Dresden Cathedral

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 Catholic Cathedral of Dresden.

Dresden Cathedral
The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
The Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony
Katholische Hofkirche
Katholische Hofkirche with Dresden Castle on the left and Semperoper on the right.
51°03′13″N 13°44′15″E
Founder(s)Augustus III of Poland
Consecrated29 June 1751
Functional statusCathedral
Architect(s)Gaetano Chiaveri
Bishop(s)Heiner Koch

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.

It is one of the burial sites of the House of Wettin, including Polish monarchs.


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. While the general population of the city 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]

The church was badly damaged in February 1945 during the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War. The building was restored by the year 1962 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 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.


In the crypts 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 oldest of four crypts, the Founders' Crypt, holds the tombs of King Augustus III of Poland, one of very few Polish Kings to be buried outside the Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, and last Queen of Poland Maria Josepha. It is also burial place of the heart of King Augustus the Strong, whose body was interred in the Wawel Cathedral, and of Polish ruler and first Saxon King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony. Polish princes and princesses are buried in the Founders' Crypt and the Great Crypt.

Notes and references

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

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