Dresden Cathedral

This article is about the church in Dresden. For the church in Innsbruck, see Hofkirche, Innsbruck.
Dresden Cathedral
The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
The Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony
Katholische Hofkirche

Katholische Hofkirche with the Dresden Castle on the left and Semperoper on the right.
51°03′13″N 13°44′15″E / 51.05361°N 13.73750°E / 51.05361; 13.73750
Location Dresden
Country Germany
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founded 1739
Founder(s) Augustus III of Poland
Consecrated 29 June 1751
Status Active
Functional status Cathedral
Architect(s) Gaetano Chiaveri
Completed 1751
Diocese Diocese of Dresden-Meissen
Bishop(s) Heiner Koch

Dresden Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Dresden, previously the Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony, called in German Katholische Hofkirche and since 1980 also known as Kathedrale Sanctissimae Trinitatis, is the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Dresden.

Always the most important Catholic church of the city, it was elevated to the status of cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dresden-Meissen in 1964. It is located near the Elbe River in the historic center of Dresden, Germany.


The church around 1840

The Hofkirche stands as one of Dresden's foremost landmarks. It was designed by architect Gaetano Chiaveri from 1738 to 1751.[1] The church was commissioned by Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland while the Protestant city of Dresden built the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) between 1726 and 1743. Whilst the general population was protestant its rulers were catholic. The catholic Elector built the cathedral for his own use and for the use of other high-ranking officials, connecting it to his home (Dresden Castle) with an ornate high level walkway.[1]

In the crypt the heart of King Augustus the Strong is buried along with the last King of Saxony and the remains of 49 other members of the Wettin family, as well as the remains of people who married into the family, such as Princess Maria Carolina of Savoy, wife of Anthony of Saxony.

The church was badly damaged in February 1945 during the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War. It was initially restored during the mid-1980s by the East German government. It was further restored in the early 21st century following reunification, including the rebuilding of the bridge to the castle. Today it is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dresden-Meissen. Free entry is permitted during the daytime.

The cathedral features a carefully restored organ, the last work of the renowned organ builder Gottfried Silbermann. It also contains a Rococo pulpit by Balthasar Permoser.


Notes and references

Front from the Elbterrasse
  1. 1 2 Fritz Löffler: Das alte Dresden - Geschichte seiner Bauten. 16th ed. Leipzig: Seemann, 2006, ISBN 978-3-86502-000-0 (German)

Media related to Katholische Hofkirche, Dresden at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°03′13″N 13°44′15″E / 51.05361°N 13.73750°E / 51.05361; 13.73750

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