|This is the bridge that August built.|
You might remember from an earlier post that August II was an Elector in the Holy Roman Empire. After the Thirty Years War (1618-1848), Saxony was declared Protestant from the Elector on down to the lowliest serf. Well, Augustus wanted to be king of Poland, which was/is a Catholic country, and he was okay with converting in order to purchase the crown (1697). (His poor wife was not, however, and she wrote tearful letters to him and their son about her prayers for their immortal souls.) The rest of Saxony was allowed to remain Protestant (breaking the rules of the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648).
Here is a better view of one of the statues around the roof, and below is a famous itinerant preacher (I forget his name and schtick) and Clara, the Indian rhinoceros (she visited in 1747). There are lots and lots of details like this to be seen all around the panometer. There is a free guide for some of them--or you could buy the book to see them all.
"Behind" that group, higher on the cylinder, is this shot of the gate of the Zwinger. This area was originally part of the city's fortifications. Then, at the end of the 17th century, Louis XIV had just moved the French court to Versailles, and August II wanted something similar. It was supposed to be an oval palace surrounding gardens. Begun in the early 1700s, it was three-fourths complete when Augustus died (1733). His son's court abandoned the project. Just over a century later (1847-1855) Gottfried Semper was hired to design an art gallery to fill the last fourth of the oval (and the opera house in the square to the right.
Finally, there has long been a sort of rivalry between the Hofkirche and the big Protestant church nearby: a little earlier the Frauenkirche was being re-built as a monument to Protestantism--yes, even with a name like Church of Our Lady! Here it rises majestically above the red rooftops of the Altstadt. This is a good quarter turn to the left from the first image and was also taken in "the morning hours."
These are the images of "Dresden: Then" that came out the best. I hope they've given you a good sense of Baroque Dresden and the panometer as a neat way of presenting images. Next up: Leipzig!