Dresden Journals

"Florence of the North"

A travel journal to Dresden by Judy

Quote: During mid-February, 1945, Allied bombs destroyed this historical city of Baroque architectural monuments. More than 35,000 lives were lost. Since about 1985, much effort has been made to rebuild and restore this city which was once the cultural capital of Germany.

"Florence of the North"

Overview

Quote:
"Must see" would include: Semper Opera House, the Zwinger, Pillnitz, City Palace and the wonderful porcelain collection. The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)is being restored with contributions from around the world. It was the largest Prostestant domed building in history.

Quick Tips:

There are several walking or bus tours of Dresden. I always find this a good way to "get the feel of the city" before setting out on my own to explore. Walking tours cost about DM12,00 and bus tours can run from DM18,00 to DM65,00, depending on length and area covered. I especially enjoyed the Classic walking tour which lasts about two hours.

Best Way To Get Around:

Quote:
This cafe' has wonderful food and "live" music. The decorations are Baroque and the atmosphere is inviting. We had a lovely lunch and afterwards we toured the grounds of this lovely hotel which sits on the banks of the Elbe River, opposite the Semper Opera House.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 26, 2000

Cafe' Pöppelmann (at Maritim Hotel Bellevue)
Grosse Meissner Str. 15
Dresden, Germany
(0351) 56620

Semper Opera House

Story/Tip

Quote:
This magnificent 19th Century High Renaissance style building was destroyed in 1945 then restored and re-opened in 1985. The Dresden Philharmonic and the Dresden Opera Company perform here. It's a lovely building with a huge statue of Kind John on horseback in the center of the square.

Guided tours: DM8,00

Zwinger

Story/Tip

Quote:
Originally designed by Pöpplemann as an orangery and a setting for court festivities, this 18th century building now is used for exhibitions. The architecture is Late Baroque. The many sculptures and ornate facade along with the beautiful grounds provide a wonderful backdrop for several historical museums. The Italian Renaissance Semper Gallery was completed in 1855. The Saxon State Old Masters Picture Gallery contains work from 15C to 18C by Italian, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish and German painters. There is also a wonderful collection of Meissen and Oriental porcelain. Historical clocks and scientific instruments can be viewed at the Physical-Mathematical Saloon, and the Collection of Armour and Weapo...Read More

City Palace

Story/Tip

Quote:
This palace, comprised of four wings, was built in the late 15th century. It was originally a fortress castle and was upgraded to a residential palace by August the Strong. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1701 and because it was totally destroyed in WW11, reconstruction re-commenced in 1989 and is still in progress. The main tower of the palace provided an excellent view of Dresden. The rebuilding will surely take several more years as the project is huge.

Pillnitz

Story/Tip

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This was the former summer residence of the Saxon court. Today it is an arts and crafts museum. The beautiful parks are worth a visit. One section of the grounds shows off the rigid artistic patterns of the Baroque period and another is an English landscape garden. The setting of Pillnitz is lovely with the Elbe River flowing nearby and the lovely vinyards on the surrounding hills.

During the month of August, Pillnitz hosts the Open Air Festival featuring classical music. Nearby you'll find Weinbergkirche which was built in the 18thC.

Festung (Fortress) Königstein

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Our visit to this magnificent fortress took place during the last week of August and included snow and freezing cold weather. Nevertheless, we found this a very interesting monument to the past. Towering over the Elbe River and the surrounding valley you can imagine the strategic importance of it's location. Inside you'll find many displays of German military history. Many wars have been fought over this land and you can travel back in time as you tour through the wonderful exhibits.

We took a walk along the wall surrounding the complex and marveled at the skill of the artichitects. It's truely an amazing place.