I believe I have located the spot where my great-great-great uncle, Robert Thode, had the head office of his bank, known as Robert Thode & Co. They are all somewhat new buildings on that area of the Wilsdruffer Strasse, so the original bank building would have been destroyed on that momentous night during the war, the date all Dresdeners know, the night of 13-14 February 1945, Dresden’s Hiroshima. Dresden’s September the 11th.
The alignment of Wilsdruffer Strasse in 1891, when Robert Thode and Co was domiciled at number 1, began at the Altmarkt and stretched westwards a short distance, ending at the meeting point of Wall Strasse and Sophien Strasse. From Robert Thode’s office window, he would have peered along Wilsdruffer Strasse. To his right was the Rathaus in its then location, and behind it the Altmarkt. Diagonally across the Altmarkt was the Kreuzkirche. If Thode had stepped out of the bank for a lunch time stroll, he’d have mingled with people arriving at the Altmarkt. He could have purchased coffees and cakes from the Kreutzkamm, founded in 1825, on the Wilsdruffer Strasse. Or Robert could have gone to the Gasthof zum Goldenen Engel, almost right next door to his bank. He had a very short distance to walk to some of Dresden’s prime landmarks. One street away to the north-west was the Sophienkirche. Barely 200 metres to the north-east was the Neumarkt and Dresden’s landmark Frauenkirche. Straight ahead from the bank, Robert would have seen the Residenz Schloss and the Fuerstenzug Stallhof. A three-minute walk in that direction, and he would have had sweeping views along the river Elbe.