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Old May 7th, 2017, 04:20 PM   #1861
qjone2
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Some pictures of Dresden's beautiful streets. Unfortunately only one building here survives to this day: the Rathaus in the 6th photo.

















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Old May 7th, 2017, 09:07 PM   #1862
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Some pictures of Dresden's beautiful streets. Unfortunately only one building here survives to this day: the Rathaus in the 6th photo.


I'm not sure, but I think that this building actually replaced a Rococo palace, I think it was Palais Boxberg, which is quite sad. Although, this is the real (and probably only) advantage that Dresden has over many other historical cities, it can rebuild a building that was destroyed and replaced with another one even before the war. We've seen that already at Neumarkt and I think it's really great, they can choose the most important building that was on the spot and rebuild it even though it wasn't the last one to stand there. Something like that can't be done in Vienna, where Baroque Old Town was practically demolished and replaced with (beautiful, but still) historicist buildings.

To add to Munich-Dresden comparison, I would agree with keepthepast, Munich has larger and more elaborate palaces and churches, but Dresden has the unique ones, like Frauenkirche (can't think of a similar Baroque church in the world, only Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, but they are still far from being similar), Hofkirche (although it suffers from its simple interior, at least for me), and Zwinger (one of the best Rococo buildings in the world), making it a special jewel that we were unable to keep.
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Old May 7th, 2017, 10:50 PM   #1863
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Don't know if my question is fitting for this thread, but I'll ask anyway. Which city, Dresden, or Munich, was more culturally and architecturally valuable before the WW2? Nowadays Munich seems to be the better one, but before it was destroyed, Dresden was known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, although I'm not sure if its churches, palaces and other buildings were comparable to Munich's. Thanks in advance.
Wasn't Munich bombed to shreds in WW2? Wasn't the rebuilding done in a more simplified manner? Maybe some people could elaborate on this.
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Old May 7th, 2017, 11:02 PM   #1864
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Wasn't Munich bombed to shreds in WW2? Wasn't the rebuilding done in a more simplified manner? Maybe some people could elaborate on this.
Every major German city was bombed to shreds during the WW2. However, Munich was probably the only one that saved what could've been saved and restored the original street plan, unlike many others that just started anew. That's why today it's probably the most beautiful bigger German city, at least for me. That doesn't mean everything there is as it used to be, there is still much work to do and many beautiful buildings are still missing.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 01:38 AM   #1865
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Germany had probably some of the finest cities before the war. It's sad that so much aren't there anymore. I would still hope that rebuilding the cities as it was will still occurs in the near future. As basically all German cities has just horrible suburbs. One fortunate thing is all of those buildings will not stand there for the upcoming decades, hopefully and replaced by its original, as there still many beautiful buildings in those areas.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 02:21 AM   #1866
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it can rebuild a building that was destroyed and replaced with another one even before the war. We've seen that already at Neumarkt and I think it's really great, they can choose the most important building that was on the spot and rebuild it even though it wasn't the last one to stand there.
While this can be good, I'd tend to avoid rebuilding older classical buildings in place of other classical buildings. In this case, the Central Theatre is so unique I'd be sad to see anything else rebuilt in its place.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 09:07 AM   #1867
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München

1805 Ansicht der Haupt und Residenz-Stadt München gegen Nord-Westen


1805 Ansicht der Haupt und Residenz-Stadt München gegen Südwesten.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 09:21 AM   #1868
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München


















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Old May 8th, 2017, 02:33 PM   #1869
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Does anyone have any information on which city in Germany was generally considered the most beautiful at the time? Nuremberg, Dresden, Munich, Berlin? Somewhere else entirely?

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Old May 8th, 2017, 03:06 PM   #1870
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the synonym for Berlin was "Paris of the north" or so i've heard, and I do believe it was considered most beautiful at the time.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 05:43 PM   #1871
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Yes, and Dresden was terms "Florence on the Elbe" or "Florence of the North".

Personally, I don't like such metaphors because they tend to diminish the greater value of the city being named for another place, especially when the comparative is about physical beauty. Conversely, I have always referred to Berlin as "New York of the rest of the world" because of its vibrant, exciting, cultural life in spite of the architectural infrastructure.

Lastly, it is difficult to quantify "most beautiful". In the US, most agree San Francisco wins that title, not so much because of its architecture, rather how its natural surroundings, hills, and GG Bridge integrate into the cityscape. With that in mind, Berlin would probably have exceeded others in overall beauty with its canals, parks, palaces, as well as collection of architecture.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:05 PM   #1872
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I have never heard of "Paris of the North" for Berlin. Leipzig was called "Paris of the East" though. Berlin was in the early 19th century called "Spree-Athen", because of its many neoclassicist buildings. I really dislike those comparisons anyway. They are actually demeaning in my opinion.

