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Dresden from A to Z - Guided tours of Dresden in English with your personal tour guide
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Guide to the sightseehing of the City of Dresden

Our website offers a selection of information on those sights of Dresden which you really should see. Furthermore, there is a brief survey of the history of our city. Get an overview of the most important sights in an individual guided tour "Dresden from A to Z" in cooperation with our partner. Photos: © LatLon-Europe, Pascal Jeanrenaud

Zwinger Palace Castle of the Residence Church of Our Lady - Frauenkirche Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Brühl Terrace Procession of Princes Historic Green Vault Semper Opera Theatre Square New Town - Neustadt Yenidze Pfunds Dairy Blue Wonder Meissen and porcelain Other places to visit in Saxony History of the City of Dresden

Zwinger Palace

Zwinger Palace Dresden

The "Zwinger Palace" was built by order of King August II., known as "the Strong", between 1709 and 1732 on the site of the former Dresden fortress. A Zwinger is the German term used for the part between the outer and inner walls of a fortress.

In the middle of the 19th century, the palace was completed by a new wing which closed the complex with the royal festival court. In this building, built by Gottfried Semper (known for the Dresden Opera House), is the famous picture gallery (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister), which exhibits masterpieces of German and European painting, for example, Raphael's "Sistine Madonna" and his famous dreamy cherubs (putti) known to all. Three other museums are housed in the Zwinger. The Zwinger was the first building to be rebuilt and restored after the war.

Dresden Guide

Opening hours:
• Museums are open 10am-6pm
• The Zwinger is closed on Monday and the Residence Tuesday

Tariffs (for the Zwinger):
• Adult 14 € - Reduced 10,50 - Children under 17 years old for free

Address:
• Theaterplatz - Several entries

Website: der-dresdner-zwinger.de - skd.museum

Castle of the Residence

Castle residence Dresden

Situated between the Frauenkirche and the Zwinger Palace, the Castle of the Residence in Dresden was built, completed and modified in several stages from 1287 onwards. It had been the seat of the House of Wettin since 1485 (the Princes are presented on the Fürstenzug). The oldest part is the base of the Hausmann Tower (you can go up there) dating from before 1400, the last 10 metres were added in 1674 by Johann Georg II. in the Baroque style.

The imposing building next to the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (Hofkirche) includes the Georg Gate, built in 1530, and on entering the large castle courtyard you can see the magnificent Sgraffito façade (photo) which has just been restored. In recent years new rooms and wings have been opened to the public.

Dresden Guide

To see in the castle (one tariff):
• Green vault (historic and new)
• The Cabinet of Stamps and the Cabinet of Coins
• Weapons Rooms and Parade Galleries
• The Turkish Chamber

Address:
• In the heart of Dresden - Several entrances

Website: skd.museum

Church of Our Lady - Frauenkirche

Church Lady dresden Frauenkirche

The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) opened its doors to the public one year before the 800th anniversary of Dresden in 2006, almost 60 years after it was almost completely destroyed by the bombing on 13 February 1945. Today, the Frauenkirche with its 91 metres high is once again one of the most beautiful evangelical churches in Germany.

Built between 1726 and 1743 by George Bähr with the support of Augustus the Strong on the site of an old Romanesque church (Zu unserer lieben Frauen), the king wanted the church to evoke the Venetian basilica Santa Maria della Salute. The present beautiful yellowish tint should not last, as the "Saxon sandstone" used tends to darken naturally over time.

Dresden Guide

Opening hours:
• Times vary according to the cults, generally from 10am to 4pm in winter and until 6pm in summer. Consult the online agenda for the day's schedule "Geöffnete Kirche".

Ticket prices:
• Access to the church is free (thanks for a donation). To climb on the dome and enjoy the view, please check the "Kuppelaufstieg" timetable. Price: 8 € (adult)

Address:
• Neumarkt, 01067 Dresden - www.frauenkirche-dresden.de

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

Cathedral holy Trinity dresden hofkirche

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity known as the Catholic Court Church is the seat of the Diocese of Dresden-Meissen. After converting to Catholicism in 1697 in order to become King of Poland, King Augustus II the Strong, who was not very versed in Catholicism, had Mass said in a modest chapel in the Castle of the Residence. But when the Lutheran population of Dresden was on the verge of building the largest Protestant church in Europe, the Frauenkrich, King August III of Poland ordered the construction of a Catholic counterpart. The Italian architect Gaetano Chiaveri built it between 1739 and 1755.

