Trips and Itineraries for Dresden
Top Places To Visit in Dresden 199 Spots
One of the most amazing sights for us was the Zwinger. This amazing complex wascommissioned by Augustus II (the Strong), the elector of Saxony and king of Poland due to his passion for collecting paintings, sculpture, antiquities, but especially porcelain. His collection included 14,500 pieces of porcelain from China and Japan. He established the porcelain factory at Meissen in 1710. Augustus admitted his passion for porcelain was his maladie de porcelaine (porcelain sickness). Augustus began to build the Zwinger in 1711. It resembles a palace and can easily be mistaken for one. The architect Matthaus Daniel Poppelmann designed it. The Zwinger was destroyed during World War II and partly reconstructed in 1952 and 1963. Now it is fully reconstructed and restored, displaying the famous porcelain collection.
Dresden was once called the “Florence on the Elbe” being one of Europe’s architectural and artistic highlights. However, much of it was bombed during WWII and much of the city was not much more than a rubble heap. On February 13, 1945, 800 British aircraft showered the city with 2,600 tons of bombs. The Americans followed the next morning with 300 Flying Fortress bombers. It is estimated that 25,000 people were killed, while 13 square miles of the historic city center were destroyed. With temperatures rising to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, the burning city was visible to pilots from 100 miles away. Dresden was a central hub for the Nazi’s and the city remained loyal to them, hence its destruction. Being Saturday evening, there was not much open other than restaurants and bars, but it was lovely seeing the city at this time of day. The streets were crowded with tourists and residents strolling and chatting in various languages. What struck us the most was that it was COLD. We both had liners under our coats, but we could have used gloves and scarves too. The outdoor restaurants all had their heatalators on to keep the hungry crowds warm enough to sit through a meal.