Dresden, Germany: The Saxon City of Contrasts Part 1

Dresden is a German city located south of the capital Berlin. It is the capital of the Free State of Saxony in Eastern Germany. Due to its proximity to Berlin, I decided to take a bus to know more about the city. I personally did not place any high expectations for the city was really not part of my travel list. To my surprise, Dresden has given me a lot of learning of its history, which is for me is full of contrast and diversity.

The city is a historical gem along the riverbanks of Elbe. Cultural buildings were built by a Polish King, who had made union to govern the city and its nearby areas. This is the reason why Dresden has many beautiful Baroque structures, providing one the feeling of romanticism. However, in contrast, the city has become an important military and industrial city during the rise of Nazis in Germany. This is an opposition to the romantic past of the city.

During the World War 2, the city was destroyed by the United States and its allied forces. This has become a controversial move that killed thousands of civilians. Despite being destroyed by the democratic Americans and British, the city fell under communist rule during the Cold War. Many buildings were left restored during this time. It was only the fall of Soviet Union when Dresden decided to renovate and rebuilt some its historic buildings.

In my visit in Dresden, I have been to many areas in the city. This is the first part of my journey.

Click here for Part 2.

1.      Bahnhof Dresden Neustadt

This is the second largest train station in Dresden, located in the northern side of the Elbe river. This has replaced to older train station built in the 18th century. There were several times that the station has been renovated especially after it celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2001.

2.      Dresdner Volksbank Raiffeisenbank

This centrally-located cooperative bank with almost over a century of banking experience. The building in Villa Eschebach follows neo-baroque architectural style.

3.      Albertplatz

This circular garden space is an important transport hub in the north of the river Elbe. There are sculpture and a fountain, named Stormy Waves, located in the square.

4.      Erich Kästner Denkmal

This monument in the north of Albert square is a famous tourist attraction for the German city of Dresden.

5.      Bautzner Str

This street is connected to the Albert Square, which formed before as part of the fortifications of the Old Dresden.

6.      Jorge Gomondai Platz

This is a square dedicated to an African man named Jorge Gomondai, who died in the area after a right-wing racist attack seriously injured him. A Day of Remembrance has become fixed date in Dresden to remind the German population against racism in this modern society.

7.      Dreikönigskirche

The Dresden Epiphany Church has functioned as a parliament for the Saxon county for a short period of time during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of West and East Germany. The church has been extensively damaged during the Second World War 2 and thereafter rebuilt during the 1980s.

8.      Hauptstrage

The main road or the road of liberation is composed pedestrian connecting to the Albert Square. Most of the buildings along the street were destroyed during the World War 2.

9.      Haus der Kirche Dresden

This is the meeting place for religious meetings and private conference, owned by Dresden Epiphany Church.

10.  Goldener Reiter

This is the so-called most famous statue in the German city of Dresden. This depicts August Caesar on a horse towards the direction of the Polish Kingdom.

11.  Neustädter Markt

This is where the equestrian statue of Augustus is located. It is believed that this has been the area of an ancient village square of a Slavics.

12.  Palaisplatz

This square has been named from the Japanese Palace located nearby. However, this has been earlier named as Karl Marx Platz, as an appreciation to the philosopher, who spearheaded the concept of communism.

13.  Museun für Völkende Dresden

The museum of the Saxon Folk Art is one of the largest theatre collections in the world. The tour around the museum provides a wide-ranging insight into the fascinating world of folk art and presents an abundance of old traditions.

14.  Japanisches Palais

This Baroque building located along the riverbanks of Elbe was a storage for the Japanese porcelain collection of he Augustus the Strong, who became the King of the Polish-Lituanian Commonwealth. The building was partially destroyed during Allies raid of the German country.

15.  Königsufer

This is a pederstrian near a park along the riverbanks of Elbe. There are many tourists and locals spending time to see a unique view of the river and Dresden’s old town.

16.  Marienbrücke

This old stone arch bridge was named from the wife of the important King of Saxon. This is considered one of the oldest bridge along the river Elbe.

17.  Elbe

This is an important river in Central Europe traversing Germany and the Czech Republic. Due to its strategic location, this river has been used for trades among the cities that lie its riverbanks.

18.  Blockhaus

The name Blockhaus was there probably for two reasons, namely because of its cube-like design and because of its original use as a control and customs station.

19.  Museum für Sächsische Volkskunst

The Museum of Saxon Folk Art is a home art museum in the Saxon capital of Dresden. There is a large collection of puppets in the area.

20.  Sächsisches Staatsministerium

This is a beautiful government building which features unique Saxon architecture style.

21.  Augustusbrücke

This is considered the oldest bridge in Dresden built in early 19th century. This bridge has 9 sandstone arches that provided wide opening for traffic along the river.

22.  Terrassenufer

This is pedestrian along the river Elbe near the old Augustus Bridge. Tourists could have an awesome view of the city of Dresden from this area.

23.  Sächsische Staatskanzlei

This is the building for the State Chancellery, who supports the German Prime Minister in carrying out its tasks.

24.  Albertinum

This is the modern art museum named after the Saxon King Albert. Sculptures and paintings belonging to Romanticism are housed here.

25.  Hasenberg

This is street near Carol Bridge, the third of the most important bridges in the city. The street is near a park and Jewish synagogue.

26.  Polizeidirektion Dresden

This building is used by the German police in Dresden. The outer architecture shows a distinct style, which dates back 18th century.

27.  Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden

This vocational university in Dreden is focused on visual arts. Interestingly, the school buildings reflect the art taste of the educators and students of this academic institution.

28.  Frauenkirche Dresden

This Lutheran church has become Dresden’s tourist symbol. Before the Reformation, this used to be a Roman Catholic Church. For five decades, the church was left in ruins after it was destroyed during the World War 2. This was renovated and completed after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

29.  Verkehrsmuseum Dresden

The Dresden Transport Museum displays vehicles of all modes of transport, such as railway, shipping, road and air traffic, under one roof.

30.  Neumarkt

The Neumarkt in Dresden is a central and culturally significant section  of the German city of Dresden. This was completely destroyed after the World War 2 and was rebuilt after the fall of the communist Soviet Union and the German reunification in the nineties.

31.  Georg Treu Platz

The Georg-Treu-Platz is a square in Dresden. It lies in the northeast of the Inner Old Town in the center of the Saxon capital. The square was named after the archaeologist Georg Treu, who was also the curator of Albertinum.

32.  Brühlschen Garten

This garden, which provides a good view of the river Elbe was patterned from a French garden in the 17th century.

33.  Delphinbrunnen

The fountain sculpture represents a putto is standing on a dolphin rides. The figures are made ​​of sandstone made, the fountains lining consists of shell and rock work. The edge of the well is surrounded by a wrought iron grid. The bowl is flanked by two staircases.

34.  Schlossplatz

This is Dresden’s city square and got its name from the residence of the Electors and Kings of Saxony. This was also destroyed in the Second World War.

35.  Katholische Hofkirche

This is the Dresden Catholic Cathedral. This was built in contrast to the Protestant Church Frauenkirche, which is located few meters.

Today, Dresden is popular tourist destination. A former Roman Catholic bastion before the Reformation Period, this German city has important reminder of the notable conflicts in the world. Whether its was conflict between kingdoms, religion, superpowers or  ideologies, Dresden has unique point in human history. The city of contrasts and conflicts is now a UNESCO World Heritage area to be preserved and remembered.


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