It was not until 1806, when Emperor Napoleon made the Electoral Duchy of Saxony a kingdom, that the bells rang, because until then the Lutheran population of Dresden had not appreciated this church. The crypt of the Cathedral holds the heart of the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland Augustus II, as well as the tombs of 49 members of the House of Wettin. During the bombing in February 1945, the church was largely destroyed and its reconstruction began under the GDR in 1962.

Dresden Guide

Opening hours:
• The church is only open for services until spring 2021

Address:
• Schloßstraße 24, 01067 Dresden
www.bistum-dresden-meissen.de

The Brühl Terrace

Terrace Brühl Dresde

The Brühl Terrace (Brühlsche Terrasse) is a 500-metre-long promenade that has long been regarded as the "Balcony of Europe". Starting at the Augustus Bridge and ending at the Carolabrücke, the terrace was laid out in the 16th century along the fortification on the Elbe River. It was opened to the public in 1814 before being redesigned in the 19th century to give the site its present appearance. It is a must-see on your next visit!

Various historical buildings, fountains and sculptures will be presented to you: The former parliament (Alter Landtag), the Sekundogenitur, the akademie and the Albertinum Museum.

After several years of work, the fortifications can once again be visited from the inside as part of a multimedia museum on the history of Dresden. Open from 30 November 2019, daily 10am-6pm (€10).

Dresden Guide

With LatLon-Dresden:
The museums of Dresden
Culture for Dresden and the Agenda 2021
Restaurants and hotels in Dresden

Procession of Princes

Procession Princes Elector saxony Dresden

The Fürstenzug (Procession) is a 102-metre long, 9.5-metre high historical fresco consisting of 25,000 porcelain tiles from the famous Meißen, a neighbouring town of Dresden. The depiction of the Elector Princes and Kings of the House of Wettin had an ancestor made of limewater in 1589.

To celebrate the 800th anniversary of Wettin's princely family, a new fresco was created by Wilhelm Walther between 1872 and 1876 in Sgraffito with, in addition to the Procession of Princes, the integration of representatives of the people, soldiers, students and artists, including W. Walther himself who closes the march. As this Procession did not stand up well to the winter climate, a new version, the one you can admire today, was carried out until 1906/7 by the famous Porcelain Factory. Despite the bombing in 1945, only 200 tiles had to be replaced during the restoration in 1979.

Visite guidée de Dresde
Guide susanne Dresde tour guidé Profitez d’une visite guidée en privé et personnalisée de Dresde avec votre guide Susanne Reichelt. Au départ de votre hôtel, elle pourra vous présenter les joyaux de la ville, ce que vous ne verrez pas seuls et elle peut aussi vous guider dans les musées avec ses pièces maitresses. - Informations et réservation

Historic Green Vault

Historic Green Vault dresde

The "Green Vault" (Grüne Gewölbe) is the rich collection of coins of all origins acquired over the centuries by the princes and kings of Saxony. Formerly stored under a green vault, the collection was exhibited from 1729 onwards in nine rooms specially designed by Auguste Le Fort in the Castle of the Residence. Three of the rooms were destroyed during the bombing in 1945 and their restoration took several years before opening in 2006.

The "Green Vault" is part of the museums of the "Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden" and can be visited by buying a ticket in advance (see information on our museums page). As an alternative to the historical rooms, there is also the new "Grüne Gewölbe" which can be visited without special arrangements.

Dresden Guide

Opening hours:
• Every day 10am-6pm - Closed on Tuesdays
Ticket prices:
• 14 € - Free for children under 17. Buy your tickets online, especially for the Historic Green Vault.
Address:
• Residenzschloss - Taschenberg 2, 01067 Dresden
gruenes-gewoelbe.skd.museum

The Semper Opera

Semper Opera semperoper dresde

Together with the Frauenkirche, the opera "Semperoper" is one of the great symbols of the city of Dresden, whether for its belonging to the famous landscape of the Florence of the Elbe (visible from the right bank) or for its association with one of the best beers in Germany, the Radeberger, a lager produced in the region

The first opera house which was built from 1838 onwards by Gottfried Semper (see Zwinger) burnt down in 1869 and was reopened in 1878. The plans for the new opera house are also attributed to the architect Semper, but they were sent to his son Manfred because Gottfried Semper was banned from staying here for taking part in the revolutionary uprising of 1849. On February 13, 1945 the Semperoper was almost destroyed by bombing and was restored to its original state in 1977. Its third inauguration took place on February 13, 1985.

