During the last weekend in March, I went to Dresden and Leipzig. I partly went because I wanted to knock off two more Category One stations from my list, but I would have gone even without the stations- I’d heard nothing but good things about Dresden, and I was really looking forward to seeing it.
My walk through Dresden was a big counter-clockwise circle. I started by taking the tram over the Elbe river and walking toward the Augustusbrücke and the Golden Rider. On the way, I found a puppetry museum.
I thought I would have a difficult time finding the Goldener Reiter, but it turns out he wasn’t subtle at all.
There were lots of interesting statues all over town. I particularly liked this one, near the Augustusbrücke.
Walking across the Elbe on the Augustusbrücke from the north, this is the view into the city. The structure on the right is the Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony.
This statue is in the courtyard to the left of that church.
When I reached the end of the bridge, I stumbled across a protest. The little girl behind this sign was honking a noisemaker and there were cymbals and that sort of thing. One of the people protesting came to talk to me about it- apparently there’s an upcoming rule that will prevent midwives from working due to insurance regulations. For the curious, here’s a site detailing the protest, a FaceBook group about it, and a Bundestag petition fighting it.
Continuing my walk around the city, I snapped this picture because I thought it would look awesome.
This structure was directly across from the Church. I’m still not entirely sure what this was.
The protest and parade backed up traffic a bit. I’m glad I wasn’t on one of these trams.
My next stop was the Zwinger, an old palace which is now the home of several museums including my destination, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Master’s Picture Gallery.)
While inside, I walked past Boticellis, Vermeers, Rembrandts, Rubens, and more. A particular highlight was Raphael’s Sistine Madonna, a very large painting which most people know from the two Cherubim in the bottom. There’s a picture of the full painting over on Wikipedia if you’d like to see it. The main entrance to the gallery is in this archway. I walked right past it into the courtyard at first.
From the Zwinger, I went on to one of the most well known landmarks in Dresden, the Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady. The church was completely destroyed during the bombing of Dresden in World War II, but was rebuilt after German reunification in 1990.
For a small fee, you can ascend to the top of the Frauenkirche. There’s an elevator for the first chunk, then a smooth ramped walkway circling the dome, then stairs at the very top. Great views from the top, though. This one contains the Augustusbrücke and the church I mentioned earlier.
After I got back down from the dome, I wanted to see the inside of the church. This image amused me terribly. I guess angels really are everywhere!
Inside the rebuilt Frauenkirche.
Across the square from the Frauenkirche are plenty of other picturesque buildings. I saw this one just before I went for lunch at the Canadian steakhouse. I had a tasty bison steak.
There are always people in major cities doing things for money. Like these two.
A short distance from the Frauenkirche, back toward the Elbe river, there’s a rather nifty sculpture with a bunch of representations of the planets in the ground. It’s not a full representation of the solar system though, and I’m not quite sure why.
This is the view of the Augustusbrücke from the planets sculpture.
On my walk back toward the hotel, I noticed that Spring has well and truly come to Germany. You can tell because any time it gets sunny and warm, lounging Germans appear all over green spaces in Germany. This isn’t very crowded, but give it a few more degrees and you won’t see very much green through the sunbathing people.
Have you ever been to Dresden?
13 thoughts on “Dresden”
We visited Dresden about the same time of year back in … 2009? and had much snowy, slushier weather conditions. Wish we’d had the weather your pictures show!
Both Sarah and I were struck by the NEWNESS of it all. Sure, the architecture is authentic, but we were hard-pressed to find even a spot of moss or brick out of place or warped paving stone. That made it feel almost a little creepy.
We were particularly impressed with the armory museum (was that also in the Zwinger complex? I don’t recall) showing the evolution of weaponry away from edge weapons and toward ballistics: every one has seen rifles or muskets with bayonets affixed, but what about a sword with a pistol mounted in the grip?
If I had a second go at Dresden, I would probably check out the other two museums in the Zwinger. They looked interesting.
The planets sculpture is not a full representation of the solar system because it’s not about planets or the solar system at all. Confused? So was I 😀
It is more like a “map” of Dresdens seven bastions within the former fortress walls. These bastions were named after the sun, the moon and five planets.
Ah hah! That makes much more sense. How did you learn this?
I love Dresden – went there a few years ago, had a blast 🙂
(The structure you couldn’t place is the Semperoper – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semperoper. The picturesque building next to the Frauenkirche is the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts)
This is hilarious to me, because I was trying to find the Semperoper while I was in town, but I got turned around and thought it was on the opposite side of the street.
Heh. Good to know I found it after all!
“This structure was directly across from the Church. I’m still not entirely sure what this was.”
The picture shows the opera house (“Semperoper”)
Never been there before, but it looks like quite a cool city!
I’ve never been to Dresden, but I really want to. Fabulous pictures! I had to laugh at your comment about Spring… the minute it’s even vaguely warm, every green space in Karlsruhe fills with sunbathing Germans!
It never fails with the sunlight. There’s a plaza here in Regensburg that fills up with people hanging out the millisecond the weather clears.
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Will have to add to my list! Love the buildings in Dresden from your photos! Also like the bike in the tunnel 🙂
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