A two hours drive from our the pretty town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber got us to Dresden. Arguably one of the prettiest of German cities, Dresden captured my attention by chance. After reading about its history, as a cultural center destroyed during World War 2 and rebuilt over many years, I wanted to visit it. And it didn’t disappoint.
Dresden is the capital of the German state of Saxony. Its historic core, mostly dating back to the 18th century, is divided into two by the River Elbe. The grand churches and museums of the Altstadt nestle on the south bank, the elegant streets and shops of the Neustadt on the north side.
To see one of the world’s finest art collections in a city that is a baroque masterpiece. Remember those bored angels, second only to the Mona Lisa in terms of most reproduced art work? They hang out on Raphael’s Sistine Madonna, which can be found in Dresden. Dresden was among the most-bombed of all German cities during the second World War. In spite of this, Dresden’s stunning Baroque architecture has been left largely intact.
What to do
Walk over the bridge to Altstadt to enjoy the beautiful views of the rebuilt buildings stretched along the other side of the river. One can wander around for much of the time, admiring the buildings and architecture. A mural at the entrance to the old city stands as a chronological record of the long line of kings and emperors that have ruled over Dresden and Saxony.
I particularly enjoyed the Furstenzug, a mosaic of porcelain tiles painted with the rulers from 1127-1904, and the Zwinger– a palace in Dresden, eastern Germany, built in Rococo style and designed by court architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann. There are also several museums here. Hidden around behind the Zwinger was the Nymphenbad, or Nymph’s Bath and is a quiet little oasis that not many people venture towards, or even know of. One can climb the tower of the Kreuzkirche for a majestic view over Dresden, including the famous Frauenkirche. Formerly a Roman Catholic Church, the Martin Luther statue outside Frauenkirche signifies and pays tribute to the metamorphosis of the city. It is considered one of the best examples of Protestant sacred architecture, and also sports one of the largest domes in Europe.
It’s not just Dresden that is interesting, but also the surrounding area. There’s the Elbe River in which you can explore the Dresden Basin, and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, which comprise one of Germany’s few national parks. One day I shall return at some point, just to explore the surrounding area.
Spend some time wandering the streets near the Albertplatz which will lead you to the Baroque quarter. One can find some unique antique shops and artisan boutiques and numerous. The Neustadt area has a arts project called the Courtyard of Elements where the whole area has lots of open art exhibitions & graffitis all around. One of such art installations is the singing house, created by sculptor Annette Paul and designers Christoph Rossner and André Tempel. An intricate system of drains and funnels is attached on the outside of a colourful house and when it rains the entire building becomes an instrument. Interesting enough?
Eat & Drink- There are many inexpensive cafes dotted around the centre of the city. For cheap bratwurst and sauerkraut, head to the food stalls of the Altmarkt (old market), or to the beer garden on the north side of the Augustus Bridge, with a view of the grand buildings on the other side. One of the best options is the Dürüm Kebap Haus around the north side which serves the best and most filling food you can have that also at the cheapest price
Getting around– The whole town can be easily covered on foot. It is also easily accesisible by rail, road and air. It now has an international airport which brings in more tourists than ever. Due to the proximity to Berlin, it’e easier to reach here and also do the city as a day trip if required.
Dresden is full of potential discoveries. Also called “Florence on the Elbe”, Dresden is filled of fascinating buildings and art treasures. After the dark past, the city has risen from the damages and is now considered a city of art and culture. I would suggest to spend a day here to enjoy everything
Amount Spent: Approximately 30 Euros for 1 day including stay, food and drinks.
Next Stop– Berlin
For more Pictures of Dresden check out- Euro Trip- Dresden