Dresden Travel Guide
Charming and scenic, the northern German city of Dresden is one of those rare urban environments where nature and architecture blend harmoniously. With the grand Elbe river flowing right through the middle of the city, visitors are effortlessly drawn to the peaceful riverside scenes. Once known as ‘Florence of the Elbe’, Dresden continues to build upon its cultural and artistic reputation.
Dresden, a cultural and artistic hub for centuries, was completely leveled by bombs during WWII. The city has spent the last 60 years rebuilding this reputation, and today is once again a major tourist destination with glorious churches, palaces and some of Germany’s finest museums. Interspersed throughout the city are dozens of beautiful green parks which take advantage of the Elbe river, which cuts Dresden in half.
Although most of the Altstadt (old town) was destroyed, a few of the more dramatic remnants of the bombings have been left as they survived; stark reminders of a dark past. Fortunately, many of Dresden’s famous landmarks from before the war have been meticulously restored and can be appreciated in their original forms. The Neustadt (new town) has emerged as the district for modern and trendy shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Dresden is living proof that a beautiful city can resurrect itself from the ashes of ruin.
Albertinum: the Saxon King Albert converted his imposing arsenal into a palatial building to house a stunning collection of jewels and art.
Church of Our Lady: one of the most evocative ruins of the Dresden firebombing of WWII has been restored using the pieces which survived, including its famous 305-foot dome.
Church of the Cross: located in the Altstadt, this impressive 18th century church is best known as the home of the famous Dresden boys’ choir, who give free concerts every Saturday at 17:00.
Dresden: chief among the many regal attractions of this architecturally splendid structure is the Green Vaults, a repository of 16th to 18th century treasures from around the globe.
Grosser Garten: among Dresden’s many parks, Grosser is the most popular and diverse thanks to its zoo, botanical gardens, small palace and midsummer outdoor concerts.
Zwinger: this Baroque architectural masterpiece built by Augustus the Strong was modeled after Versailles and is a complex of buildings, each housing different collections of world-class art and artifacts.