Dresden Guide

Opening hours:
• Buy your tickets online or on site in the "Schinkelwache" building on the Theaterplatz in front of the Opera House. Ticket offices are open Monday to Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm (January-March 10am-1pm).

Address:
• Theaterplatz 2, 01067 Dresden - www.semperoper.de

Les visites guidées de Dresde avec Susanne Reichelt

Visites guidées musées Dresde

Des tours guidés thématiques, de musées et à la carte avec votre guide privé

Une visite guidée est le meilleur moyen pour comprendre et apprécier une ville comme Dresde avec sa longue et passionnante histoire ainsi que ses monuments historiques.

Susanne Reichelt vous propose des visites guidées personnalisées et privées de Dresde qui pourront inclure un ou plusieurs musées de Dresde. Pour les groupes et les agences de voyages, elle offre différents services et des tours guidés adaptés à vos besoins.

Informations ici et réservation de votre visite guidée :

Par e-mail à reicheltsusanne@tourguide-dresden.de ou au +49 (0)172. 370 16 16

La Theatre Square - Theaterplatz

Theatre Square dresden

There are four important squares in Dresden: the former Alter Markt (Alter Markt), towards the Kreuzkirche (Kreuzkirche), has been largely redesigned in a style that blends classical and GDR architecture. The Neustädter Markt is the square in the baroque New Town on the right bank of the Elbe. The third place, the Neumarkt, is the one opposite the famous Frauenkirche. It is undergoing a renaissance with the construction of new historic districts. Finally, the most beautiful square known as Theaterplatz is the central point for your visit to Dresden, where you will find the Schinkelwache, the Zwinger, the Castle of the Residence, the Cathedral and also the Italian Village, a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the Elbe.

Dresden Guide

Restaurants:
• For a good German pastry : Schinkelwache
• German Specialties: Italienisches Dörfchen

New Town - Neustadt

New Town dresden Neustadt

The New Town (Neustadt) is the baroque quarter on the right bank of the Elbe, which was redesigned until 1732 after the fire in the former "Altendresden". The district is rich in restaurants, small shops and various cultural institutions spread over the sometimes narrow and always charming streets of this district.

By taking the Augustus Bridge, you will admire from the banks, the famous view of Florence from the Elba. Moreover, it is in this area, on the Neustädter Markt, that you will see the Golden Knight (photo at the top of the page) representing Augustus the Strong and also dating from 1732. Day or night, this is a district that you must visit!

Dresden Guide

• Many art galleries are waiting for you - see here
• The covered market "Neustädter" on Metzer Straße 1 is open from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 8pm. markthalle-dresden.de
• Take a stroll through the Kunsthof, a complex of courtyards with galleries, cafés and shops. Between Görlitzer Straße 21-25 and Alaunstraße 70 - kunsthof-dresden.de

Yenidze

cigarette factory Yenidze

The former Yenidze Cigarette Factory is one of the architectural treasures of the city of Dresden and is clearly visible from the right bank of the Elbe River. Built in the style of a mosque in 1908, the building has a dome of exceptional beauty that rises to a height of 62 metres. Yenidze is now used by offices and under the dome there are 1001 nights awaiting you with a panoramic restaurant.

Dresden Guide

• Weißeritzstrasse 3, 01067 Dresden - www.yenidze.eu
• Yenidze Rooftop Restaurant - www.kuppelrestaurant.de

Tour panoramique dresde susanne reichelt Tour panoramique de Dresde
Que vous soyez en groupe ou en famille, Susanne Reichelt vous organise des tours en car ou en limousine à la découverte des lieux plus éloignés comme la laiterie Pfunds, le Miracle bleu ou Yenidze. Retrouvez toutes les visites guidées ici.

