The Best Things To Do In Dresden

Dresden, in Eastern Germany, is the capital city of Saxony, and probably the most architecturally beautiful in Germany. Dresden lies in the Elbe Valley and is situated on the banks of the Elbe River.As far as spectacular Baroque design goes, Dresden is up there as one of the best, much of which has been resurrected following the war. From the history of the Wettins to the history of the war, there is much to see here and that includes a wonderful river and amazing Baroque architecture that will blow you away.

Frauenkirche

One of the largest church domes in Europe can be found atop this majestic building and from the moment you set eyes on it, it will leave you breathless. Originally, it was complete in 1743 with designs coming from architect George Bahr who died before it was completed. In 1945, it was destroyed and the rubble was left in Neumarkt as a memorial but this was then taken to storage in the 1980s in order to prepare for reconstruction. This finally began in 1994 with over 3,500 stones being used before finally being completed in 2005. As a gesture of reconciliation, the new gilded cross and the orb were forged in London.

Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

Here you will find a huge collection of art, including renaissance pieces from Italy, Spain and Holland. The collection began life in the 16th century by Augustus I and in 1746 it really came to life following the reign of Augustus III where he purchased a huge part of the Duke of Modena Francesco III’s collection. So, take a look at works from Rembrandt, Vermeer, van Eyck, Titian, Lucas Cranach the Elder and many more.

Semperoper

This building was named after the architect Gottfried Semper and it first opened its doors in 1878 and this is one of the most renowned art venues in the world. However, this was not the first opera house in this location as the first one burned down in 1869 with Semper also designing the first one. During the war, the stunning Neo-Baroque designed hall was ruined and only reopened in the 1980s. It has a long and illustrious history where it staged world premieres for operas by Wagner and Richard Strauss in the 19th century. You might be lucky enough to watch a performance but if not then a guided tour will give you the chance to embrace the interior in all its glory.

Brühl’s Terrace

To the north of the Frauenkirche, you can find this splendid 500-metre terrace that looks out over the river Elbe from the left bank. The terrace creates a connection from the cathedral via a ceremonious stairway that dates back to the fortifications of Dresden. In the 18th century, it was given its name form the statesman Heinrich von Bruhl who creates a number of plush buildings after the walls were brought down. On the east side, the gardens remain while the terrace is surrounded by public buildings and museums. Along the terrace, you will find sculptures and this includes a statue of Gottfried Semper.

Pillnitz Palace & Park

Head up the Elbe and away from Dresden, you will find the summer residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony. Pillnitz is made of three palaces known as The Wasserpalais, Bergpalais and the Neues Palais, which dates back to the 1820s. In the Wasserpalais and the Bergpalais, you will find a blend of Baroque and Chinoiserie all of which was popular in the 1720s. Fast forward to today and here you will find the state applied art collections which include ceramics, furniture and textiles that date back to the 1200s. There is also a museum that relates to the history of the complex and the court intrigue that took place during the 18th century here. The grounds are sensational with the Conifer Garden and the Dutch Garden being worth a visit.

The Green Vault

In the western section of the Dresdner Residenzschloss, you will find the treasure chambers of the Saxony Electors on the first and second floors. The Green Vault began life in the 16th century by Moritz of Saxony and in the 18th century, it was extended by Augusts II the strong who converted the chambers into one of the first public museums in the world. The aim was to create a Gesamtkunstwerk in order to show off power and wealth. The Green Vault is the name that was given to the 18th-century chambers that had been restored on the first floor where you can find thousands of pieces in gold, silver, ivory and amber. The New Green Vault is located on the floor above and is a museum that focuses on the works of the goldsmith Johann Melchior Dinglinger.

 

Dresden Tours & Attractions

Map of Dresden

Events In Dresden

Shoppers should head to the Neustadt Market Hall, and in this area at Christmas, you will find the markets held in Dresden.

Pictures of Dresden

Hotels In Dresden

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