Last year, on our whirlwind trip around Eastern Europe, we visited Dresden, a small town in Germany with an interesting history. It used to be the capital of Saxony before getting completely destroyed by bombers during WWII. Most of the historic center has been reconstructed over the years to bring it back to its former glory.
One of my favorite places is the Zwinger palace, the most beautiful structure you’ll see in Dresden or perhaps even Germany. The buildings are connected by a series of walkways that are lined with an interesting mix of Rococo sculptures and statues. This particular path passes right over the Crown Gate, the well-known entrance into the interior courtyard.
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On our way to Prague, we took a small detour and spent a few hours in Dresden. Stepping out of the train, we could see that it was going to be a dreary day and we were clearly not dressed warm enough since the sky was overcast and threatening to rain. I was sick like a dog, fighting a cold that I had since our first day in Europe and couldn’t seem to shake off, so our first stop was the pharmacia to see if we could get some good ole German medication. Through some stilted communication on my part, the pharmacist suggested some lozenges which were supposed to help me sing. I don’t know about singing, I’d settle for just talking.
Dresden was the capital of old Saxony. It was home to many Saxon princes and kings for hundreds of years, the most famous of them being August der Starke (Augustus the Strong), whose kingdom included Poland. But it is best known for the controversial blitz attack by Allied forces in 1945 when the entire city center was razed to the ground, killing over 25,000 people. Dresden had weathered the war, and since then many of the destroyed buildings have been painstakingly reconstructed and restored to their former glory: the Zwinger was rebuilt in 1964, the Semper Opera house in 1985, and most famous landmark of Dresden, the Frauenkirche was completed in 2005. Today, the city has regained much of its original charm, and hosts over 10 million tourists a year.
On our way to Prague, we made a pit stop in the quaint German city of Dresden. Even though the weather there was cold and windy, we were happy to be out exploring this absolutely beautiful town. Everywhere you turn, there is another elaborate building or another statue to feast your eyes on. One of the places we stopped in was the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic church), where we found some reprieve from the cold while listening to the soothing organ music vibrating through the white halls.