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Dresden Travel Guide - Things to See
Dresden was Germany's cultural center. On the last day of WW2, it was senselessly destroyed by US and British bombers in retaliation for a German bombing. It must have been one of the most beautiful cities in the world, because even in ruins it remained beautiful. The ruins and shells of the grand buildings were totally black from the flames of war when this writer first viewed Old Town Dresden from across the river. It was still possible to appreciate the grandeur that it must have been. 2007-2008 marks the completion of reconstruction. Dresden Card for 48 hrs. Trains from Berlin and to Prague: Hauptbahnhof. Can walk to tourist area of old town.

Zwinger Museum: A Baroque fortress from 1711 with lovely sculptures and porcelains. Also houses a great collection of Old Masters including Raphael's Sistine Madonna, 12 Rembrandts, 16 Rubens, 5 Tintorettos, and 2 Vermeers. Hours Tue-Sun 9 - 5.

Albertinum: With its glass dome and State Art Collection, this museum is open Tue - Sun 9-5. The German paintings are pretty bad, but there's a gallery of decent French Impressionists. See the jeweled objects, and the famous Green Vault, the doors to the treasury.

Kreuzkirche (Church of the Cross): When this writer saw the Church it was in ruins... very black from fire... but the traces of its former beauty were evident. It has been totally restored now. The church is named for a crucifix dating from the 14th century. On one side, there's a version of THE BRIDGE OF SIGNS connecting the church to another structure.

Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady): The Frauenkirche represents the culmination of Baroque Protestant church architecture. Its bell-shaped, apparently unsupported sandstone dome was a sensation and was the widely visible centrepiece of the city silhouette. It once again shines out in its full splendor - thanks to the support of people from all over the world.

Katholische Hofkirche (Cathedral St. Trinitatis): The impressive spire of the church is an important part of the famous "Canaletto view" of the Dresden silhouette.

Opera House: The first building in Dresden to be completely restored. They made the dreadful mistake of adding a very modern wing to the rear of the Opera House.

Bruhl Terrace: The "Balcony of Europe", famous for its magnificent view of the Elbe valley, was built on a section of the former city fortifications on the left-bank of the river.

Royal Palace - Georgentor Gate: The Dresden Palace was the residence and seat of government of the Saxon princes and kings from the 13th century until 1918. The Georgentor Gate faces the river between the palace proper and the royal mews.

Militarhistorisches Museum: The museum is excellent, but somewhat disorderly collection of German military artifacts. Most interesting is a section of the Berlin Wall.

Goldener Ritter: The gold plated statue of August II... and the entrance to a new pedestrian shopping mall.

That mosque on the horizon? It's an old cigarette factory. Early Dresden forbid industry within the city limits. To over-come this law, the owner of this factory built it like a mosque. Ironically, it was the only building not destroyed in the WW2 bombing.

Meissen: A charming small city, near Dresden where the famous Meissen porcelain or Dresden china is manufactured.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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