This former East-German city is hip and happening
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Dresden is hip and happening. The city, located in the east of Germany formerly known as the DDR, is now a popular tourist destination for shopping, museums and historic attractions. It’s also famous for the baroque Zwinger Palace.
The city of Dresden has an unprecedented rich history. Easy to use The former city in the GDR is now popular with travellers who want to shop, visit museums and discover imposing palaces.
The city has many attractions that you can visit. In addition, I have added a number of nice tours for you. So that you get a little more out of your city trip to Dresden.
You cannot miss the Dresden Frauenkirche. This imposing church dates back to the 18th century and was built in Baroque style. The church has a special story. It was badly damaged in the Second World War. The city council wanted to build a parking lot there, but the local population numbered the stones for the construction.
After the reunification with West Germany, the rebuilding of the church started. You can still see the old original stones in the walls. These are much darker in colour than the newer ones. You can visit the church. Climb to the top of Dresden's Frauenkirche for a great view of the city.
The Zwinger, as it is often called, is more than impressive. Augustus the Strong had the several palaces built between 1710 and 1732. Augustus II of Poland, as he was officially called, was the Elector of Saxony and the King of Poland. He was fond of art and was one of the first to collect important paintings. Which he liked to hang in the various rooms.
The various buildings are now museums. Such as the Old Masters Gallery (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister) with many paintings. The most famous work is Raphael's Sistine Madonna. Pay particular attention to the architecture and the many ornaments.
Brühl's Terrace is actually an elevated footpath along the Elbe river. It is about 500 meters long and is known as the Balcony of Europe. The terrace was built as a defensive wall as early as the 16th century. If you take a walk you'll see numerous monumental buildings with special sculptures. Along the famous staircase you will see statues that represent the times of the day.
Johann Friedrich Böttger tried to make gold in the vaults in 1707. What failed, but he discovered a special way to make porcelain. Which gave the city an unprecedented wealth.
The Procession of Princes (Fürstenzug in German) is a large mural of a mounted procession of the rulers of Saxony. This porcelain wall panel is unique. It is a 102 meter long wall decoration of former royals. The mosaic depicts 35 former reigning princes, electors, dukes, margraves and kings.
The first is Conrad the Great from the 12th century. The last is George, King of Saxony who ruled from 1902 to 1904. The inventor and various painters can also be seen, as are 2 greyhounds. In total, more than 23,000 porcelain tiles were used. It is a very impressive work of art to behold.
One of the best excursions to do is a boat trip on the Elbe river. where you sail partially through the center of the city. But for example Schloss Pillnitz, which is just outside the city.
The famous Pilnitz Castle is nowadays best known for its English garden. Although the Chinese garden is also worth a visit. It was built by Augustus II the Strong in 1720. In fact, there are two palaces: the Upper Palace (Bergpalais) and the Riverside Palace (Wasserpalais), while a third palace was built more than 100 years later: the New Palace. You can take a tour to visit the castles and enjoy the outdoors.
The Dresden Suspension Railway is the oldest cable car in the world. It is 274 meters long with a height difference of 84 meters. This unique funicular was built between 1891 and 1900. It's a fun ride that ends at a viewpoint over the city. You will find the Dresden Suspension Railway (or Schwebebahn Dresden in German) between the districts of Loschwitz and Oberloschwitz.
The Dresden Castel (Residenzschloss) was once a castle, but was continuously expanded by the monarchs. It was the residence of the kings of Saxony for a long time until it burned down in 1701. After which a new castle in baroque style was built. Much of it is now a museum. In the Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe) you'll see a large collection of royal jewellery, jewels and table decorations.
The Memorial Bautzner Street Dresden (Gedenkstätte Bautzner Strasse) is a special museum about the turbulent GDR history of Dresden. The Soviet Union's secret service turned this building into a prison after the Second World War. It also had interrogation rooms and an extensive archive of many people.
When the Wall threatened to fall, countless residents of Dresden went to this building. They want to bring out the truth, while the Stasi wanted to destroy everything. Which did not work, giving you a unique insight into the degrading techniques that were used.
The Semperoper Dresden was long the court and state opera of Saxony. The name Semperoper refers to the architect, Gottfried Semper. The opera is officially called Sächsische Staatsoper. It is an imposing building with even more impressive acoustics. Logically you can experience a performance here, but you can also take a guided tour.
The Albertplatz is a major road junction. No fewer than 10 streets meet here. But this intersection is best known for its two water fountains. The Silent Wasser Fountain from 1887 shows a snake fighting monsters from the sea. The Stürmische Wogen was created in 1894. You can see a water nymph surrounded by frogs and snails.
Dresden has one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany. And it is therefore one of the most beautiful cities to celebrate Christmas. The best place is the Striezel Market, where you will see many decorated pine trees, cozy stalls with mainly local delicacies. There are also theater shows, living fairytales and tasty drinks.