About Dresden
Founded on the site of a Slavonic fishing village as a merchants' settlement and the seat of the local rulers, Dresden was from the 15th century onwards residence of the Saxon dukes, electoral princes and later kings.
The city has experienced both splendid eras and times of tragedy. It was above all during the 18th century a magnificent centre of European politics, culture and economic development, only to become a synonym for apocalyptic destruction just two centuries later.
Today Dresden carries visitors away with a synthesis of the arts: fascinating buildings and art treasures, impressive museums, as well as orchestras and choirs of worldwide reputation.

On the left bank of the Elbe is Dresden's historical centre with buildings from the Renaissance, the Baroque and the 19th century. Despite being devastated in the Second World War, the Altstadt (Old Town) has kept or regained its attractive buildings.

The most well-known symbol of the rebuilding of the city centre is Dresden Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), the magnificent domed Baroque church which again dominates the Dresden skyline.
Since October, 30th 2005 the steeple of the Frauenkirche overtops the Dresden skyline again. The reconstruction of the Frauenkirche is an impressive symbol of international reconciliation after World War II. The consecration attracted attention throughout the world. Millions of people have already visited the Frauenkirche.
The sacred building was erected between 1726 and 1743, following the designs of George Bähr. Its characteristic dome, called the "stone bell" owing to its shape, collapsed on February 15th, 1945 under the rain of bombs. An anti-war monument during the GDR period, the rebuilding is finished now.
The Frauenkirche is a symbol of conciliation, largely with donations from German and international foundations. The Neumarkt quarter around the church is also to regain its status as the historical heart of the city.

For visiting the Frauenkirche during your stay in Dresden visit The calendar of events is only available in German and we apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. More explanations in English are available here
For most of the offers (especially if you would like to take advantage of foreign language ones) reservations are recommended or even necessary. Please get in touch with the Visitor Service of the Frauenkirche Foundation.
Georg-Treu-Platz 3
01067 Dresden
Tel. +49 (0)351 656 06 100
Fax +49 (0)351 656 06 108
Mon to Fri 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Sat 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Neumarkt Square, probably the best-known square in Dresden’s downtown, is being reconstructed gradually, following its former opulent Baroque design. The goal of the new buildings is to recreate the historic structures.
The Neumarkt area has only been part of Dresden since 1548. The square developed its structure and its particular charm during the Renaissance, characterized by the typical gabled houses. In subsequent years the square changed very little, but it did bear witness to numerous political conflicts, such as the revolutionary street battles in May 1849 and the destructive attacks of World War II. The ruins of the Frauenkirche and its surrounding area remained untouched for many years, acting as a memorial.
The dedication of the Frauenkirche on October 30, 2005 breathed new life into the Neumarkt. Since then, numerous historic quarters have been renovated, combining elements of the traditional and the modern

Dresden’s Semper Opera House is the most famous opera house in Germany; it houses the Saxon State Orchestra, one of the world’s oldest and best-known orchestras. Built by Gottfried Semper between 1838 and 1841, the Semper Opera House was closed in August 1944 and was destroyed six months later by the Allied air attacks.
Its reconstruction was a long time coming. Until 1985, Dresden residents were forced to do without their famous edifice. The ceremonial rededication took place on February 13, 1985, exactly 40 years after its destruction. The first performance was "Der Freischütz" by Carl Maria von Weber. The "Dresdener Festtage" in February and March 2010 commemorated the opening of the Semper Opera House by establishing the Dresden Peace Prize; it was awarded to Mikhail Gorbachev. The Semper Opera Ball is also closely associated with the Opera House; the Ball takes place every January.

In the Zwinger Palace are located the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Porcelain Collection and the Museum of Mathematics and Physics.
Built 1710-28 by the architect Pöppelmann in cooperation with the sculptor Permoser. Originally designed as an orangery and a setting for court festivities, it was later used for exhibitions. Most perfect example of Late Baroque architecture in Germany. Construction of the Semper Gallery 1847-55.

50 museums, 60 galleries and 36 theatres and stages – a true pleasure for the emotions and intellect alike, and ideal day and evening programmes for every taste and mood.
The website from „Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden“ offers a good overview of museums and institutions, e.g. see below, and other exhibitions.

Museums in Dresden

Art from the Romantic period to the present day
Galerie Neue Meister
Skulpturensammlung ab 1800

Grünes Gewölbe

Zwinger mit Semperbau
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon
Skulpturensammlung bis 1800

Museum für Sächsische Volkskunst mit Puppentheatersammlung

Japanisches Palais
Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden
Archiv der Avantgarden

Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau

Schloss Pillnitz

You reach the online ticket shop ( as well through this page for every exhibition. If you want to visit any exhibition you have to book a ticket now, because of the immense rush it is nearly impossible to visit for example the Green Vault impulsively!

World-famous attractions are the Old Masters Picture Gallery with Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna”, the former royal treasure collection, the Green Vault and the Albertinum as a museum of contemporary art from the 19th to 21st centuries.

Foto: Oliver Killig
Another interesting museum is the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum founded in 1912. It is something of a theme-based museum, an exhibition venue for showcasing issues relating to culture and society, science and art. Here you’ll find not just the permanent exhibition with the Transparent Woman and other highlights, but also a Children’s Museum where younger visitors have the opportunity to find out more, in a playful way, about how we explore the world around us using our senses. Then, several times a year, a number of elaborately staged special exhibitions also go on show.

This steel truss bridge was one of the first in Europe not supported by “piers”, an impressive technological achievement at the time and the reason the Loschwitz bridge was given the nickname Blue Wonder. “Blue” refers to its colour, which, according to a refuted story, it took on after originally being painted green. Since 1893, the bridge has connected the exclusive residential areas of Loschwitz and Blasewitz, attracting plenty of criticism on its appearance. Today, like the Frauenkirche and Golden Horseman, it is a famous symbol of the city, and the bridge with the oldest structure, as it was not damaged in the war.

The Körnerplatz near the Blue Wonder is the starting point for two cable railways. The cable railways have helped define the landscape on the picturesque slopes of the Elbe at Loschwitz for more than 100 years. As well as being used for public transport, the two railways have become established as an important Dresden tourist attraction. The Standseilbahn – a track-running cable railway – runs from Körnerplatz to the district of Weißer Hirsch, a well-known exclusive residential area in Dresden. The lower station of the Schwebebahn – a cable-run suspension railway – is just around the corner from Körnerplatz and goes to Oberloschwitz.
Travelling on the hillside railways in Dresden is a special experience, not only thanks to their unique charm. The upper station of the Schwebebahn offers visitors a lovely view of the Elbe valley and, for technology enthusiasts, interesting exhibitions on how the railways are operated. The viewing tower and exhibition are open every day during the Schwebebahn operating times.

The attractions around Dresden line up like pearls on a string: With its vineyards and wine taverns, Radebeul is often reminiscent of more Southern realms.
In Moritzburg, visitors flock to the Baroque palace on the island of an artificial lake, while Meissen has gained world acclaim as the home of European porcelain.
To the south-east of Dresden, we find exquisitely laid-out Baroque gardens in Gross-Sedlitz and the rather capricious architecture of Weesenstein Castle.
The town of Pirna, with its “flower manor” Zuschendorf is the gateway to the Saxon Switzerland, a bizarre world of rocks and gorges.
A majestic panorama can be enjoyed from the Bastei viewpoint, and includes also Königstein Fortress, the largest fortified castle in Germany.
The Erzgebirge mountains belong on everyone’s Christmastime programme. The home of traditional wood-carving art is then bathed in the most beautiful seasonal lights.

Copyright: Text modified

Review 2017

Review 2016