Dresden on the Elbe:
With its scenic setting alongside the winding Elbe River, Dresden is reputedly one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. When you visit this charming and historic city with its baroque architecture, it’s hard to believe that most of the buildings have been rebuilt since WWII.
Dresden first gained pre-eminence in 1485 when the Albertine Wettins established their residence here. It enjoyed great growth during the 18th century when it became a cultural centre, as a result of which many magnificent buildings sprung up here.
Almost all the buildings were destroyed in 1945 when British and American air forces carpet-bombed the city. Since then, meticulous reconstruction and restoration works have restored the city to its glory days. One of the most impressive examples of reconstruction in the city centre is the Dresden Frauenkirche Church whose magnificent baroque dome dominates the city skyline.
Dresden is Germany’s fourth largest city and recognized for its medical and other research works. The inner-city and theatre area may not appear green, but once out of the city centre about 60% of Dresden is green.
On the left bank of the Elbe is the Old City, or Altstadt district. Dresden’s most famous building the Zwinger is located here as are the other historical buildings like the Frauenkirche Church, the Staatsoper, Residenzschloss, Hofkirche, just to name a few. If you only have a short stop here, its possible to see quite a lot in the historic centre as many of the buildings are within close proximity of each other.
Where to Shop and Eat
If you’re looking for shopping centres and restaurants, these can be found around Altmarkt Square and Prager Strasse. Walk down Munzgasse to the River and you’ll also find quite a number of restaurants and cafes along this street. We called into Las Tapas at Munzgasse 4 at lunchtime and were quite surprised at the quality of the tapas in this place. Talking to the waitress, she advised that the chef is from Spain.
Across the river on the right bank of the Elbe is Neustadt or the new quarter. Here you’ll find a mixture of baroque streets, the Japanese Palace, government quarters, and a residential district on the Outer Neustadt. From the garden of the Japanese Palace visitors can enjoy the so-called “Canaletto view” a view once depicted by a Saxon court painter when he painted Dresden’s baroque silhouette from this site. In Königsbrücker Strasse and Lutherplatz Square are numerous restaurants, shops and cultural attractions.
Dresden has a good spread of accommodation, ranging from luxury hotels to comfortable guesthouses, pensions or caravan sites.
Dresden is easy to get to by all major means of transport. There are many flight and railway connections to Dresden and one can also reach the city without easily by motorways or on a Elbe River cruise.
Map of Dresden: