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.