Dresden has risen from the ashes of the bombing raids of February 1945 and the stagnation years of the East German communist state. We had driven through the centre of Dresden many years ago and remember seeing a ruined church and the general shabbiness of the historic city.
Much has improved since German reunification in 1990, including the reconstruction of that church, the beautiful Baroque Frauenkirche, and other fine buildings in the surrounding Neumarkt square. That was our first port of call when we visited Dresden on a bright July afternoon.
Having admired the ornate external and internal features of the Frauenkirche, we ascended to the Dome via a lift and a spiralling rising walkway. Quite a strenuous climb and not recommended for the less nimble, but well worth the effort for the great views around the city and over the River Elbe. A small charge is made, but discounted for seniors.
In the nearby Altmarkt square is a completely contrasting building, the massive, communist-style Kulturpalast (Culture Palace). There is a 100ft long mural on the front of the building called ‘The Way of the Red Flag’ – quite striking in its way (see picture below).
From the Altmarkt, we headed down to the river bank and along Brühl’s Terrace, a popular promenade passing many historic buildings and a great place to stop for refreshments. Returning to the city centre, via the Theaterplatz, we passed the lavish Semperoper Opera House and had a first view of the Baroque Zwinger Palace complex, where we spent the whole afternoon.
Having wondered around the gardens with its many pools and fountains, we visited the permanent exhibitions inside including the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon with its impressive collection of old clocks, and the Dresden Porcelain Collection, with more than 20,000 porcelain artefacts, including from China and Japan, but not surprisingly featuring porcelain from Meissen, just 10 miles north-west of Dresden.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Dresden – Am Zwinger which was very convenient for visiting the Old Town, however our room was rather small, so maybe we will try the nearby Hotel Indigo: Dresden – Wettiner Platz next time. Both these IHG Hotels give Senior Discount flexible rates.
POSTED 21st FEBRUARY 2021 by STEVE HANSON. The photographs were taken by BARBARA HANSON.