a lot of Dresden though that is not so beautiful. As trams criss cross the inner city much of what you see are square soulless DDR-and-moderrn blocks planted in still-empty land. I can't help but think of all those refugees bombed to oblivion in 1945. 
View from my window. The building on the left is an office block, residential on the right

This is the view from my window. The building is one tram stop from the station and is part Hotel, part hostel. It looks out over offices and squat apartment buildings on my side and the railway line on the other side - I am glad I requested a quiet room when I booked as it has been too hot to keep the windows shut. 
View over the train track.
Yellow part is hostel, white part is Hotel.
At every corner you are reminded of this city's turbulent past. In a city park a small monument with a jar of flowers in front of it was a commemoration of "The Red Army".  I wondered who put the flowers there.

Commemorating the Red Army.
On Sunday I discovered another historical memorial.  Sunday was a very hot day in Dresden and about 6 o'clock I looked for somewhere cool to eat. There were plenty of places open at the station nearby but not much else in the area. I checked out Google maps and discovered a cafe in a small park a few blocks away. Google said it was open and the menu looked solid old-fashioned Germany fare.

The park was shady and pleasant, perched on a small hill, a lovely spot on a hot afternoon but there were not very many people there. They served beer and Wiener Wurstchen with toast, so that was what I ordered.

An elderly couple sat down at my table as it was the only table of the three with seats to spare. (It turned out all the people at the café knew each other.) They told me the hill was created in 1813 to stop Napoleon's invading army. They came close, but not to this spot. You get the feeling in Dresden that the past is very much present, the distant past as well as the recent past.

The elderly woman said she could not understand people who leave the place they are born in. They were from near by and the cafe was their ‘local’.  She looked around at the others and said, " They are all from here. They live even closer than we do."

The 'hill' with the cafe between the trees.

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