Dresden is one of Europe's most stunning Baroque cities. Despite being ravaged by World War II, this iconic German city was restored to its former glory and is full of exciting things to see and do.
The renowned Frauenkirche Church remains a major highlight of the city's historical center. Its sandstone bell-shaped dome was rescued and rebuilt 60 years after its destruction by the Nazis.
1. Zwinger Palace
One of the most popular places to visit in Dresden is Zwinger Palace. It is a beautiful place to see and it has a lot of history.
The palace was built between 1710 and 1719 and it features several pavilions, gates and columned structures. It was designed by Matthaus Daniel Poppelmann and Balthasar Permoser.
It is considered as a symbol of the Baroque period. It was one of the best architectural works of its time.
The palace also houses a lot of museums and galleries. Visitors can see a huge porcelain collection, the Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments and the Old Masters Picture Gallery.
If you’re a fan of opera, then the world-famous Semperoper is a must-see when visiting Dresden. The magnificent palace and beautiful gardens will make you feel as if you’ve entered the time of Augustus the Strong in the eighteen centuries.
It’s one of the biggest sights in Dresden, so book a guided tour to get the most out of your visit. Or, for a more intimate experience, grab tickets to an opera performance!
Located within the Zwinger Palace, this museum is home to a treasure trove of art. The gallery’s collection includes works by Canaletto, Raphael, Glorgione, Correggio, Cranch, Vermeer, and Bellotto.
3. Bruhl Terrace
Bruhl Terrace is known as the “Balcony of Europe.” This high terrace overlooks the Elbe River and is a popular place for tourists and locals to enjoy a stroll.
The terrace used to be a fort, but it was transformed into a public promenade in the 19th century. Today, this is a favorite place to walk and admire the architecture of the city.
It is also home to the Albertinum, a modern art museum that houses works from artists such as Casper David Friedrich and Gerhard Richter.
Aside from the famous Zwinger Palace and Semperoper, Dresden is also home to the largest porcelain collection in the world. It is located in the southern halls of the Zwinger Palace.
4. Green Vault
The Green Vault is one of the world's oldest museums, displaying one of Europe’s most impressive collections of art and jewels. The name comes from the malachite green painted columns in the main rooms.
Augustus II the Strong (Augustus the Strong, 1670-1733), ruler of Saxony during the Baroque period, had a palace erected to display his opulent vision of wealth and power. The building was later converted into the Green Vault museum, which remains a treasure trove of significant works of art and valuable jewels today.
In the past week, thieves have made off with around 100 pieces of the collection - including an over-the-top sword hilt with nearly 800 diamonds set into it. The director of the museum, Dirk Syndram, said the stolen items had incalculable historical value.
One of the most unique museums in the world, Panometer shows Dresden's history compressed into a gigantic panoramic artwork. The artwork was created by Austrian artist Yadegar Asisi and is presented inside a former gasometer.
The museum has two panoramas, Baroque Dresden and Dresden 1945. The former depicts the city as it might have appeared in 1756 and the latter presents an image of the city after it was destroyed by Allied bombing in World War II.
The Elector of Saxony Augustus the Strong had built this baroque palace between 1723 and 1729 to display his vast collection of treasures. The treasures were stolen during WWII, but were recovered by the king and restored to Dresden after reconstruction.