Attractions in Dresden, Germany

Attractions in Dresden, Germany

Dresden, capital of Saxony, with (2019) 556 800 residents.

The city has a technical university, colleges and research institutes. The museums of the State Art Collections in Dresden (picture galleries “Old” and “New Masters”) are famous. Dresden is one of the most modern high-tech locations in Europe with a special focus on microelectronics, communication technology and biotechnology.

Dresden, which was considered to be one of the most beautiful German cities (“Florence on the Elbe”), was destroyed by air raids on the night of the 13th and 14th. Badly destroyed in February 1945. Rebuilt were inter alia. the Zwinger (a baroque complex created by Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann 1711–28), the Hofkirche, the Kreuzkirche and the opera house built by Gottfried Semper (Semperoper, 1838–41). The Frauenkirche, built by Georg Bähr 1726–43, the most important Protestant baroque church building and symbol of Dresden, was initially preserved as a ruin memorial for the victims of the air raid and was not rebuilt until 1994–2004.


As the residence of the Wettins (1485-1918), the city experienced especially under August II, the Strong (1694-1733), and August III. (1733–63) active building activity. Dresden was until the air raid on 13/14. 2. 1945, to which the old town largely fell victim, as one of the most beautiful German cities (“Florence on the Elbe”). Many historical buildings have since been restored, but destruction and new planning have changed the cityscape. In 2004, the Dresden Elbe Valley, the area between Übigau Castle in the west and Pillnitz Castle in the east, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, but in 2006 it was put on the Red List of World Heritage Sites at risk due to the planned construction of the »Waldschlösschenbrücke« (opening August 2013). In 2009, the Dresden Elbe Valley was withdrawn from being classified as a World Heritage Site.

The core of the old town on the left bank of the Elbe is the former residential palace of the Wettins, a four-wing complex from the 16th century, later often changed, burned out in 1945 (reconstruction and restoration work since 1986, exterior facades already completed in 2007). The Catholic Court Church (1738–54, burnt down in 1945, restored) is located on Schlossplatz. To the south of the castle is the Taschenbergpalais (built 1707–11 by M. D. Pöppelmann; burned out in 1945, rebuilt as a hotel in 1992–95). The theater square with the Old Town Guard, a classicist building (1830–32) designed by K. F. Schinkel, and the Semperoper adjoin the palace and court church to the west.

The first opera house (1838–41) by G. Semper burned down in 1869, the second opera house (1871–78) was built by his son Manfred Semper according to a design by G. Semper; this on 13./14. 2. The building burnt out in 1945 was rebuilt and reopened on February 13, 1985. The south-western boundary of the square is formed by the Zwinger by Pöppelmann (1711–28), which was built for court festivals. G. Semper added to the once open north-east side of the Zwinger1847–54 the picture gallery (reconstruction of the Semper building, which was destroyed in 1945, by 1960, extensively renovated and restored in 1989–92). To the east of Schlossplatz, on the banks of the Elbe, the Brühlsche Terrasse extends (formerly part of the old town fortifications, expanded into a garden in the 18th century) with the Art Academy (1890–94, today the University of Fine Arts), the Albertinum, the secondary school (1907) instead of the Brühlschen Library and the former Ständehaus (1901-06, by P. Wallot) instead of the Palais Brühl.

The Frauenkirche by G. Bähr (started in 1726, consecrated in 1734, completed in 1743; destroyed in 1945) remained in its ruinous state for decades as a memorial to the victims of the air raid. After long discussions, the decision was made to rebuild it (realized 1994–2004; official inauguration on October 30, 2005) and thus to restore a substantial part of the historic silhouette of the inner city.

On the banks of the Elbe, in the vicinity of the Frauenkirche and the Albertinum, not far from the former synagogue of G. Semper, which was set on fire on November 9, 1938, the new synagogue and a Jewish community center were built (2000–01). The Johanneum (built 1586–91 as a stable courtyard, rebuilt several times) on Neumarkt is connected to the castle by the long corridor that opens onto the courtyard with 22 arched arcades. The outside of the Lange Ganges is decorated with a 102 m length of the »Fürstenzug«, which shows the rulers of the Wettin family (originally sgraffitofries, 1870–76; transferred to tiles from the Meissen porcelain factory in 1906).

