Top Dresden's landmarks
Dresden is a city rich in history and architecture. After being almost destroyed by Allied bombers at the end of World War II, Dresden has rebuilt herself without losing her original charm and majesty. The city is a fun mix of old-world-style, lush green spaces, and modern flair. Whether you love over-the-top Baroque architecture or quirky street art, there is something for everyone to enjoy at these Dresden attractions.
Originally completed in 1743, the Frauenkirche was one of the most beautiful baroque churches in all of Europe. The church was destroyed at the end of World War II in Allied bombing raids. After German reunification, the Frauenkirche was rebuilt using thousands of the original stones and rededicated in 2005. Take a tour of the interior of the Frauenkirche to see its multiple galleries and prominent gold touches everywhere in this Baroque masterpiece.
Dresden Royal Palace
Also known as Dresdner Residenzschloss, the Dresden Royal Palace is home to the Dresden State Art Collection. Once home to Saxony's electors and kings, Augustus the Strong made the Dresden Royal Palace into a public museum. There are many displays of art, opulent court clothing and suits of armor. All background information for displays is written in English, making it easy for travelers to learn more about the collection.
One of the most visited inclusions in the Dresden Royal Palace is the famed Green Vault. The Green Vault is home to gold, silver, jewelry and ivory pieces from the 14th to 18th centuries. When in the Green Vault, be sure to check out the world's largest green diamond.
The Procession of Princes
Also known as the Furstenzug, the Procession of Princes is found on the outside of the Stallhof on Schlossplatz square. The Procession is a 101-meter-long picture of Saxony's ruling family, the Wettins. Included among the royals in the murals are German scientists, farmers and craftsman. The mural was started in 1870 and is composed of more than 24,000 Meissen porcelain tiles.
Known as the "Balcony of Europe" or Bruhl's Terrace, the Burhlsche Terrasse was opened to the public in 1814. Running along the bank of the Elbe River, the Terrasse offers relaxing views of the river and city. The terrace is a great place to take a stroll, enjoy a coffee in one of the many shops along the terrace, and just relax.
Located on the eastern end of Bruhlsche Terrasse, parts of the Albertinum date back to the Renaissance. The Albertinium has been the home of an important collection of sculptures (classical, Renaissance, and modern) since the 1880s. Recent renovations made room for a new art museum called the Gallery of Modern Masters, home to works by Monet, van Gogh, and local favorite Gerhard Richter.
The Great Garden
Also known as Grosser Garten, this landmark was started over 300 years ago. The Great Garden is the biggest park in Dresden and is home to many festivals and concerts. The Great Garden is home to the Sommerpalais, a small palace at the center of the park from the late 1600s.
Theaterplatz is a paved square with some of the foremost landmarks in Dresden on its edges. Here, you can easily take in all of these Dresden tourist attractions:
Hofkirche is a High Baroque style Catholic Cathedral. Many kings and members of the Wettin royal family are buried here. When visiting the Hofkirche, be sure to check out the church organ designed by Gottfried Silbermann. Be sure to check out the High Altar, as well as the allegories and sculptures by famous artists.
Found on the west side of the Theaterplatz, the Dresden opera house was built in the Italian High Renaissance style. Take a tour of the grand interior or spend an evening watching a performance. At the Semperoper, you can see a concert by the Dresden Orchestra (Staatskapelle Dresden), a ballet or an opera.
- Dresden Zwinger
The Dresden Zwinger is a grand, Baroque-style palace built in the 1700s on the bank of the Elbe River. The Zwinger holds many of Dresden's State Art Collections. The Dresden Porcelain Collection, a museum of scientific instruments and the Old Masters Picture Gallery (Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister) are all found in the Dresden Zwinger. When visiting the Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, you can enjoy paintings by Raphael, Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer.
Kraftwerk Mitte is a reclaimed power plant site that is being transformed into museums, theaters and restaurants. Those with kids should check out the Theatre for the Young Generation (Theater Junge Generation), where audience participation is part of the show. Kraftwerk Mitte is also home to Germany's only independent opera house, the Staatsoperette Dresden.
Artist Yadagar Asisi's unique Panometer will envelop you in the history of Dresden. The history of Dresden from 1695 to present is portrayed in murals covering 360 degrees. Once on the elevated central platform, the murals, lights and sounds will send you on a journey through time in Dresden.
If you like funky street art, you need to visit the Kunsthofpassage. This gem is tucked away in the student residential district of Neustadt. Kunsthofpassage is a series of five courtyards designed as part of an art experiment called the Ginkgo Project and a must on your Dresden sightseeing holiday.
Each of the five courtyards in the Kunsthofpassage has a distinct design. The most well-known is the Courtyard of the Elements, with its singing drain pipes. In other courtyards, you can see mythical creatures, wild animals and mirrors that change the light depending on the location of the sun. After taking in the quirky courtyards of Kunsthofpassage, take a break at one of the many small shops or cafes in the area.
Dresden is just jam-packed with amazing places to visit. Old-world castles, breathtaking river views, and legendary churches are all found in this historic city. Add in the incredible collections of art and treasure at Dresden's many museum galleries and you have a tough decision to make when trying to figure out what to do in Dresden. Which place will you see first?