Courtyard of Zwinger
Photo by: Alaskan Dude, Creative Commons

Dresden is located near the Czech Republic border, nestled in a valley along the River Elbe. It is the capital of the Free State of Saxony. Dresden boasts of a glorious past, the city being the capital and residence of the Electors and the line of Saxony’s royalty before it was razed to the ground during World War II.

Dresden is often referred to as the “Florence of the North” because of its dynamic art scene in the 18th century. The structures have long been destroyed but this 800-year city has resurrected itself to become a modern hub for culture and the arts, where the line of museums intersects with the bustling nightlife. At any given day, Dresden’s Mediterranean air can charm even the most stringent visitor.

To get to Dresden, you can travel by air and touch down at the Dresden Airport which carries domestic and charter flights during the holiday season. In case you are somewhere else in Germany, you can also take the trains from Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt or Prague. Once there, you can get around Dresden using the public transport. If you need help locating your next stops, you can inquire from the many information kiosks dotting the city. Take the train, the tram or the bus, armed with a map of the city. Or you can also hail a taxi from the airport or the stations. Velotaxi pedicabs are also available to get you to short trips. Finally, there are also bicycles for hire at daily rates.

From World War II ruins, to botanical parks, to architectural and artistic wonders, there is so much to see in Dresden. While there, don’t forget to check out the Dresdner Elbtal, located at the core of the Saxony. The Dresdner Elbtal winds with the Elbe River beginning from Schloss Pillnitz all the way to Schloss Übigau, passing through a line majestic of Baroque structures. In 2004, the Dresdner Elbtal was conferred the UNESCO World Heritage Site honor. But the title was taken back by the UNESCO in 2006, when Dresden allowed the construction of a major highway going through the site, in violation of the UNESCO restrictions.

Another Dresden symbol that you need to see is the Frauenkirche, the dome building that stands at the heart of the city. The original structure existed for two centuries before it succumbed to the Allied Forces’ carpet bombing in 1945. After which, the ruins were left as they were to serve as a reminder of the destructive war. In 2005, however, its rebuilding was completed and it was opened to the public as Dresden’s new landmark.

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