Berlin was at no time considered Germany's most beautiful city. From the time it became the German Empire's captital it was actually regarded as rather tasteless, overladen and kitschy due to the Emperors' bad taste in architecture. Most of Berlin was just historicist but not really historic. What was left of Berlin's small old town was considered insignificant in comparison to other German cities, that were much more important before the 18th and 19th century. They also were considered the architecturally and artistically more beautiful and important cities.
Later from the twenties on Berlin began in stark contrast to before to get rid of all ornamentation. The infamous Entstuckungwelle (deornamentation of stucco facades) started then and had its heyday after WWII. Berlin was infamous for being always changing and under construction, to this day actually.

Dresden was widely seen as Germany's and one of Europe's most beautiful cities.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 12:09 AM   #1873
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Let's not forget Hannover, which was also considered one of the most beautiful cities in Germany until WWII, as far as I know.

Unfortunately it's only a shadow of it's former self nowadays
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Old May 9th, 2017, 03:06 AM   #1874
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Does anyone know how Cologne/Koln was viewed before the war? Was it seen as a particularly beautiful city? Now it's mostly known for the cathedral, but I imagine it must have been more beautiful before the war
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Old May 9th, 2017, 07:10 PM   #1875
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiaren View Post
I have never heard of "Paris of the North" for Berlin. Leipzig was called "Paris of the East" though. Berlin was in the early 19th century called "Spree-Athen", because of its many neoclassicist buildings. I really dislike those comparisons anyway. They are actually demeaning in my opinion.

Berlin was at no time considered Germany's most beautiful city. From the time it became the German Empire's captital it was actually regarded as rather tasteless, overladen and kitschy due to the Emperors' bad taste in architecture. Most of Berlin was just historicist but not really historic. What was left of Berlin's small old town was considered insignificant in comparison to other German cities, that were much more important before the 18th and 19th century. They also were considered the architecturally and artistically more beautiful and important cities.
Later from the twenties on Berlin began in stark contrast to before to get rid of all ornamentation. The infamous Entstuckungwelle (deornamentation of stucco facades) started then and had its heyday after WWII. Berlin was infamous for being always changing and under construction, to this day actually.

Dresden was widely seen as Germany's and one of Europe's most beautiful cities.
I think the Prussian kings and German Emperors actually did have good taste in architecture. While perhaps missing a large collection of historic buildings, Schinkel and Wilhelmine Berlin, as well as bauhaus-influenced Berlin, was quite beautiful and filled with uniquely beautiful neighborhoods. Obviously, one cannot take away the splendor of Dresden, but I would not set pre-war Berlin aside as a non-compete in the so-called city beauty contest.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 02:59 PM   #1876
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Most German cities would look a lot better if only they would rectify simplified post-war reconstructions, such as the buildings here in Bremen:



Today.



Before the war (in the background).

Germany is abound with buildings like this, Nuremberg in particular. Thankfully, some cities are gradually restoring the pre-war appearance of some of their buildings, and others are moving in that direction (Frankfurt is currently doing a cost assessment on the viability in restoring certain towers and roofs in its old town).
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Old May 13th, 2017, 02:29 AM   #1877
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Unfortunately many Germany cities, basically every major one, has these horrible buildings. Entire streets and city blocks filled with these kind of buildings:


It still looks like that many German cities are somewhere in Eastern Europe, as it looks so cheap and ugly. These buildings will eventually be torn down or at least renovated. But a country with the 4th GDP and a lot of investors these city street grids can change by rebuilding it.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 03:48 AM   #1878
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Some more examples.

Hannover:









Frankfurt:





(These are the buildings I mentioned above. They might be restored!)

Nuremberg:





There are so many examples in Nuremberg I'd be here for a day and a night and still wouldn't be satisfied with the amount of pictures I could could find. It's still beautiful, but used to be so much more.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 03:37 PM   #1879
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In spite of many years of studying the lost treasures of German cities, pictures such as these still evoke the same level of dismay and disgust at the both the intentional destruction as well as the intentional non-rebuilding. Even though there were reasons for both, neither are good enough to result in what these areas look like today.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 06:07 PM   #1880
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Some cities have been so distorted by the ravages of war that they barely get a mention here.

Stuttgart, Rathaus:

Before:



Today (a sad replacement):




Essen, Grillo-Theatre:

Before, on the left:



Today:



It's sad that cities such as Stuttgart and Essen are today so strikingingly ugly, given their former beauty. They aren't alone, and Germany is filled with cities just like them. Hannover, Dortmund, Cologne, Chemnitz, Pforzheim, Mannheim, Magdeburg, Kassel. All beautiful, once. Even Germany's reputedly most beautiful (larger) cities are still quite ugly. Yes, Dresden's centre is by and large amazing, but it is very very small. Walk a few minutes and bathe in the ugliness. Munich is mostly the same, though more fragmented.
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