Around the Altmarkt, which was doubled during the reconstruction, are the Kulturpalast (1969), the New Town Hall (1905–10), the early classicist Gewandhaus (1768–79, now a hotel), which replaced the earlier church buildings from 1764–92 Erected baroque cruciform church (destroyed in 1945, restored in simplified forms – inside following the Art Nouveau version [after fire in 1897]) and a little further away the early classicist country house (1770–76, by F. A. Krubsacius, today the seat of the city museum and the city gallery).

The Great Garden, a baroque complex (started in 1676) with an early baroque palace (1678–83), adjoins the old town to the southeast. In the immediate vicinity is the German Hygiene Museum, one of the important new museum buildings of the interwar period (1927–30, by W. Kreis, destroyed in World War II, rebuilt in the 1950s; it was rebuilt in 2000–05 by, among others, Peter Kulka, * 1937, completely refurbished based on the original building).

The new town on the right bank of the Elbe was rebuilt as a unified baroque town after the fire in Altendresden (1685); some baroque town houses have been preserved. The Japanese Palace, started in 1715 as the Dutch Palace, was built in 1727–35 under the direction of Pöppelmann. The new building of the Dreikönigskirche (1732–39 according to plans by Pöppelmann, interior work by Bähr) was reconstructed from 1987–91.

In the outskirts of the Elbe there are Übigau Castle (1724/25; by J. F. Eosander von Göthe), and up the Elbe on the Loschwitzer Heights, the late classical castles of Albrechtsberg (1850–54) and Villa Stockhausen (after 1850; by the Schinkel student Adolf Lohse) and the as Medieval castle Eckberg Castle (1859–61), further upstream on the Elbe the Pillnitz Castle and Park. Interesting buildings from the early 20th century include the former cigarette factory “Yenidze” (1907–09 based on plans by Martin Hammitzsch), built in the style of a mosquebuilt, reconstructed in 1994-97 and converted into a modern office and cultural complex), the functional and architecturally outstanding municipal slaughterhouse and cattle yard (built in 1902-10 according to plans by the city building councilor Hans Erlwein on the area of ​​the Ostragehege), the former arts and crafts museum with arts and crafts school (1903–06 by H. Viehweger, William Lossow & Max Hans Kühne; today the seat of the Academy of Fine Arts), the Christ Church in Dresden-Strehlen (1902–05 by Rudolf Schilling & Julius Gräbner) and the crematorium with urn grove at the Johannisfriedhof in Dresden-Tolkewitz (crematorium by F. Schumacher, 1909–11; Urnenhain from 1911 based on plans by Willy Meyer and Paul Wolf).

In Hellerau, a district of Dresden (in the north) since 1950, the plan of a garden city was realized for the first time in Germany: The development plan (1907/08) as well as the “Deutsche Werkstätten” and row houses are by R. Riemerschmid, other houses by H. Muthesius and H. Tessenow, the latter also created the Festspielhaus (1910–12).

For the redesign and redesign of the city center, urban planning competitions took place after reunification (including Postplatz, Altmarkt, Georgsplatz). In 1994–98 the Viennese group of architects Coop Himmelb (l) au converted the film theater, which opened in 1972, into a modern multiplex cinema on Prager Strasse. The Cologne architect Peter Kulka emerged as the winner of the competition for the new construction of the state parliament building, which was built in 1991-93. Until 1995, the restoration of the finance ministry, which was built in 1906 in the neo-renaissance style as a culture and finance ministry on the Neustadt bank of the Elbe, took place (including new components). In 2003 the inauguration of the new Saxon State and University Library took place (1999–2002, by the Viennese architects Ortner & Ortner). In 2006, the redesigned Dresden Central Station was reopened after a 6-year construction period (glass fiber Teflon roofing based on a design by N. Foster). The American architect D. Libeskind was commissioned to redesign the Military History Museum(Reopened in 2011). After four years of renovation (architects Gerkan, Marg & Partner), the Kulturpalast was reopened in 2017.

Attractions in Dresden, Germany

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