Saturday, 8 September 2007

Meissen and Dresden : a chance for some Geography (and History!)

originally posted on 12th August 2007....

Mark's GPS tracker is addictive! I may not have managed a foreign holiday myself this summer but I feel like I'm travelling every time I check in to see where he has reached.

A couple of hours ago he was on the banks of the River Elbe and about to enter Meissen. Time for a quick Geography lesson..... Meissen is mostly famous as the birthplace of European porcelain. You can read about it here in Wikipedia. There are usually good geographical reasons for the location of industry and Meissen is no exception. A clue as to why Meissen became associated with porcelain manufacture can be seen in the botton right of the image above. In and around Meissen were large deposits of a clay called kaolin (still mined today) which is an essential raw material for the ceramic industry.
Some 10 miles south east of Meissen lies the city of Dresden which Mark has doubtless passed by now. Time for a quick History lesson...... although an important industrial city in its own right, the name of Dresden is still mainly associated with events towards the end of World War 2 when Allied bombers obliterated much of its inner city, killing thousands of innocent civilians in raids which remain one of the most controversial acts of the Allies during WW2.

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