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Travel

Dresden celebrates triple anniversary

The Kreuzkirche church, as well as its choir and school, are all celebrating to mark the 800th anniversary of their foundation. The festivities reach their highlight in the week of April 15 until 24, 2016.

The municipality, which funds the Kreuzchor boys' choir, is organizing a festival on Friday (15.04.2016) at Dresden Town Hall. The Federal Minister for the Interior Thomas de Maizière will hold a speech at the Kreuzkirche to open festivities. And on Sunday, the early celebratory mass is held by Saxony's bishop Carsten Rentzing. In the evening, there is a violin concert premiere composed by former Kreuzchor choir member Torsten Rasch. The work was commissioned by the Dresden Philhamonic.

The Kreuzchor boys' choir, renowned well beyond Dresden, will be performing Ludwig van Beethoven's Missa Solemnis on April 23. German President Joachim Gauck is expected to be among the dignitaries attending this concert.

The Evangelical-Lutheran church looks back on a long history: a Romanesque basilica dedicated to Saint Nicholas had existed at the southeastern corner of the Dresden market since the early 12th century. A Side-chapel of the Cross, named after a relic bequeathed by the Meissen margravine Constance of Babenberg, was first mentioned in 1319. Over the decades, it became the name of the whole church, which was officially dedicated in 1388 to the Holy Cross. Over the centuries, it was destroyed several times and rebuilt according to the fashion of the times.

The Kreuzschule is the oldest surviving school in Dresden and one of the oldest in Germany. It was founded as a grammar school for the singers of the Chapel of the Holy Cross, now the Dresdner Kreuzchor. The school is now a Protestant high school, officially called Evangelisches Kreuzgymnasium. For headmistress Gabriele Füllkrug, the "close cooperation of church, choir and school has shaped the city." Currently, some 850 girls and boys, among them the members of the Kreuzchor boys' choir, are enrolled at the school.

Within the series of anniversary celebrations and events, there will be a historical procession of some 800 participants on August 21, 2016. Additionally, the exhibition "The path of the Cross - An illustrated excursion through the ages" (Der Kreuzgang - eine Zeitreise in Bildern) will exhibit the close connection between Dresden's history, the Kreuzkirche church, the Kreuzchor boys' choir and the Kreuzschule school from its beginnings via the Reformation to present day.

is/sc (epd)