Prague Express – What to visit in German – Dresden



With a pleasant location on the river Elbe and majestic baroque architecture, Dresden is often referred to as “Florence of the Elb”.

The capital of the free state of Saxony was established in the 13th century, it has a rich history in which interesting and tragic episodes took turns. For example, the Black Death halved the population of Dresden in the middle of the 17th century, but still the city developed quickly and by the beginning of the 18th century it became the centre of European culture, politics and economics, and it was called the Jewel Box. The Napoleonic wars caused considerable damage to the city, but the severest destruction occurred during the World War II, when as a result of targeted bombing, 25 to 35 thousand of people were killed and the historical centre was completely destroyed. The pieces of buildings were enumerated and taken out of the city, and the city centre was a wasteland with the borders of streets and buildings marked on it. In 1951 the reconstruction started and it lasted for over 40 years. When possible, the pieces that survived the bombing were used, the other parts were cut out anew (now one can tell the difference by a lighter color of the new parts).

Today, in this modern energetic city hardly anything reminds of the war horrors. But tourists are attracted to Dresden not only by the possibility of walking along the waterfront or in the city centre. Dresden is still a cultural centre. For example, the Old Masters Gallery is a unique collection of 750 paintings by artists of the 18th century. The gallery is located in the Zwinger Palace in the Old Town. Other famous sights include the Pillnitz castle, which is situated on the bank of the Elbe and reflects in its waters, with a huge garden nearby. Dresden castle, which used to be a royal residence, is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Semperoper is an opera house and the concert hall of one of the oldest orchestras in the world – Saxon State Orchestra. Apart from museums and castles one can also visit here such unusual sights as, for example, the most beautiful dairy shop in the world (it is in the Guinness Book of World records) – Pfund Dairy Shop; or the oldest suspension railway in the world.

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