Dresden church attacked with Molotov cocktails
Police were searching for witnesses after unknown attackers threw two Molotov cocktails at the Martin Luther Church in central Dresden. The late-night arson attempt caused only minor damage.
The first of the cocktails damaged one side of the front door of the 138-year-old building, with the other bottle smashing against a sandstone wall near the access ramp on the side of the church. Traces of a "petroleum-like fluid" were noticeable on the wall and the floor of the church, the daily Sächsische Zeitung reported on Thursday.
However, the attack did not trigger a fire inside the Martin Luther Church. Police estimate that the incident, which took place at around 3 a.m. on Thursday morning, caused property damages worth around 1,000 euros ($1,167).
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Preacher Eckehard Möller told the Tag24 news outlet that he was "shocked" by the attack and could not think of a political motive for it.
"Something like this is just senseless," he said.
Police also said there was no immediate information about the motives of the attackers. They asked for possible witnesses to step forward. Also, the investigators found stickers attached to guttering at the church, some of which called on people to make Molotov cocktials, according to Sächsische Zeitung.
You should venture out over the Augustus Bridge and stand where artist Canaletto once set up his easel in 1748 to paint his famous view of Dresden. The cityscape, with the Frauenkirche church, Dresden Castle and Dresden Cathedral, has hardly changed. Looking at it from this perspective, you will quickly understand why Dresden is also known as Florence on the Elbe.
It's a church but also so much more. It was destroyed during World War II and for 50 years its ruins were a war memorial. After German reunification, donations from around the world helped to have it rebuilt. It now serves as a symbol of intercultural understanding and a testament to reconciliation. The church is open to visitors and every midday there is an organ concert.
Dresden's Zwinger Palace
The Zwinger Palace is one of the most important buildings of the Baroque era. Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, had it built at the beginning of the 18th century as an appropriate splendid setting with gardens for court festivities. In the 19th century, the Zwinger Palace was made into a museum which displays paintings, Meissner porcelain and historical scientific tools.
The Grand Garden
Some two kilometers (1.4 miles) outside of the city center, you'll find Dresden's biggest park, the Grand Garden or Große Garten. It is a Baroque style landscape garden with colorful flowerbeds, established on the orders of John George III, Elector of Saxony. The rulers of Saxony spent the summer months in the Garden Palace, where they were also known to hold grand, opulent parties.
The Renaissance building is one of the city's oldest. Over the centuries, it has served as a residence for electors and kings of Saxony. Today it houses the Dresden State Art Collections. The castle, like most buildings in Dresden, was destroyed during the Second World War. In 1985, while Dresden was still under East German Communist rule, reconstruction work began - and it is still ongoing.
The Green Vault
Dresden Castle also has one of the biggest treasure chambers in Europe, boasting some 4,000 exhibits. Augustus the Strong was the first to present these masterpieces of court culture to the public in 1724. The precious items are now displayed in the Historical Green Vault and the New Green Vault. One of the highlights is the Golden Coffee Service made by court goldsmith Johann Melchior Dinglinger.
The Fürstenzug - Procession of Princes
The Fürstenzug is a large mural of a mounted procession of the rulers of Saxony. It is located on the outer wall of Dresden Castle's stables courtyard. It displays the ancestral portraits of 35 margraves, electors, dukes and kings. To make the work waterproof it was replaced with 23,000 Meissen porcelain tiles between 1904 and 1907, making it the largest porcelain artwork in the world.
The Semperoper is one of Europe's most elegant opera houses. The Neo-renaissance building was completed in 1878. Architect Gottfried Semper focused both on the perfection of form and sound. The acoustics of the Semperoper is famous the world over. Arial bombing during World War II completely destroyed this splendid building, so it took until 1985 for the opera house to be reopened.
The Elbe river banks
On the banks of the Elbe river, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the cityscape. During the summer, movie nights are held on the river meadows - making it probably Germany's most beautiful open-air cinema. Dresden's palaces also serve as locations for festivals and events during the summer. One of the highlights is the Dresden Palace Nights, which involves concerts and firework displays.
The Elbe River
The river adds to Dresden's quality of life. The river banks serve as a living room extension for most city inhabitants. Those wishing to escape the city can do so in style, by boarding one of the historical paddle steam boats. Dresden has the oldest and biggest paddle steamer fleet in the world. It consists of nine wheel steamers, most dating from the late 19th century.