Dresden - The Most Beautiful City In Germany
For a very long time I wanted to visit Dresden, this city on the valley of Elba river, which I’ve heard it was bombarded during the second world war by the British and I was super curious to see what the Germans did to rebuild the history of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
I woke up that morning super excited, I finished all my tasks for the day, jumped in the car and, off I was towards the beautiful “Florence on the Elba river”. Of course, what can I expect from the Dutch weather towards Germany – something else rather than rain? The rain broke loose and started spreading its rich wings, and it came all the way to Germany, so by the time we reached the lovely destination of Dresden, we looked like pickles all wet, even though we parked the car in front of the hotel.
Gradually between the big drops of rain, I managed to unravel a wonderful city reborn after the disaster of a tough war. I immediately realized that the old center is actually the quintessence of the city. Here the beautiful Dresden overflows with impressive buildings, maintaining that original black, grey and green tint that perfectly matched Mother Nature that day.
Dresden welcomed me with a pleasant and warm atmosphere, despite the weather. I did not even notice the rain, and the next day the sun came out to show me a different side of the city. I walked on wide streets, airy, not crowded, without infernal traffic like in the big cities I usually visit.
Walking through the streets of Dresden, I didn’t have the feeling that I was in a really new city at all, because many of its historical buildings were rebuilt, using pieces found among the ruins of the original building, and all look exactly like before the war. If you want to see this for yourself, dear reader, it’s just easy to walk around the city and notice Zwinger Palace (rebuilt in 1964) or The Opera House (considered the most beautiful in Germany, built in 1985!)
First thing first when I am in Germany, go find and buy a wursten and slowly walk around the Opera Square to see an impressive construction through the accuracy of ornamental details, and slowly go to the Zwinger Palace, a true “architectural paradise”.
For the romantic in you, dear reader, the Pillnitz Palace, and its surroundings are the most suitable place to visit near Dresden. River gardens offer an idyllic landscape, recommended for a romantic gateway, and the Oriental style of the building is a well-deserved break from the baroque architecture of the city. Pillnitz can be reached in 90 minutes by boat.
For unconventional lovers, this Saxon city offers a practical but also pleasant way to travel from one museum to another, in the characteristic style of East Germany: the Trabant. For nostalgic people, there are firms in the center of Dresden which rent out, with or without guides, these cars about 90 minutes of fun.
The Fürstenzug (English: Procession of Princes) is a large mural 800 years of history in 100 meters. Next, to the Palace square, you can admire the exterior of one of the walls, the “painting” made of porcelain tiles representing the Princess’ Precession. It depicts over eight hundred years of history of the Saxon Royal House through the images of 35 princes, kings and dukes riding, being considered the largest picture of porcelain (Meissen) in the world.
A place not to be missed in a city break in Dresden is the Zwinger Palace. Although the term means a "wall" or "fortress" in German, the building built by Saxony's electoral prince, Augustus Stronger is a stylish salon made of stone and glass, the host of several art exhibitions.
Even if it had originally been thought of as an orangery and a greenhouse, the pavilions of the palace were doubled "in the mirror", gaining the square look it currently has.
The palace was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, but it was rebuilt on the basis of a referendum of the inhabitants of Dresden.
The beauty of the palace is given by the many sculptures and statues that decorate it, representing nymphs or other mythological figures. I was so impressed by the beauty of it that I went there twice during my stay in Dresden, each time during the morning when it is not filled with tourist, like myself , taking pictures.
I left the Zwinger Palace through the Crown Gate (Kronentor), the main entrance over the small wooden bridge which leads to the Ostra. The top of the gate is given by four golden eagles seated on a dome, wearing a royal crown.
The Frauenkirche Church was built between 1726 and 1743 in Baroque style, was one of the most beautiful churches in Europe at that time. In 1945, when the city was bombed, it suffered massive destruction, but the impressive reconstruction project resolved to bring it the charm and opulence of the past. Furthermore, you must know that the Frauenkirche Church hosts 180 concerts and musical events annually and for those who want to visit the Frauenkirche Church the entrance is free, but for 8 EUR you can go on top of the building and the view from here is something no words can describe.
As a real capital of Saxony, Dresden offers the usual culinary delights of any major European city. From luxury restaurants with à la carte menus to bistros with traditional food in the area.
Many of the restaurants worth visiting in Dresden are located in Neustadt, where the menus include specialties from the neighboring Bohemia, while for international cuisine fans, the best area to look for a local is the old town center.
The main dishes not to be missed in a culinary expedition to Saxony are: Saxon Sauerbraten which is meat with red cabbage, raisin sauce, potato dumpling and covered with breadcrumbs or one other thing that I tried and it’s very delicious as well as the juicy suckling pig with marjoram sauce, sauerkraut and potato dumpling covered in breadcrumbs. We experience a tasty typical Saxon meal at Pulvertum restaurant, a minute walking from Frauenkirche Church. What another thing that really impressed me was the potato soup. Now, if you are European, you will probably say “what can be so special about a potato soup, you can have that in almost all European countries!” Dear reader, I will not disagree with you, but this soup was something else, the roasted sausages slice with the texture of the soup and complemented by their in-house baked bread, was something I will always try again and again….and actually, again!
If you have planned a city break in Dresden, you will most likely stop at Pfunds Molkerei, a very well-known tourist destination. In fact, Pfunds Molkerei is just a dairy shop, but not any store: it is "the most beautiful dairy store in the world" confirmed by its entry into the Guinness Book of Records. The shop was founded in 1880 by the wealthy brothers and the decor captures every tourist who decides to cross the threshold.
Here you will be able to admire impressive façade paintings in neo-Renaissance style with hand-painted motifs on the walls and floors that were made in Villeroy & Boch's art department.
The Pfunds Molkerei store is located at Bautzner Straße 79, 01099 Dresden and is open from Monday to Saturday between 10:00 and 18:00; besides the fact that you will feel like in an art gallery, you have the opportunity to try the most famous dairy products in the area! Too bad you can’t take pictures inside, even though Instagram is full of them.
I can say that I was deeply delighted by this romantic and elegant city, which I did not have time to explore enough, but I have seen enough to want to come back at least once more ...