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Unforgettable Dresden

April 21, 2012  by: Sarika  Points: 60   Category: Travel & Places    Views: 612

This article is about the touristic attractions of the city of Dresden.

         

Unforgettable Dresden

On the banks of river Elbe is situated a very beautiful town called “Dresden”. Dresden is the capital town of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. History of Dresden dates back to 12th Century when the Slavic settlements developed on the river banks. Over the period of time Dresden has been home for Electors and kings of Saxony, who enriched the cultural and artistic heritage of the town by gathering some of the finest artists, musicians, architects and writers from all over the Europe. Due to its splendid beauty, baroque and rococo style architecture and collection of world-renowned painting and art work, the city of Dresden is known as “Elbflorenz” (Florence of Elbe). However during the World War II bombings Dresden was attacked seven times and the inner city of Dresden was largely destroyed by the air bombers that dropped 2431 tons of bombs and 1475.9 tons of incendiaries. After the WWII the efforts to restore and rebuilt the historic town have gained impetus and many historical buildings have been fully restored. Today Dresden is one of the greenest cities of Europe with four nature reserves. It enjoyed the status of UNESCO world heritage site till 2009 when after the willful breach of UNESCO world heritage convention, due to construction of a highway bridge near the historic city center, the title was removed. This makes it the first European location to have lost the status and the second ever in the world. However, title or no title the city is a “Jewel box” with historical gems scattered on every corner of the town. Some of the worth visiting places are:

Zwinger:

Zwinger was constructed in stages from 1710-1728 by ingenious building master of its time Mr. Matthaeus Daniel Poeppelmann. The beautiful sculptor work was the result of the hard work of Mr. Balthasar Permoser. This beautiful building which is designed in the Rococo style has been originally used only for pure entertainment purposes. The main attraction of Zwinger is its “Crown Gate“ which was the former main entrance to the Zwinger yard/gardens. The beautiful pavilions, nymph’s bath and art galleries located in Zwinger attract tourists to Dresden like bees to honey.



Zwinger received considerable damage during the carpet bombing raid in 1945. After the war the people of Dresden voted to restore the building and voluntarily donated money and man power. Today Zwinger once again stands in all its glory and is home to Dresden Porcelain Collection (Porzellansammlung), The Armory (Rüestkammer), Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments (Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon) and one of the most famous, Old Masters Picture Gallery (Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister). The gallery proudly owns the honor of hosting Raphael’s iconic painting “The Sistine Madonna” which is celebrating its 500th birthday this year (2012).





Semperoper:

Semperoper is one of the most beautiful opera houses in Germany and is home to one of the world’s oldest and best-known orchestra “The Saxony State Orchestra”. It was originally designed by Gottfried Semper and was constructed between 1838 and 1841. The building was devastated in a fire in 1869 and then later was reconstructed by Manfred Semper, son of Gottfried Semper. Since then Semperoper premiered the works of great masters like Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, the list is endless. Semperoper was closed in August 1944 and was destroyed in 1945 WWII bombings. Exactly 40 years later the Semperoper was restored to its identical pre-war appearance and was opened to public on February 13, 1985.



Katholische Hofkirche:

Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony) which since 1980 is also known an Kathedrale Sanctissimae Trinitatis (Cathedral of the Holy Trinity) is a Roman Catholic Cathedral. It was commissioned by Frederick Augustus II and was designed by Gaetano Chiaveri between 1738 and 1751. It is the largest church in Saxony with a floor plan measuring nearly 4,800 square meters. In the crypt of the cathedral rests the heart of King "Augustus the Strong". It is also the resting place for the 49 members of the Wettin family and relatives. The Church was badly destroyed during the Dresden bombings in 1945 and was later fully restored in mid-1980. The cathedral’s organ is fully restored which is the last work of famous organ builder Gottfried Silbermann.



Frauenkirche:

Frauenkirche (The Church of Our Lady) is a Protestant church designed by George Baehr between 1726 and 1743. The characteristic feature of the church is its 96m high dome famously known as “Stone Bell” due to its architecture. The building was almost completely destroyed in the 1945 Dresden bombings. In 1989, a 14member group of citizen’s took initiative and a year later formed “The society to promote the reconstruction of the Church of Our Lady”. Their aggressive efforts to raise funds and physical labor paid off with the complete restoration of the church in 2005, one year before planned.



Fuerstenzug (The Procession of the Princes):

To celebrate the upcoming 800th anniversary of the Wettin dynasty in 1889, the ruling family of Saxony, a mural of mounted procession of Saxony’s rulers was commissioned. It was painted between 1871 and 1876 by Wilhelm Walther. This 101.9 m (334 feet) long and 10.5 m (34 feet) high mural depicts 35 nobleman including dukes, kings and electors on horsebacks accompanied with scientist, artist, craftsmen and farmers. To avoid deterioration and make it water proof the painting was replaced with 23,000 Meissen Porcelain tiles between 1904 and 1907. Today The Procession of the Princes is known as the largest Porcelain artwork in the world.



Pfunds Molkerei:

Pfunds Molkerei or Pfunds Dairy is the most beautiful dairy shop in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The Pfund dairy shop was founded by Pfund brothers in 1880. The entire shop is decorated with neo-renaissance porcelain tiles and hand painted motifs over the walls, floor and the service counter. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions.



Yenidze:
Perhaps the most beautiful cigarette factory building designed till date is Yenidze. The tobacco company was owned by Hugo Zietz who imported tobacco from Ottoman Yenidze (presently Genisea), Greece. The building was constructed between 1907 and 1909 by architect Martin Hammitzsch. He designed it in a form of mosque. The oriental design was to publicize the oriental origin of tobacco. Presently, this unique historical building serves as an office complex.





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