Country: Germany Language: German Currency: Euro (€)
Dresden is a historic city, rich in culture and community. Unfortunately, over 90% of the city was destroyed in the Dresden Bombings of 1945. This means almost all of the architecture you see today has been recreated to look as it did before. The striking architecture, narrow laneways and large squares make for plenty of photo ops. And it doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, as something is always happening. In the summer, enjoy the beer gardens and the arts, and in winter, you can experience the Christmas Markets that light up the city!
CTW Must See
The New Town Hall is a neo-Renaissance style building with a large 100 meter tall Baroque tower. It was built in the early 1900s, but was rebuilt after the war, as it was badly damaged. The building contains five courtyards, a gold sculpture at the top of the tower, and two lions guarding the entrance.
Church of Holy Cross (Kreuzkirche)
The Church of Holy Cross was officially dedicated to the Holy Cross in 1388. Since then, it was damaged in the Seven Years’ War, gutted by a fire, and destroyed again during the Bombing of Dresden. It was finally reopened in 1955 and designed to resemble its older state before all of the damages.
Old Market Square (Altmarkt)
This large, rectangular ‘square’ was first mentioned in documents from 1370. Like much of the rest of Dresden, the square was badly damaged in 1945. Reconstruction allowed for the layout to be changed, creating continuous windows, a stone facade, and beautiful orange roofing. It is home to many markets and festivals. In the winter, it is the home to Germany’s oldest Christmas Market!
This entire portion of the city was rebuilt after the war. It was reconstructed with its historic charm, cobbled streets, and decorative architecture. One of the most prominent features of the square is the Martin Luther Monument, dating back to 1885. The main feature of the square is the Frauenkirche. It was originally built in the mid-1700s but completely rebuilt in 2005, after over ten years of construction. The building features one of the largest domes in Europe, and stands as a sign of reconciliation between past enemies.
Procession of Princes (Fürstenzug)
The Procession of Princes is a huge mural of a procession of the rulers of Saxony. It was originally painted in the 1870s. In the early 1900s, the mural was replaced with 23,000 porcelain tiles. Now the mural stands as the largest porcelain artwork in the world! At the end of the alley, you’ll find a large gate, Georgenbau. This gate stands as one of the original gateways to the city.
Brühl’s Terrace is nicknamed as ‘The Balcony of Europe’. The large terrace is located up the steps from Schlossplatz. It provides a beautiful view over the river Elbe. Its main features include the Academy of Fine Arts and the Albertinum, a modern art museum featuring works by Auguste Rodin.
Schlossplatz, also known as Palace Square or Castle Square, connects to the stairs of Brühl’s Terrace. It features the Dresdner Schloss, the royal residence of the Electors and Kings of Saxony. In the center of the square, you’ll fin a stone somewhere within the square marked with an N indicating where Napoleon Bonaparte set off fo the Battle of Dresden in 1813. Schlossplatz is also the home to Katholische Hofkirche, large church whose facade complements the square beautifully.
Across the road from Schlossplatz, you’ll find Theaterplatz, where all of the theatrical performances happen. Here, you’ll find the Semper Opera House and other performance venues.
Zwinger Palace is a beautiful Baroque-styled palace that now contains many museums. Its exterior features a large garden, complex architecture and a historic atmosphere. The museums within Zwinger Palace include The Royal Porcelain Collection, which holds about 20,000 porcelain artifacts; The Green Vault, which holds some of Europe’s most intriguing treasures; The Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments, holding terrestrial and celestial globes, astronomical devices, and more; and finally, the Dresden Art Galleries, featuring many paintings from the 15th century onwards.
More German Adventures...
If you love Dresden, then you might love these other destinations!