Touring Dresden- Germany



by V. Kichura,

Tourist Highlights of an Historical German City

Dresden, Germany is rich in culture and history. Here are some popular sites to see when visiting this beautiful east central German city. Roughly 1.3 million tourists, including U.S. President Barak Obama (on June 5, 2009), visit Dresden each year. Besides being a historical city that is mostly remembered for being bombed in 1945 during World War II, Dresden is also a city known for its rich architecture, art and music. Dresden’s beautiful baroque architecture, along with its rich history and elaborate churches make it a must-see city. On the other hand, Dresden offers much for romantics with its majestic Elba River and city harbors that go for miles in different directions.

Dresdner Castle

Dresdner Castle, one of the most noted Renaissance facilities in Europe, is first mentioned as a fortress in 1287. From 1471 through 1474, this former fortress, built by Arnold von Westfalen, expanded into a castle. Complete with three castle courtyards, stunning Sgraffito paintings, Dresdner Castle was once the home to Saxon kings and electors. Today it houses museums and art collections.

Dresden’s the Church of Our Lady

Martin Luther changed the religious direction of history in 1517 as he led the Protestant Reformation. The Church of Our Lady is a symbol of Dresden and a reminder of this time period, although it wasn’t built until the middle of the 18th century. Ironically, it’s still called the Church of Our Lady, although it’s a Lutheran Church and one of the most noteworthy baroque-styled protestant churches in Germany.

The Catholic Court Church of Dresden

The Catholic Court Church contains historical items such as a famous stone pulpit and tombs of Saxon rulers. It also houses an organ that’s 250 years old. Built in baroque style from 1739 – 1751, the court church is adorned by 78 stone figures, depicting saints, apostles and church leaders, each standing one almost 11.5 feet tall.

The Crown Gate of Dresden

The Crown Gate is the most celebrated building in Dresden and is the most significant baroque architecture north of the Alps. Besides baroque architecture, the Crow Gate is a combination of Roman (high baroque) and French baroque. Its curvy style shows the influence of Bohemian baroque. Built in 1709 – 1728, the Crown Gate was constructed by Mattaus Daniel Pappelmann.

Dresden’s Procession of Princes (The Furstenzug)

Visitors to Dresden are always impressed with the gigantic elaborate mural that stretches almost 335 feet long. Know as The Furstenzug, the Procession of Princes was made from a draft by Wilhelm Walter in Sgaraffito from 1872 to 1876. The mural was burnt on 24,000 Meissner porcelain tiles in 1907 and is the largest porcelain display in the world. The Furstenzug is a massive display of the dukes, electors and kings who reigned over Saxony from 1123 to 1904.

Dresden by Night

Visiting Dresden by day is an incredible experience. But, even more amazing is Dresden by night. Besides taking in the beauty of the night lights reflected upon the Elba River, music lovers can enjoy evening concerts. The Semper Opera ranks as one of the most gorgeous opera houses worldwide. While the first opera house (built in 1838 – 1841) burned down in 1869, the second one was built in Italian high Renaissance style from 1871-78 by Manfred Semper, son of Gottfried Semper, who built the first opera house.

Most significantly, Dresden represents the changes in Europe since freedom came to its people in 1989 with the tearing down of the iron curtain. Although this city suffered greatly since it was bombed in the mid 1940s and continued to suffer under communist rule, it shows how a country can get back on its feet.

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