Pfunds Dairy

Milk shop Pfund Dairy dresden

At the end of the 19th century the farmer Paul Pfund, his wife and six cows settled in Dresden with the aim of providing the city's inhabitants with quality dairy products. In 1880 the company Pfunds was founded and quickly gained international renown. The heart of the company is the building in Bautzner Straße with the world's most beautiful dairy on the ground floor (Guinness Book) with walls completely covered with catelles painted by Villeroy & Boch. To discover this surprising place, for shopping or eating, take tram line 11 to the Pulsnitzer Straße stop. (Photo © www.pfunds.de)

Dresden Guide

• Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm - Sunday 10am-3pm
• Various cheese tastings are offered at the dairy
• Bautzner Str. 79, 01099 Dresden - www.pfunds.de
•You will be able to go there as part of a guided tour with your guide.

Blue Wonder - Blaues Wunder

Blue Wonder dresde Blaues Wunder

Das blaue Wunder or in English the Blue Wonder has been famous for a long time because of its dimensions (280 m.) and its type of construction (Cantilever Bridge) unique at the time. It connects the district of Blasewitz (left bank of the Elbe) and Loschwitz (right bank with its suspended funicular-monorail railway). The bridge was built between 1891 and 1893 by Claus Koepcke and Hans Manfred Krüger for the then high price of 2.25 million gold marks. Luck and the mobilization of the population meant that it emerged unscathed from the war and its planned destruction by the German army. A few tips are waiting for you here.

Also on LatLon-Dresden

The other pages for your holiday in Dresden :
The Agenda 2021 for Dresden and Culture
All museums in Dresden
The city tours in Dresden with your guide
Our recommendations for hotels and restaurants
Useful information and the city of Dresden in figures

Meissen and porcelain

Meissen dresden saxe porcelaine

For most of you, when you hear Meissen, you think of the oldest porcelain factory in Europe, and indeed, passing through the region of Saxony, you must absolutely visit this factory which offers a museum and demonstration workshops (see below).

But let's not forget this city which was founded by Henry I of Saxony in 922 on a rock overlooking the Elbe. For several centuries as the capital of the Margraviate of Misnie, Meissen was a prosperous city. Discover today its medieval alleys, its castle (Albrechtsburg), its Dom (Cathedral of Saints John and Donatus), built from 1250 on the remains of a Romanesque church and completed towards the end of the 15th century.

Dresden Guide

• Open daily from 9am to 5pm - 12 € p.p. for the museum and the visit of the demonstration workshops (audio-guide in 14 languages).
• Take the S-Bahn line S1 to the station "Triebischtal - Meissen" and then a 13-minute walk. Total time 50 min.
• Talstraße 9, 01662 Meißen - www.erlebniswelt-meissen.com

Other places to visit in Saxony

dresden saxony bastei

We advise you to spend two days in Dresden to fully appreciate this city, for example from Berlin. However, the entire region of Saxony, especially in the direction of Saxon Switzerland, is of great natural, cultural and historical wealth. A one-week stay would allow you to spend an unforgettable holiday. Here are some examples of what you can visit and some useful links (often in German):

Meißen This neighbouring town of Dresden was the first Residence of the House of Wettin. It has a well-preserved historic centre and you can also visit the famous porcelain factory.
• The Porcelain Manufacture: www.erlebniswelt-meissen.com
• City of Meißen website: www.stadt-meissen.de

Pillnitz
As you head east along the Elbe towards Saxon Switzerland you cannot pass without stopping and visiting the summer castle of the House of Wettin. Situated on the right bank of the Elbe, the castle is a magnificent example of the style of the Chinoiserie in vogue in the 18th century. You will also find there a very complete museum of decorative arts. On the wall overlooking the Elbe, you can read the height of the floods of this sometimes destructive river (the flood of August 2002 is still in everyone's memory).
• The Pillnitz Castle website: www.schlosspillnitz.de

Moritzburg
The origins of the castle on an artificial island and its adjoining park date back to Prince Moritz (1542-1546) and Augustus the Strong (1661-1672). In addition to the Baroque Museum, there are numerous cultural events on offer, including the annual Chamber Music Festival.
• The village of Moritzburg: www.moritzburg.de
• The Castle of Moritzburg: www.schloss-moritzburg.de
• The Moritzburg Festival: www.moritzburgfestival.de

