George Bähr was born into a poor family, the son of a weaver. The village priest, however, helped pay for his education, and Bähr was able to become a carpenter’s apprentice.
In 1690, Bähr went to Dresden to start work as a carpenter. His dream was to go to Italy and see the famous buildings there, so in his spare time he studied mechanics, calling himself both an artist and a mechanic, and designing not only castles and palaces but also sketches of organs.
In 1705, aged 39, Bahr was named Dresden’s City Master Carpenter, although he did not even have a master carpenter’s certificate. One of Bähr’s main goals was to modernise the city’s churches. He believed that the existing buildings did no justice to Protestant church services in particular.
His first building was the parish church in the Loschwitz area of Dresden, a building in the shape of a stretched-out octagon, completed in 1708. Bähr is most famous for designing the Frauenkirche in Dresden. He was given the task in 1722; in 1726, the design was approved and work began. From 1730, Bähr became the first in Germany to go by the title of “Architect”.