The Church of the Three Magi is one of the oldest temples in the city. It is interesting for its beautiful 7-meter altar and the terrifying relief "Dresden Dance of Death" of the Renaissance.
Dreikönigskirche, photo by János Korom Dr.
The Church of the Three Magi (Dreikönigskirche) is one of the oldest temples in the city. It was first mentioned in the annals of 1421. The late-baroque church was built by Matthias Daniel Pöppelman in 1732-1739. on the site of the former cemetery and the former temple of the Three Magi, which were demolished by order of the elector, because they prevented the laying of the main street. After Pöppelman’s death, the work was led by Georg Baer. And his brother-in-law, assistant and student completed construction Johann Georg Schmid.
Church interior, photo by Wolfgang Appel
Altar, photo by davidonflickr
The church is known for its beautiful seven-meter altar, which is located on the west side, and not on the east, as usual. And all because the entrance was supposed to be from the Hauptstraße side, through the main door of the central risalit of the eastern portal, according to the development plan of Augustus the Strong. Inside the temple is a charred skeleton of a baroque sandstone altar (1741) by Johann Benjamin Tome.
Dresden death dance
Frieze "Dresden Dance of Death", photo renzo dionigi
Of interest is also the 12-meter sandstone frieze "Dresden Dance of Death" (Dresdner Totentanz) (1534-36). Its height is 1.2 m and its length is 12.5 m. It was created by the sculptor Christopher Walter I and was located first on the facade of the St. George Palace of the residence of the rulers of Saxony.
The bas-relief recalls the mortality of human existence. It consists of 24 figures depicting the laity and the clergy, starting with the pope and the king and ending with the peasant, usurer and beggar, which are interspersed with 3 figures of Death.
Observation deck on the tower, photo by Gerardo Fransecky
You can climb the church’s spiral staircase to the tower (87.5 m), where an observation deck is equipped, from where you can enjoy magnificent views of the old city. A non-barreled sandstone tower appeared in 1854-58. It is decorated with numerous sculptures (including figures of 4 evangelists and three magi).
During World War II, the temple was destroyed, only the tower and external walls survived. In 1984-94 restoration work was carried out. The western facade of the church is preserved from the previous building of the early 18th century, which existed on this site until 1732.
Today is Dreikönigskirche
Today in the church, thanks to the excellent acoustics, there are concerts of spiritual chants and exhibitions of paintings.
How to get there
Take the tram to the Carolaplatz stop.
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