Dresden & Colditz Castle

Dresden Travel Blog

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Colditz Castle

Having read the stories seen the TV shows and movies I was looking forward to the visit to Colditz Castle. Located within a triangle of the major cities of Leipzieg,Dresden and Chemnitz. Work on the original Castle was started in 1083.

In 1504 the Castle and surrounding area was accidently set on fire by a baker and mostly destroyed. Reconstruction began in 1506. The Castle has had various uses over it's history.Hospital Mental Assylum,Zoo and most famously Prisoner of War camp during WW2.

Although it was considered a high security prison, it boasted one of the highest number of Successful escape attempts of any POW camp. This could be owing to the general nature of the prisoners that were sent there; most of them had attempted escape previously from other prisons and were transferred to Colditz because the Germans had thought the castle escape-proof.

Famously one of the most amazing attempts made to escape was the construction of a glider in the attic. One of it's inventors being Doglas Bader,double leg amputee Battle of Britain Hero.Although it was never used because Germany surrendered to the Allies before the scheduled date of the planned escape.

Captain Patrick R Reid, who successfully escaped from Colditz in 1942, wrote two detailed books about the living conditions and various escape attempts at Colditz from 1940 to 1945.

Next today we visit Dresden.The historical centre of Dresden is located on the left bank of the Elbe, at the peak of a  river bend. Protected for centuries by mighty fortifications, the Saxon capital developed splendour and activity.

Even today the buildings from the Renaissance, baroque and 19th century determine the Elbe front and the face of the city. Viewed from the opposite bank or from one of the Elbe bridges Dresden presents itself as a cultural city to rank with any in Europe.

In spite of vast destruction during the Second World War, the Old City part of Dresden has preserved or regained much of it's former elegance. The most famous symbol of reconstruction in the city centre is the Dresden Frauenkirche Church, the magnificent baroque dome, which dominates the city centre. Since October, 30th 2005 the steeple of the Frauenkirche overtops the Dresden skyline again. The reconstruction of the Frauenkirche is an impressive symbol of international reconciliation after World War II. The Cross on top being donated by the people of Coventry.

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Colditz Castle
Colditz Castle
photo by: aloneinthecrowd