Frauenkirche-Church of our Lady-Dresden.
The Church of Our Lady was built as a Lutheran (Protestant) parish church or city church, even though Saxony's Prince-elector, Frederick August I, was Catholic.
The original Baroque church was built between 1726 and 1743 and was designed by Dresden's city architect George Bähr who did not live to see the completion of his greatest work. Bähr's distinctive design for the church captured the new spirit of the Protestant liturgy by placing the altar, pulpit, and baptismal font directly centered in view of the entire congregation.
In 1736, famed organ maker Gottfried Silbermann built a three-manual, 43-stop instrument for the church. The organ was dedicated on 25 November and Johann Sebastian Bach gave a recital on the instrument on 1 December.
Church of Our Lady, 1880.
The church's most distinctive feature was its unconventional 96 m-high dome, called die Steinerne Glocke or "Stone Bell". An engineering feat comparable to Michelangelo's dome for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Frauenkirche's 12,000-ton sandstone dome stood high resting on eight slender supports. Despite initial doubts, the dome proved to be extremely stable. Witnesses in 1760 said that the dome had been hit by more than 100 cannonballs fired by the Prussian army led by Friedrich II during the Seven Years' War. The projectiles bounced off and the church survived.
The completed church gave the city of Dresden a distinctive silhouette, captured in famous paintings by Bernardo Bellotto, a nephew of the artist Canaletto (also known by the same name), and in Dresden by Moonlight by Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl.
In 1849 the church was at the heart of the revolutionary disturbances known as the May Uprising. It was surrounded by barricades, and fighting lasted for days before those rebels who had not already fled were rounded up in the church and arrested.
For more than 200 years, the bell-shaped dome stood over the skyline of old Dresden, dominating the city.
Burials include Heinrich Schütz and George Bähr.