If there is one city in Germany that we have been wishing to see, then it is Dresden. Dresden, which is situated in a valley on the Elbe river, is the capital city of Saxony in Eastern Germany. It is especially distinguished by its numerous monumental buildings with classic Baroque and Rococo architectures. Because of its world-renowned musea and art collections, the city is also called Ëlbflorenz”or “The Florence of the Elbe”.
75 % of the Altstadt was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945. Many historical buildings were torn down to the grounds, and more than 30,000 people died. It took many years of reconstruction and rehabilitation before the city was restored to its former glory! At present, Dresden is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany, offering not only cultural enrichment but also historical, entertainment and shopping experiences!
HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR DRESDEN VISIT
I. MUSEUM VISITS
Dresden is quite a big city and there are lots of sites to visit and things to do that we had to plan our visit in a way that we could maximize our stay in the city. We bought the Dresden Museums Card which offered us free admittance to 14 museums and exhibits in the city. The card was 22 euro per person, and we received 1 euro discount for every ticket. It was valid for two consecutive days; thus time enough to visit lots of musea.These are :
a. THE ZWINGER PALACE
The Zwinger Palace is one of the most magnificent constructions in Germany. It is a paradise for Dresden visitors as there are lots to see in the area. There are the crown Gate, the Art Galleries, the Nymph’s Bath Fountain, Porcelain Collection and restaurants. We had lots of fun doing photo sessions here and walking on the terraces of the palace. The Nymph’s Bath with its splendid fountain was also worth a visit.
b. THE GEMALDEGALERIE ALTE MEISTER (OLD MASTERS PICTURE GALLERY)
The gallery, which is located on the eastern wing of the Zwinger palace, exhibits special and unique paintings by well-known European painters from the 15th-18th centuries. Works from distinguished painters such as Raphael, Jan Vermeer, Correggio, Giorgione and Rembrandt among others are parts of the permanent exhibition in the gallery. We took lots of pictures here; we couldn’t help but examine and admire the paintings, and pretended as if we had lots of information about arts.
c. MATHEMATISCH-PHYSIKALISCHER SALON ( ROYAL CABINET OF MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Founded by August The Strong in 1728, the pavilion shows some of the world’s oldest historical clocks, mathematical, physical and astronomical instruments. It is located in the western wing of the Zwinger palace.
d. PORZELLANSAMMLUNG ( PORCELAIN COLLECTION)
Located at the Zwinger Palace, the Dresden Collection is one of the largest porcelain collection in the world. It features about 20,000 porcelain artifacts. It has outstanding pieces of Meissen porcelains and also East Asian porcelains from 17th-18th centuries.
e. RESIDENZSCHLOSS (THE ROYAL PALACE)
The Residenzschloss or Royal Palace is one of the oldest buildings in Dresden. For almost 400 years, it has been the residence of the electors and kings of Saxony. Today, it is used as a museum complex. The musea in the palace are also included in the Dresden Museum Card, except the Historic Green Vault.
f. NEUES GRUNES GEWOLDE (NEW GREEN VAULT)
It is one of the most famous and largest museums of treasures in the world. Treasure pieces in gold, silver, enamel, precious stones and ivory are all displayed in the museum. The most fascinating is the Dresden Green Diamond, a 41-carat diamond and most valuable diamond in the whole of Green vault.
g. TURCKISCHE CAMMER ( TURKISH CHAMBER and RUSTKAMMER)
The Armory (Rustkammer) owns one of the most valuable collections of weapons and armory in the world. The room exhibits helmets, shields, swords, rapiers, daggers, sabres, pistols, rifles and riding equipments among others.
The Turkish Chamber, on the other hand shows objects of art from the Ottoman empire, including the magnificent Ottoman three-masted tent.
h. MUNZKABINETT (COIN CABINET ) and KUPFERSTICH KABINETT ( COLLECTION OF PRINTS, DRAWINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS)
Just like the name suggests, the Coin Cabinet shows the collection of different coins, medals and bank notes from different periods of humanity. The Kupferstich kabinett on the other hand is a special exhibition of photographs and drawing. We found these two cabinets not as exciting as the rest of the rooms.
