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Discover Dresden’s cultural opulence

The Church of our Lady tops Dresden’s skyline
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Taking the fact, that for German standards Dresden is considered a city of medium size with a population of half a million, the great variety of things to do and see seems endless. Whether you go sightseeing around the Old Town, visit art exhibitions, take walks through a charming landscape or explore the nearby castles and towns on board a historic paddle steamer, you will be amazed by the many beautiful and different faces, that Dresden has to offer.

 
First-time visitors will probably focus on exploring the Old Town of baroque and rococo architecture. A definite must see is the recently rebuilt Church of Our Lady, located on the Neumarkt Square. This Dresden landmark that tops the city’s skyline with its baroque dome, is one of the most impressive Protestant churches in Saxony that looks back on a turbulent (and emotional) history.

 

Nearby, the Zwinger is another impressive Dresden landmark and a perfect example of late baroque architecture in Europe. The building, consisting of various pavilions, a spacious inner courtyard and gallery buildings, was once planned and used as a setting for splendid court festivities. Now, it accommodates the Old Masters Picture Gallery, an Armoury Museum and a porcelain collection. 

 

When leaving through one of the Zwinger’s arched walkways, you find yourself in front of the Semper Opera House, one of the world’s best-known opera houses. Numerous works of composers (Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss) premiered here and contributed to Dresden’s rich musical tradition that dates back to the Renaissance. The Semper Opera is home of the Dresden State Orchestra, which is said to be one of the oldest and most traditional orchestras in the world and it is among the top ten orchestras in the world. 

 

In close proximity to Zwinger and Semper Opera, you find the Royal Residence; once the seat of power for the Saxon monarchs. On top of its Hausmann Tower, you have a wonderful view over the Old Town and the Elbe river. Between 2004 and 2006, the exhibitions of the “New Green Vault” and the “Historic Green Vault” moved back into this castle complex, where they used to be before the building’s complete destruction in World War II. These two spectacular exhibitions portray the largest collection of treasures in Europe.