For decades it was a bombed-out silhouette that became synonymous with the tragedy of Dresden.
Now, after painstaking and expensive reconstruction, the Frauenkirche has been consecrated, turning it into a symbol of rebirth after the horror of World War Two.
Dignitaries from around the world joined senior German politicians for the ceremony. Among the guests was Britain’s Duke of Kent, the patron of the fundraising Dresden trust.
His involvement has been hailed as emblematic of Anglo-German reconciliation, sixty years after British bombers led one of the war’s most controversial operations.
The original church was seen as the jewel in the crown of Dresden’s baroque architecture which earned the city the nickname of “Florence on the Elbe.”
The cataclysm came on February 13th 1945. Bombs rained down for two days, sparking a firestorm that killed around 35,000 people. To this day debate rages over whether Dresden was a legitimate military target.