After visiting the musea in the Dresden palace, we even climbed up to the Hausmann’s Tower. The access to the tower is free of charge; it has a total height of 100.27 meters; the platform has a height of 39 meters and offers a magnificent views of the city as well as the Elbe River.
i. OTHER MUSEUMS
* NEW MASTERS GALLERY AND SCULPTURE COLLECTION
These showcases paintings from contemporary artists and sculptures from over five centuries. They are found at the Albertinum.
* MUSEUM OF SAXON FOLK ART
The museum is found at the Jager Hof at the opposite side of the Elbe River and exhibits collection of theater puppets and folk art pieces in Saxony.
We have for sure maximized the use of our Dresden Museum card!
II. CHURCH VISITS
Among the churches that we have visited in Dresden are :
a. Dresden Cathedral
The church was built from 1739 to 1754 in a late baroque style. Among the top features of this religious buildings are the 78 saintly figures on the balustrade, the pulpit, organ and the silver chandelier and cross on top of the altar.
We attended a Sunday Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral.
Built in the 18th century, the Frauenkirche is a Lutheran church in Dresden which was heavily damaged during the World War II. Reconstruction of the church started in 1994, after the reunification of Germany; and was reconsecrated on October 30, 2005. Today it is a symbol of reconciliation of former warring enemies. Striking features of the church are the altar, the dome, the opera-like gallery and the basement. Entrance to the church is free. It is possible to visit the dome and go up the 67-meter high viewing platform and have a panoramic view of Dresden and its surroundings. Fee is 8 euro per person.
c. Kreuzkirche (Holy Cross Church)
III. BIKING AROUND IN DRESDEN
Dresden is also ideal to discover by biking. There is a nice cycling route (part of the Elberadweg) from the center up to the river bank. We biked a lot in Dresden, and in so doing, discovered and saw more of the city. We biked from the parking area up to the Semper opera and Zwinger, to Frauenkirche, up to Grosser Garten, and from the Altstadt up to the Blue Bridge and on to the other side of Elbe, the New City. It was a bit safe for me; however biking on the other side of the river was quite difficult especially after the Blue Bridge as the path was made of cobbled stones.
IV. WALKING AROUND IN THE CITY
Aside from biking, we have already seen so much of the city just by walking around, especially in the old historical center. We walked from the Zwinger to the Royal Palace, to the Frauenkirche and up to the Bruhl’s Terrace infront of the Albertinum building. At the same time, we spent quite a lot of time sitting and relaxing in the area of the Frauenkirche , listening to street singers and watching some living statues. We also walked from the cathedral to the Frauenkirche again, passing by the famous Furstenzug or the Procession of Princes, a stunning 120 meter long mural depicting the procession of rulers since 1127. We let ourselves got lost once in a while, coming out of unknown corners and feeling the excitement and adventure we were experiencing in this wonderful city of Dresden.
It was the time for sale season when we were in Dresden; thus we had also done a lot of shopping! There are lots of big shopping centers like the Altmarkt-Galerie, Centrum Galerie, Kaufhof, QF Passage, and many more. Shops are a –plenty from small shops to known shops like Primark, C & A, and Mango among others.
DRESDEN has brought us some of the most memorable times during our camper adventure. It was surely amazing. Dresden…you will be forever in our hearts…
Our pictures together in Dresden
Campsite : Parking, Pieschener Allee
Friedrichtstrasse 01067 Dresden
Coordinates : N: 51.06199 E: 13.73021
It is a big mix parking area located along the riverbank, near the Marienbridge .Official parking area costs 7 euro per day, but since we parked a little further fromt he official area, it was free. It is about 1 kilometer from the city center. There are further no other facilities. The area is also the gathering point of Dresden police force when there is a football match in the city. We stayed here for 5 days, on our way to Poland, and another 1 day on our way back from Czech Republic to The Netherlands.