Dresden - From ashes to beauty
Dresden Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
March 27th, 2010 – by: aloneinthecrowd
Early on saturday morning we got our bags packed and headed south east to explore a city which a lot of people call the most beautiful one in Germany.
Dresden is the capital city of the free state of Saxony, situated at the river Elbe close to the Czech border. The city was completely destroyed by the controversial Allied aerial bombing towards the end of World War II in February 1945. Since the German reunification in 1990, Dresden has re-emerged as a cultural, educational, political and economic centre of Germany.
Most of the historical buildings have been restored and you can see them again in full beauty. It took billions of Euros to rebuild places like the "Frauenkirche" which was nearly completely destroyed. Lots of those projects were fund by donations from all over Germany or maybe the world.
Before we headed downtown to see the historical places we checked in at the hotel "NoLift". Although it was only 10 a. m. and not really check-in time our room was already prepared and we could leave our bags there which was a big relief since we mustn't come back before 6 p. m. to pick up our keys.
After refreshing ourselves we bought a ticket for the tram to downdown.
We got off the tram at central station and started our walk through the city. At first we went down the famous "Prager Strasse" which is the shopping strip in Dresden. Before WW II it was as famous as the Champs Èlysee in Paris or Berlin's Kurfürstendamm. After its destruction in February 1945 and the disregard during the east German socialist era it was born again after the reunification. Nowadays you find shops of every famous label there aswell as shopping chains.
Next stop was the city hall. The golden "Cityhall Man" pours out the cornucopia over the city of Dresden. It's one of the most favourite landmarks of the city.
We walked pass the "Gewandhaus" which is a Hotel now and reached the "Altmarkt" (old market place) which is in the center of the historic city.
The "Kreuzkirche" is located close to the Altmarkt. It's the oldest church in the city and was rebuilt only 10 years after its destruction in 1945. You can climb on the tower where you have a nice view over Dresden. We didn't climb there since we wanted to go to the "Frauenkirche" aswell and we climbed its tower instead.
Until the bombing in 1945 the "Neumarkt" (new market place) was the heart of the historic district. The famous "Frauenkirche" and lots of Baroque and Rococo buildings aswell as middle-class houses were located there. All of them were distroyed by the american and british bombings.
The eyecatcher is the "Frauenkirche". It's only 91,23 m high and not very big but impressive if you know that it was nearly completely destroyed. Nowadys 45 % of the church is origin. The restoration cost more than 200 million Euros. If you wanna go into the church by yourself it's free, you just have to pay 4 € p. P. if you want to attend a guided tour (you have to book it at the information center near the church). Climbing on the tower is 8 € p.P. but it's worth it. An elevator brings you up to the first third of the tower, then you have to climb about 130 steps until the top.
Inside the church it's all painting and gold and with its balconies it looks more than a theatre than a church. That's what was Klaus' first impression when we went in.
You must be warned: The Frauenkirche might be the most crowded place in Dresden. If you wanna go inside or climb the tower calculate some time for waiting and lots more during the summer when it's peak season.
Another famous attraction is the "Augustusstrasse" with the painting "Der Fürstenzug der Wettiner" (the saxon sovereigns).
At the end of the street you arrive at the "Schlossplatz" (castle square) where you see the castle and the "Hofkirche". The famous "Grüne Gewölbe" is located in the castle. The "Grüne Gewölbe" is the most rich treasure room of Europe. Due to lack of time we weren't able to visit it but when we'll go back some day I must see it.
Very impressive is the "Semper Oper" (Semper opera house). One of the most famous operas in the world. Close to it you find the "Zwinger". It's a masterpiece and a major landmark of german baroque architecture. The location was formerly part of the Dresden fortress of which the outer wall is conserved. The "Zwinger" was my absolutely favourite place.
We strolled around the city for hours and as you can imagine we got hungry and tired somewhen. Before we headed back to the hotel we had an incredible lunch in the restaurant "Ayers Rock" at the Münzgasse. It's an australian restaurant and I tried kangaroo (Klaus ordered it) for the first time in my life. It was very good but my ostrich was better ;)
Around 9.30 p. m. we headed back to the hotel and before we even hit the pillows we felt asleep.
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