Saxon Switzerland
Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy the Elbe landscape, especially at the spa village of Rathen, from where you can reach the famous rock formations of the "Bastei" (Photo), one of the most visited geological sites in Germany and known from calendar pictures, in just one hour's walk.
• The village of Rathen: www.kurort-rathen.de
• The Bastei: www.saechsische-schweiz.de

The Elbe Valley
The riches of the Elbe Valley do not stop at the above descriptions, whether you travel by boat on a cruise, by car or by bike, you can also enjoy other interesting sights, for example the Königstein Fortress hanging on a high hill overlooking the entire valley.

guide tour guidéTour guidé de la région avec Susanne Reichelt
Que vous soyez en famille ou en groupe, prenez contact avec la guide officielle de Dresde et de Saxe, Susanne Reichelt. Elle vous proposera une journée guidée personnalisée et organisera tous les aspects pratiques, par exemple pour le vieux bateau à vapeur que vous pourrez prendre ou un car si vous le souhaitez. Plus d'informations ici.

History of the City of Dresden

guided tour dresden

Summarizing the history of a city in one page, which is already a challenge for many cities, is even more so for Dresden and its more than 1000 years of history. The following presentation is divided into several historical chapters to help you understand Dresden's rich past. The text is based on various sources including several articles from the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

The Slavic origins of Dresden and the Middle Ages
The history of the city of Dresden, the "Florence of the Elbe", begins at the beginning of the 7th century with a Slavic presence in the form of a fishing village called "Drezdzany", meaning "The inhabitants of a swamp forest - Sumpfwaldbewohner". Colonization and Christianization began in 929 after the king and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Henry I. defeated the Slavs; the March of Misnie (Meissen) was founded and a first fortress was built in Meißen, which was the main residence of the March between 986 and 1423. In 1089, still in Meißen, the 800 years of the reigning Wettiner dynasty began with Margrave Heinrich I. (von Eilenburg). The first written mention of "Dresden" is dated 31 March 1206, marking the founding act of the town, which celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2006.
In 1403, Altendresden became a town in its own right with all its rights, it was renamed "Neustadt" and has been linked to the left bank of the river Elbe (today's old town) by a wooden bridge since the 12th century. The first stone bridge is attested in 1287 (the oldest of its kind in the world).
In the Middle Ages, life was marked by flourishing trade thanks to the development of trade routes on land and on the Elbe. In addition, Dresden (Nisani) is a well-known and popular place of pilgrimage with the "Zu Unser Lieben Frauen" church dedicated to the Virgin Mary (on the site of today's Frauenkirche) but also with the "Kreuzkirche" church and its reliquary, a glimmer of the Holy Cross. As far as religion is concerned, the Lutheran reform reached Dresden in 1539 and in 1697 the Elector Augustus the Strong converted to Catholicism and became King of Poland under the title of August II.

Dresden becomes the residence of the House of Wettin - The Renaissance
From 1464 the two brothers Ernst and Albrecht of the Wettiner dynasty shared power, however in 1485 all the Wettiner territories were divided (Leipziger Teilung) to form an "Ernestine" and an "Albertine" lineage. From that moment on, Dresden's fate was linked to Albertine history, Albrecht having made the city his permanent residence. But before evoking the highlights of this reigning lineage which will end in 1918, a little look back is necessary. In 1423, Friedrich I. (der Streitbare), Margrave of Meißen, was granted the great privilege by the Emperor to also hold the title and office of Elector of Saxony (Kurfürst von Sachsen), thus bringing the House of Wettin (Ernestine lineage until 1547, then Albertine with Kurfürst Moritz) into the very closed circle (7) of the Emperor's electors (often from father to son) of the Holy Roman Empire (until 1806).
Although the "division of Leipzig" marked a great turning point in the history of Dresden, the city still had a few trials to overcome, starting with the destruction by fire of half the city and its (larger) reconstruction by Duke Georg (1500-39) with the addition of a new fortification (including the Georg Gate). Another tormented period for Saxony was the Thirty Years' War (1618-48) from which it emerged without any direct destruction but with dramatic economic consequences due to famine, plague and its many deaths! Fortunately, as is often the case with the Wettiners, some rulers succeeded in raising Dresden and making it even more beautiful... Florence on the Elbe is not far away!

