From Leipzig to Prague
After our first destination Leipzig, we travelled further to Prague on our way to the South of Europe. In the middle of the route, we had to stop in Dresden to check off our travel bucket list and use the day for some sightseeing. What a great decision! I did not expect such a pretty city and could have stayed a full day or more. But one after the other…
Dresden is the capital of the Eastern German state of Saxony and a still very historical city. Many streets are layed out with old cobblestones and a large part of the old splendid buildings are still preserved. Those who do not have that much time should concentrate on the old town of Dresden, because there are a lot of the main sightseeing spots right next to each other.
We parked our motorhome very central at a parking lot for caravans close to Blüherpark, which was perfect because it was just a five minute walk to the center of the old town, and with one Euro per hour also very cheap. Our speedy two hour sightseeing stop led us to the famous Frauenkirche, Zwinger, Brühl’s Terrace and the Semper Opera, but let me tell you more about these points of interest.
Explore & Discover
Dresden’s spectacular Frauenkirche is one of the most remarkable reconstruction projects ever to have taken place in Germany. It has first been completed in 1743, but has been almost fully destructed during an Allied bombing in 1945. The ruins of the old building were catalogued and stored for reconstruction. After the reunification of Germany in 1990, plans to rebuild the Frauenkirche developed quickly and started just right after that. It was then reopened in 2005. Nearly 4,000 original stones had been used for the remodelling of the church.
The vast interior is simply spectacular. The restored high altar is a fantasy of Baroque flourishes highlighted in gold. You can take an elevator to the dome for incredible views of the city, and an exhibition describes the complex reconstruction project more in detail.
The Zwinger is a magnificent early 18th-century palace in the center of the city right next to the river Elbe. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Germany.
It’s worth walking around the impressive gardens. On its South side is the majestic 32-bayed Long Gallery, and flanking to the East and West are four symmetrically arranged pavilions, the Wallpavillon and the Nymphenbad (Bath of the Nymphs), with its graceful fountains and mythological figures.
Fiete was mostly impressed by the baroque statues and their behinds. Isn’t it great to be a dog?!
If you are in Dresden, you should take the time to stroll along Brühl’s Terrace, or Brühlsche Terrasse, also known as the “Balcony of Europe.” Approached from the Schlossplatz by a couple of steps, this area on the site of the old city has been laid out in 1738 as a private garden, and opened to the public in 1814. The sculptured groups on the staircase represent morning, noon, evening, and night, and the Dolphin Fountain is the only part left of the original garden.
I can only imagine how pretty this area will be in Summer, so I will for sure come back and check it out – promised.
The West side of Dresden’s Theaterplatz, one of Germany’s finest public squares, is dominated by the magnificent Semper Opera. This is the city’s opera house, built in the style of the Italian High Renaissance. To see the lavishly decorated interior, you should either attend a concert or take a tour led by one of the staff.
As you can see, Fiete was very impressed by the statue in front of the Semper Opera. In the center of Theaterplatz stands an equestrian statue from 1883 of King John, and at the Southeast corner stands the Altstädter Wache, the Old Town Guard-House, built in 1831 and modelled on the famous Guardhouse in Berlin.
Summary & Next Stop
As Fiete and I only stayed in Dresden for two hours, we were not able to enjoy the full beauty and spirit of this place. So we will have to come back, ideally in Summer to hang out in cafés and beer gardens to check out the cultural style and la vie.
We are leaving Dresden now for our next stop Prague, which is not that far down South and the capital of the Czech Republic.
Stay tuned and keep on digging!