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Things to Do in Dresden

Once the jewel of baroque Germany, Dresden’s Old Town was almost completely destroyed during the World War II bombings, but after years of painstaking restoration work, the city’s architectural highlights are once again dazzling. Evocatively nicknamed the “Florence of the North,” the Saxon capital is an enchanting sight, with its formerly UNESCO-listed waterfront lined with elegant villas, regal churches and grand palaces.

Whether you’re taking a scenic cruise along the Elbe River or visiting on a side trip from Berlin, it won’t take you long to spot Dresden’s top attractions—the resplendent Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House, the Church of Our Lady and the famous Brühl's Terrace are all clustered along the waterfront.
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Dresden Frauenkirche
49 Tours and Activities

The Frauenkirche in Dresden was built between 1726 and 1743. Its dome collapsed on Feb. 15, 1945 during the bombings of World War II. After the war, the ruins of the church were left as a war memorial. Once Dresden and the rest of East Germany were reunified with West Germany, reconstruction on the church began and was completed by 2005. As much as possible, the reconstruction of the church followed the original plans and methods and used the original materials. The church now serves as a symbol of reconciliation.

The reconstruction of the church was supported by donations from people all around the world. In order to honor those who donated, the church set up an exhibition area, which explains what was left after the destruction and what was was needed to start the rebuilding process. The exhibit includes original documents and finds from the archeological site.

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Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe)
6 Tours and Activities

The Green Vault is one of the city museums in Dresden, Germany, and it is located in the Dresden Royal Palace. This collection of historical art and antiques has been called one of the greatest treasure chests in Europe. It is divided into two sections, the Historic Green Vault and the New Green Vault. In the Historic section, visitors will find works of art in a baroque setting displayed in front of mirrored walls without being in display cases. Items found here are made of amber, ivory, gemstones, and bronze. This section is located in the reconstructed chamber that August the Strong created.

In the New Green Vault, visitors can see around 1,000 masterpieces of treasury art which are displayed in well-lit showcases made of anti-glare glass. This allows visitors to admire the art close up. Pieces in this section include precious objects made of gold, silver, enamel and gemstones, ivory, mother-of-pearl, coconuts and ostrich eggs.

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Loschwitz Bridge
4 Tours and Activities

The Blue Wonder Bridge in Dresden spans across the Elbe River. It was finished in 1893, and at the time, this truss bridge was one of the longest bridges that was not supported by pillars. It was painted a brilliant blue color, which is how it got its name. Despite the fact that much of Dresden was destroyed during World War II, the Blue Wonder Bridge survived, thanks in part to city residents who put their lives on the line to protect it.

The bridge's official name is the Loschwitz Bridge, and until 1912 it was called the König-Albert-Brücke (King Albert Bridge). Today the bridge brings road traffic across the river connecting the Blasewitz and Loschwitz neighborhoods within Dresden. It is a popular tourist attraction due to its stunning architecture and color. It is located near the Dresden TV Tower, the Standseilbahn Dresden funicular railway, and Schwebebahn Dresden, the world's oldest suspension railway.

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Albertinum
3 Tours and Activities

Named after King Albert of Saxony, the Albertinum is an art museum located in the historic city center of Dresden. The museum focuses on painting and sculpture from the Romantic period to the present day, and its collections — which range from Rodin to Richter — have earned the museum a worldwide reputation as a center for fine art in Germany. With a large restoration program, the Albertinum's glass-fronted display storerooms allow visitors to get insights into the museum's internal workings and how the restoration process works. The Renaissance-style building that houses the museum, completed in 1563, was once a military arsenal and now has archives instead of weapons in its immense vaults, as a new arsenal was built for Dresden in the late 19th century.

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Elbe River
3 Tours and Activities

The Elbe River is one of the major rivers in Central Europe and runs through the Czech Republic and Germany. It winds through several major cities, including Dresden and Hamburg, and eventually empties into the North Sea. The river has played an important role throughout history, including forming part of the border between East and West Germany during the Cold War period.

Visitors can enjoy views of Dresden's skyline along the river. There are river boat tours along the Elbe that point out the local attractions that sit near the water. Some of the significant buildings include the Dresden Opera House, the Royal Palace, the Zwinger Palace, the Cathedral, and the Church of Our Lady. The river passes underneath the Blue Wonder Bridge, Dresden's most famous bridge. The Albrechtsberg Castle can also be seen from the river just outside the center of the city. The river separates Dresden's old town from the new town.

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