The Augustinian Period (Augusteisches Zeitalter) 1696 - 1756 - The Baroque
The most glorious period in the history of Dresden began in 1697 with the coronation of Frederick Augustus I as King of Poland under the name of Augustus II. The Baroque city (Neustadt) was built on the site of Altendresden. In the old town, the Zwinger was built as well as the Frauenkirche and some other buildings. Augustus II. also planned the Cathedral, which was built by his son Augustus III. a king who completed several other major projects. The present image of Dresden is largely due to his two kings, and was immortalized around 1750 by the painter Canaletto (Bernardo Bellotto) who painted the landscape of Dresden on the right bank of the Elbe (Neustadt - On the bank a "Window" allows you to photograph this panorama).

Seven Years War - Napoleon - the 19th century
The prosperous period came to an end with the Seven Years' War (1756 - 63), as the development of the city was halted due to the war against Prussia by Frederick II. The city suffered particularly from the attempted capture of the city, its encirclement and bombing in July 1760, and it took sixty years for the city to return to the level it had been before the Seven Years' War. However, during these years, the city grew because of the many newcomers, the French fleeing the revolution and especially the Poles after the second division of Poland in 1793.
The highlight of the Napoleonic period is that Prince Frederick Augustus III. became King of Saxony (Frederick Augustus I.) after Saxony joined the Rhine Confederation (Rheinbund). After the Battle of Leipzig (16-19 October 1813) and the surrender of Marshal St. Cyr, Dresden was occupied by the Russian (17 November) and then Prussian army from 8 November 1814 until 7 June 1815 when King Frederick Augustus regained power. The following years were favourable to the king loved by the people and nicknamed "The Just" for having defeated the city's fortifications. The development of the city (paving of the streets, gas lighting, postal service, schools) continued under King Anton and Frederick Augustus II. As in the rest of Germany, large population increases and the expansion of the city outside the former borders resulted from the boom of industrialization as early as 1840 and the founding of the Second German Empire in 1871 (Dresden became one of the major German cities for the army). Around 1900, with 500'000 inhabitants, Dresden became the 4th largest city in Germany.

1918 - 2009: The modern history of Dresden and Saxony
The revolution of November 1918 forced Frederick Augustus III. to abdicate and the Free State of Saxony was founded on 10 November by the proclamation by the Social Democrat Hermann Fleißner. The equal right to vote for men and women from the age of 21 allowed after the elections of February 1919 to the young parliament to implement the new basic laws on 25 February 1919. The young state was marked by various episodes, some of them dark, but Saxony and Dresden as a whole developed, with many new districts and a growing population.
In 1929, the NSDAP entered parliament, but they were only able to bring in their members of parliament in a minority. After the "Gleichschaltung" of the German Länder in 1933 and 1934, the state of Saxony ceased to exist. Inseparable from the consequences of the war in Germany, which had long been spared by the bombing, Dresden was destroyed by the bombings of 13 and 14 February 1945. It took more than sixty years to remove the scars of those two days, the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche was a symbol.
Under Soviet control and in the GDR, Saxony was profoundly reshaped (territorially, politically and economically). The city was rebuilt according to the architectural models of the time but also with the aim of reviving the historic centre of Dresden; most of the buildings you visit today were rebuilt and restored by the GDR. Since German reunification on 3 October 1990, the Free State of Saxony has consisted of three former GDR districts (Dresden, Chemnitz and Leipzig). In 1992, following a referendum, Hoyerswerda and Weißwasser were added to Saxony.
In recent years, Dresden has experienced a renaissance, many districts and monuments have been restored, museums have been restructured to match their richness and the city once again enjoys an international reputation for the quality of tourism as evidenced by the strong increase in the number of visitors. The only tragic event was the devastating floods of August 2002. In 2006, Dresden celebrated its 800th anniversary.

We hope that this summary of the history of Dresden and Saxony has fascinated you and if you would like to deepen this history, we recommend the services of our guide with a guided tour through the Florence of the Elbe