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Dresden Tourism Overview


Overview : It was home to many Saxon princes and kings, the most famous of them being August der Starke (Augustus the Strong), whose kingdom included Poland as well. They apertained to the family of the Wettiner and were closely related to many other European royal families. Many buildings date from their reign and especially the rich art collections are testimony of their extreme wealth. The "Madonna Sixtina" was for instance bought by the son of August the Strong. The last Saxon king abdicated in 1918. Florence of the North" is how Dresden has been called. A southern city in the North, a Baroque metropolis. The city experienced its golden age in the first half of the 18th century under the rule of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. The Zwinger, the cathedral, the Baroque Knigstrae, Pillnitz Palace and not least the countless art treasures of the museums and priceless wealth of the "Green Vault" treasure chamber all testify to this era. In the 19th century painters, sculptors, authors and musicians - representatives of the early romantics - met here. Dresden was an innovative economic location and one of the richest cities in Germany. Today one can discover the largest villa quarter in the country. The district around Martin-Luther-Platz emerged at the turn of the century with an alternative city culture, with its own theatre, modern music and pubs. The picturesque and architecturally interesting Hellerau Garden City provides a worthwhile detour. The special atmosphere in the City - characterised by the apparent contradictions of the dreamy, almost conventional lifestyle of a royal residence and a creative, cosmopolitan cultural centre - has attracted and inspired countless poets and friends of literature over the centuries. At the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries Dresden became one of the centres of German literature, especially for the Romantic movement. The salons held by Christian Gottfried Krner, and later the house of Ludwig Tieck, were popular meeting places for great poets such as Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Kleist and Novalis and important philosophers such as Humboldt and the Schlegel brothers. The fine arts as well have enjoyed a long tradition in Dresden. Even back in the Middle Ages, important artists of the time were active in Dresden with commissions from the Saxon court. The Dresden Art Academy, today's College of Fine Arts, whose roots stretch back to the 17th century, acquired considerable importance. One of its most illustrious teachers, from 1764, was Bernardo Belotto, better known as Canaletto, the painter of the world-famous townscapes of Dresden. At the beginning of the 19th century, painters such as Anton Graff and Adrian Zingg made the Dresden Academy one of the most important art schools in Europe. Dresden has about ten million tourists a year, most of them from Germany. The Zwinger was rebuilt in 1964, the Semper Opera house in 1985, and the now most famous landmark of Dresden, the Frauenkirche, in 2005. When asked what they like most about their city, Dresden citizens will reply Old Town (which is quite compact, even though it has a lot of well-known attractions and museums of worldwide meaning), Dresden-Neustadt (an alternative central quarter) and the surroundings like the wine town Radebeul, the climbing area Saxon Switzerland, lots of castles, and most of the city landscape of about 80 quarters. The number of international tourism is growing, especially with the US and China. Dresden is a stop between Prague and Berlin, and that's why just one city quarter is recommended. Architecurally, Blasewitz is the most interesting living quarter, despite it being a hilly landscape.
Thing to do : Dresden is at historic European city located in the heart of Germany. Its rich history faced a critical crisis during World War II when many of the historical landmarks were bombed by allied forces, however since then Dresden has flourished into a large tourist mecca offering visitors rich cultural experiences draped against the backdrop of a historical city. There are many things to do in Dresden, and the over 10 million tourists that visit the city annually attest to this fact. Old town is a popular Dresden neighborhood with the locals and is home to many interesting museums. The Semper Opera House is internationally known and makes a wonderful location to visit for admirers of Opera, history, and architecture alike. For a quirky experience visit the German hygiene Museum which as the name implies is dedicated to teaching about the hygiene practices of different cultures throughout history.
Shopping : The Dresden shopping district is quite large and belays the tourist trade that is so essential to the city's success. Tourists looking for more authentic experience will want to expand the scope of their visit beyond just the shopping district and visit some of the other shopping locales that pop up around major tourist attractions. Dresden is not known for its shopping, so shopaholics may be disappointed however there is no shortage of knickknacks and mementos to bring home from your trip.
Temperature : Temperatures in Dresden range from -3.0 to 23.95 (Celcius).
Best place to Visit : The residence of the Saxon electors and kings has brought forth important architectural gems for centuries. This is seen most clearly today in the Dresden Palace, for example, which presents traces of practically every style period of European architecture. Nevertheless, the contemporary fame of Dresden's architecture is founded on its Baroque buildings. As Kings of Poland, Augustus the Strong and his son had Dresden transformed into one of the most exquisite royal residences in Europe. Impressive testimonies to the Baroque period are today the Zwinger by Pppelmann and Permoser, the Blockhaus, the Taschenberg Palais and George Bähr's Frauenkirche church. The rapid growth of the City from the second half of the 19th century was not only a period of important technical and urban planning achievements, but also added further outstanding buildings into the Dresden townscape. The City was thus able to maintain its already famous townscape, while at the same time introducing innovative architecture.
Event & Fairs : Cultural life in Dresden is rich in highlights - no list could ever claim to be complete. The Dresden Music Festivals, held each year at the end of May and beginning of June, bring together not only all the local ensembles, but also prominent national and international artists. In October it is the turn of the Dresden Festival of Contemporary Music to enrich the City's cultural scene, while the Dixieland Festival, which has been running since 1971, transforms Dresden into a City of jazz in May each year. With the "Elbhangfest", Dresden can boast one of the largest and most varied cultural and local festivals. On the last weekend in June it takes over a whole stretch of the Elbe hillsides with its lively, friendly festivities
Getting There : By road ------ The motorway A13 connects Dresden and Berlin. From Grlitz in the East, from Leipzig, Bavaria or Hessen in the West and South, you can reach Dresden via the motorway A4. A further motorway to Prague is currently under construction. The existing motorways skirt Dresden on its western fringe. Four junctions provide access to the City. Dresden can also be reached on the trunk roads B6, B97, B170, B172 and B173. In view of the quarter of a million motor vehicles registered in the City, it is recommended that day visitors leave their cars on the edges of the City and travel into the centre by bus, suburban train or tram. By air ---- The Dresden Airport is situated in the north of the City in the district of Klotzsche. The City centre, which is 9 km from the airport, is served by regular bus services. Three terminals (two passenger terminals and one freight terminal), approx. 2,300 parking spaces are part of the airport and is equipped for level IIIb all-weather operation. In the 1998 summer timetable 31 airlines operated directly to 50 destinations from Dresden, 12 of them in Germany. In the winter timetable 1998/99, 21 airlines operated directly to 36 destinations. By rail ---- As part of the main Deutsche Bahn network, there are daily connections to all major German and European cities. A regional network of services (S-Bahn) also connects Dresden with important communities throughout the upper Elbe valley.
Region : Saxony
Area : 328.8 km2 (127.0 sq mi)
Population : 511,587