Dresden is one of the must-do places for anyone visiting Germany with the freedom to travel at will. Dresden is filled with some of the most fantastic architecture imaginable, the Elba River is fabulous, and the city harbors many little surprises for miles in all directions. Art and music are everywhere, and I had the opportunity to witness an evening choir recital with roughly 500 participants from the University. It is a place you will never forget.
I have visited Dresden twice on long weekends, once alone and once with my wife. My digital photo album has nearly 300 photographs of the city and there are parts of the city that I still have not yet combed. Might I go a third time? Stay tuned.
This travelogue has been divided geographically into four subchapters. The chapter that will likely catch your interest first is the Dresden Altstadt, featured in part in the first photograph here. The Altstadt contains the majority of Dresden's grandest structures -- the Hofkirche at the left, and the Zwinger Art Gallery and Semper Oper Haus at right are shown. The Altstadt chapter also covers the Palace, including the Procession of Dukes, the Albertinum, and the soon-to-be reconstructed Frauenkirche.
But don't zero in too hard on the Old City, there's much more. The Dresden Neustadt occupies the opposite bank, and is better known for its cafés and charming markets. It is also the site of several huge manors perched high on the ridgeline overlooking the Elbe. Then, you must travel down the Elbe to the small town of Pillnitz, home of the grand Baroque Schloss Pillnitz, shown in the second photograph. This palace was decorated in Asian style, with a fabulous palace garden. Getting there is really easy by boat, but busses are available, too.
The final chapter covers several attractions in a piece called Southern Dresden. If you are visiting and got a hotel downtown, there's a good chance that this is where you will stay -- the major chains are well represented along the shopping district of Prager Strasse near the train station. Also included are the Grosser Garten and Zoo, a great place to walk, the University of Dresden in the high hills, and the Elbe Promenade east of downtown.
One other hint, if you really want to appreciate the beauty of Dresden, the time to do it is at night. There are whole tour books dedicated to 'Dresden Bei Nacht', because the entire Altstadt is lit up.
You can reach these subchapters by clicking in the colored zones of the map above, or by the other associated hyperlinks provided.
Trips taken 26 May 2001 and 12-14 October 2003 -- Page last updated 01 September 2006 -- (C) 2001 Tom Galvin