The Royal City of Dresden
The second biggest city from Saxon, the royal city of Dresden carries a lot of history and culture in its path. It was the capital of Saxony at the time that Germany was all separated into small kingdoms and the house for several kings. Besides the destruction caused by the Second World War, you can still see all the royal heritage of Dresden in the historical city centre. It is a must go city in Germany and you are going to understand why. Keep reading and Join Me There!
Baroque and Beautiful
If you don’t want to dig deep into museums and palaces it doesn’t take too long to visit Dresden. Touristically speaking the city has two main places to be: the historical city centre and the new city centre. At the historical one, you are going to find the most stunning buildings, all in Baroque style, most of them made of sandstone, which gives a “burned” look to the city centre due to the wind corrosion. This fact might look like the city is not so cool, but actually, Dresden is much more charming than you would ever expect. In fact, Dresden is breathtaking!
Arriving in Dresden for the first time
The first time I have been in Dresden, I was very surprised by the city. It is not what you expect from a city of the old DDR (name of East Germany by the time of the separation during the Cold War). Instead of getting to an old and empty, uninteresting city, I got to a beautiful, spacious, well cared and royal city. All the history that Dresden carries with it can’t and should not be erased by such a small and obscure moment of the German history. Dresden needs to be seen as it is: a city that was built up to impress and it accomplishes its job very well.
On my first visit to the city, I stayed in a Hostel in a very hype and young area of Dresden, the “Dresdner Neuestadt”, that means Dresden’s New City. This hotel offers you a very different way to sleep, in my case I experienced how is to sleep an old DDR car, a Trabant! Check it out!
Theaterplatz – or Theater Square
One of the nicest squares in Dresden, because it doesn’t matter where you look, you will see an impressive building. It is in this square that you will find the very famous and iconic Semperoper, The Zwinger, the Royal Palace and the Hofkirche, a Catholic church. This square is also at the shore of the Elbe River, which makes it even cooler. To know why this is one of the most important places of Dresden, check it out the attractions:
Semperoper, the great Opera House.
In 1841, Gottfried Semper built up what was to be the most beautiful and famous Opera House in Germany. Besides a fire burned the house almost completely down in 1869, the place was rebuilt and it was the house of many great names of the German classical music like Strauss or Wagner. Both made many premieres in this Opera House that until today carries a lot of prestige with it. The visitation is possible. Although is very limited, you don’t have to schedule. The price for a guided tour is only 11 euros. If you prefer a better experience, you can even watch some of the concerts or shows going on the house. To check their schedule, you can click here and you will be redirected to their page in English.
Nowadays the place is the hosts a museum and many city festivals, but there was a time that the place was actually an orangery and a cage of protection. During the medieval times, until the 16th century, the Zwinger was positioned outside the city walls and was filled with cannons and protection to avoid and detain whoever would try to invade Dresden. Actually, there is no correct date for the first constructions of the Zwinger. All that is known is that in the 18th century it was rebuilt and they kept the old name to the building. Although, the purpose of it was already other than protection.
Dresden Royal Palace
This is one of the oldest buildings in Dresden, built up originally in 1200. For almost 400 years, from middle 1500 and early 1800, it was the residence of the elected leaders. Nowadays the place is a huge museum with the art collection, historical items, photography and paintings and even some armoury items.
The Hofkirche is a Catholic church built up attached to the Royal Palace. The construction of it was between the years of 1739 and 1755. It is one of the beautiful baroque’s buildings that you see at the Theaterplatz, right by the side of the Royal Palace.
More and more beautiful and historical buildings
The “Church of Our Lady” is a symbol if Dresden and it was build up in the 18th century. In its early days it was a Roman Catholic Church, later on, became Protestant and nowadays it is a Lutheran church. The church was heavily bombed during the World War II and remained in pieces from 1945 until 1994 when it was decided that the church should be reconstructed and given back to the people. Only in 2004 that the exterior was complete and in 2005, the interior was finally done and the Church was ready to be reopened. The inside of it has a very gentle and romantic tone and the visitation is for free if you want to enter the church and see the first level. For other parts, it is charged special fees. You can read more about it clicking here.
Dresden Academy of Fine Arts
Think about a powerful building. The Dresden Academy of Fine Arts is huge, beautiful and by the shore of Elbe river. It is a pleasant area to walk around, sit in the shadow and enjoy that stunning city in East Germany. The university building is composed of 3 buildings and the newest one was built in 1894 and the oldest in 1764.
This beautiful building laying on the other side of the Elbe River was built up in 1715 with the purpose of being the storage of the Japanese Porcelain Collection from Augustus, the Strong. But the fact is that the building was never used as such. After its construction was used as a library for many years. Later, during the World War II, the building was bombed down and reconstructed between 1950’s until 1987. Nowadays the palace is the house of three different museums: the Museum of Ethnology of Dresden, the State Museum of Pre-History and the Senckenberg Natural History Collection.
At the Augustus Street you will find a 102 meters long porcelain mosaic that shows a picture with all the 34 Kings, Leaders and Dukes of Saxon from 1127 until 1873. The picture is made of 23.000 pieces of porcelain and it is considered the biggest porcelain art piece of the World. The wall, where this special art piece is installed, is from the stable of Dresden.
This is a sandstone bridge that connects the New to the Old Dresden. This bridge is made of sandstone between the years of 1727 and 1731 by Augustus, the Strong. If you want a perfect panoramic picture from the Theaterplatz, this is the right place to be.
Dresden is also full of museums, so if you really want to explore the ancient German history, give yourself a bit more of time in the city. We have been there for 2 and a half days only and we couldn’t find much time to see it all from the inside. By the way, if you go to the city by car, like we did, use some time to also visit the Devil’s Bridge in the Kromlau Park. Click here to read more and Join Me There!