The city on the Elbe
One of the most interesting destinations, easily reached also from Leipzig central station, is Dresden, situated on the Elbe river, which in 2006 celebrated 800 years of history. Capital of Saxony and a UNESCO World Heritage city, Dresden has a wealth of artistic treasures and architectural masterpieces.
A mixture of old and new set against a wonderful backdrop of river scenery. The thirty or so museums the city offers highlight its cultural and artistic importance. The Zwinger, the most famous building in Dresden, built in classic decorative Baroque style, is certainly well worth a visit. It houses priceless masterpieces by Raphael, Rubens and Rembrandt, and the world’s most important collection of porcelain. The Albertinum, a modern art gallery, exhibits works of Romanticism and German Impressionism.
Important buildings include the Church of our Lady (Frauenkirche), reconsecrated after its destruction during World War II, and the magnificent Semperoper theatre.
A walk along AugustusStrasse is like a journey through Saxon histoy. The Furstenzug (procession of princes), a mural 102 metres long, depicts all Saxon rulers from 1123 to 1904. The Neustadt, an area that preserves a piece of urban Baroque fabric, gives an idea of the city before 1945.
Dresden, as in the past, is a green city. The parks and fields along the Elbe extend right to the centre. The Grosser Garten (large garden), with its early Baroque palace, connects the fields with the city centre. This large park houses the zoo and botanical gardens.
Prager Strasse, Altmarkt and Wilsdruffer Strasse are the best shopping streets in Dresden. Hauptstrasse, with its rows of plane trees, is perfect place to stop for a meal or coffee in one of the numerous restaurants and coffee bars. Try the “Dresdner Eierschecke”, a traditional cake made with egg, together with your coffee. Konigstrasse, the most elegant road in the city, offers good food and excellent shopping in a Baroque atmosphere. The fashionable quarter of AuBere Neustadt is full of typical restaurants, bars, galleries and artistic projects, and has the most popular shops. Don’t miss the Pfunds Molkerei (Pfund Dairy), the most beautiful dairy store in the world, with wonderful interior decor and an extremely vast selection of cheeses.
Take a walk through the park around Pillnitz castle, once a royal palace, also reached by steamboat. Cycling enthusiasts can ride along the Elbe cycle path following the course of the river, or in the opposite direction towards Saxon Switzerland, a national park with unusual sandstone rocks.
Every Friday evening, from April to October, the city becomes a haunt for skaters. The City Festival is held in the third week of August, and the Contemporary Music Festival is held at the beginning of October.
Text by Lisa Maria River
Avion Tourism Magazine
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
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