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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Dresden

GERMANY | Wednesday, 31 July 2013 | Views [479]

Visiting Dresden was a sombre experience, knowing that it was the most heavily-bombed city in WWII. It is such a stark contrast to Prague, which never took a blow from the war physically and was so well-preserved.

Walking from the train station to the centre, most of the buildings you pass are modern and new. Unlike other European cities, there is not one old building in sight until you reach Altstadt or Old Town. In Altstadt, the historical buildings are as ornate as anywhere else in Europe but are dirty, showing their age and battles. Frauenkirche or Our Lady church, on the other hand, is an exception. The church stands out almost like a beacon of revival and hope, after having recently been fully restored from its complete destruction in WWII. It is beautiful outside and inside. 
 
In the church, there was a sign reading "no photos". Of course there were many who ignored this and started taking photos at ease as much as there were people speaking loudly. I decided to respect the sign and took a free postcard with me to remember it, a better photo than I would have taken battling the sea of photographer-tourists.
 
I've been thinking a lot about photography and churches. I've seen a lot of churches as a tourist on my travels, especially in Europe. When allowed, I do enjoy taking photos of churches to continue marvelling at their beauty later. But I don't understand taking a photo of yourself (especially pose-y ones) in churches or taking photos when requested not to. You can find great photos on Google if you want one and can't take one. If you do NEED to take a photo, I really think discreet is essential in a religious setting. However, with the mix of increase in travel habits and the use of photography to express your sentiments and thoughts, I've seen lots of tourists marching into churches making a ruckus with their voices and cameras, without really ever caring. It makes me sad to see a traditionally sacred place be violated so ignorantly and quite inconsiderately. This is one of my pet peeves with travelling.
 
What's do you think about churches and tourism. Should we  set new rules or stricter boundaries? Or should we just let it be?

Tags: buildings, churches, cities, european adventure, sightseeing

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