Recently, I reported on the city of Leipzig as a travel destination. This week, City Connect is proud to present the world-famous Baroque city of Dresden, one of the culturally richest cities in the Western world. Dresden is about 800 years old and is the capital of the German federal state of Saxony situated at the river Elbe. It has a population of about 530,000 and a historic Baroque city centre with many world renowned buildings. Dresden was heavily destroyed during the war but during the past two decades a lot of effort and money has been put into the old city centre to restore the city to its former glory. Dresden was once termed the Florence of the river Elbe and now attracts millions of visitors every year. Dresden is situated in a valley and has beautiful nature reserves just outside the city, amongst them a UNESCO world heritage site. Dresden has fabulous public transport including tramways and good bus services.
The opera of Dresden is one of the finest in the country and in Europe. If you want to book tickets, make sure you do it well in advance. It attracts some of the best performances in the world. The Saxon Symphony Orchestra (Sächsische Staatskapelle) performs in the Opera and every year it attracts some of the best singers in the world.
Zwinger Art Gallery
The Dresden Art Gallery has paintings of artists such as Rubens, Sandro Botticelli, Albrecht Dürer and many more. It is situated in an old Saxon palace right next to the Semper opera. The building was constructed in the 16th century, inspired by French Baroque buildings. You can also go for beautiful walks on the huge balconies spanning the top of the entire building.
This art exhibition shows pieces of many Saxon dynasties, amongst them a cherry stone carved with 80 small faces. One can only see them under a magnifying glass and wonders how the artist managed to produce this masterpiece of human craftsmanship. Be enchanted by great Baroque art work.
The Cathedral of Dresden is the biggest Lutheran cathedral in the world and was built between 1726 and 1743. It was destroyed during the war and kept as a war memorial. It was rebuilt after German reunification and the reconstruction was finished in 2005. Now, it is once more a magnificent building with an even more magnificent interior including a beautiful organ and altar. There are still long queues to go inside, so bring some spare time. There are also regular concerts performed in the church.
There is a very famous natural park situated just South of the City. It encompasses huge forests, a large part of the riverbanks along the river Elbe and various man-made viewing platforms. The region has some 1,000 climbing peaks, as well as several hollows, making it an ideal place for climbers.
The city has many hotels and offers a great variety of accommodation. If you are looking for a romantic weekend away, you should be looking into accommodation in the old city centre. However, hotels can be very pricey there and you might be more successful finding cheap accommodation in the Neustadt. You may also enjoy going on a boat trip along the river Elbe. You can choose simple options, or even go on a boat that offers lunch or dinner buffets. Some boats also go South to the national park and to various small castles along the river. Dresden has its own international airport and is also easily reachable from the international airports of Berlin.
Images reproduced from www.jblog.fr, www.pension-scheibe.de, www.upload.wikimedia.org, www.essential-architecture.com, www.semperoperticket.de and www.vasw.de
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