| Country and City Information

The city of Dresden is the capital of the Free State of Saxony, which is located in the East of Germany. On the one hand it is the entry to a mountain region where ore is mined since the 12th century. The so called Ore Mountains mark the Boarder between Saxony and the Czech Republic. On the other hand the city of Dresden is located at the river Elbe, which is the third longest river in Germany.

Europe Germany Saxony


In the early days, Dresden was a Slavonic fisher village that was occupied by numerous famers, traders and craftsmen and evolved into a town at the beginning of the 13th century. From the 15th century onwards various Saxon dukes, electoral princes and kings developed the city from renaissance style architecture to a baroque style residence. The most famous and distinctive royal leader was King August I. (the Strong). Between 1694 and 1733 he initiated the cultural splendor of Dresden. The city and its citizens have experiences splendid times but also suffered hardships such as great fires and wars, as for instance the destruction during World War II.


Volkswagen Production Plant Today the city of Dresden counts among one of the fastest growing regions of Germany with great potential in different industrial fields such as microelectronics, information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, new materials or renewable energy. A great number of universities, colleges and research centers as well as private companies are located and successfully run here. Also known as "the Florence of the North" the city attracts a large number of tourists every year. One attraction is a tour of the historic city centre (Altstadt-west bank) that is lined up almost parallel to the river Elbe.
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Semper Opera House Famous musicians and composers such as Schüz, Bordoni, Wagner or Strauss have been working in Dresden. The present building of the Opera House was created by the architect Semper in the middle of the 19th century. After its destruction during World War II it was rebuild by 1985 and represents until today one of the most famous opera houses of Germany. Besides a large variety of operas, ballets and concerts it also hosts the annual Semper Opera Ball.
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Royal Festivity Court Zwinger Taking a walk through the Zwinger, a three wing complex build in Baroque style is a splendid experience. It was built in the early 18th century under August the Strong as an Orangery and festivity location. Today the building functions amongst others as a picture gallery that hosts the world famous painting of the Sistine Madonna by the Italian artist Raphael.
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Royal Palace The Royal Palace is located in the heart of the old town. It was built in 1530 in a late Renaissance style and functioned henceforth as the residence of the royals. Most of the face of the building is black due to the high iron content of the Saxon sand stone, emissions as well as the weather. Today there are a range of places of interest within the Royal Palace, such as the stables yard, climbing the platform of the Hausmann Tower for a great scenic view, or visiting the museum containing among others the legendary Treasure Chamber with the Green Vaults originally set up by King August the Strong. The center pieces of this exhibition are masterpieces of jewelry and goldsmith's art as well as artistic works of amber, ivory and precious stones.
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Royal Cathedral Directly next to the Palace is the Cathedral (Hofkirche), which is the largest church of Saxony. This late Baroque building was the church of the royal court and therefore directly connected through a footbridge with the Palace. The balustrades of the church are lined with impressive sand stone figures. It is possible to visit the cathedral that also contains the crypt of the Saxon Royal Family and the heart of King August the Strong.
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Procession of Princes On the outer wall of the Royal Palace the Procession of Princes (Füstenzug), another unique attraction can be admired. It is a 100 m long mural design made out of 25.000 tiles of Europe's most famous porcelain from the close by City of Meissen (Meissen China). It was originally made in the second half of the 19th century and illustrates a parade of the ruling royal family of Saxony in chronological order.
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Church of Our Lady The Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) is the most famous highlight of Dresden and a worldwide landmark of tolerance and peace. The building was originally constructed between 1726 and 1743 as a symbol of Protestantism and a display against the absolutistic monarchy. During the bombing of Dresden in 1945 the church was completely destroyed but could be reconstructed with donations only, from all over the world by 2005. Today, the sandstone façade appears as a patchwork of dark originally stones and light new stones. The baroque interior has as well been recreated and is almost every day open for visitors.
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Statue of August the Strong By crossing the river over the bridge at the Royal Palace the tour of the new town (Neustadt-east bank) starts. At the north end of the bridge, the gilded equestrian statue of August the Strong, elector of Saxony and Poland can be admired. It leads directly into Dresden's main street that is tree-bordered, exhibits Baroque statues as well as water fountains and invites for shopping or relaxing with coffee and cake.
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Art Passage in Dresden East Bank In the extension of this axis lies the largest preserved Victorian-era quarter of Europe, called outer new town (Äußere Neustadt). As a magnet for young people, students and artists it is especially at night a vibrant center of restaurants, bars, clubs, theatres, cinemas and alternative lifestyle. The Art Passage that leads through different courtyards is only one of the numerous places that invite to stop and admire during daytime.
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