Dresden

Dresden: Et andet navn for kultur.

Man kan opfatte og definere kultur på mange, helt forskellige måder. Man kan imidlertid også bare sige: Dresden. Så overvældende er den mængde og den pragt af fremragende kultur, som helt tager vejret fra den besøgende. Og fordi indbyggerne i Dresden har sørget for, at det hele ligger omkranset af et smukt flodlandskab, går forbavselsen hurtigt over i den rene begejstring.

Egentlig bør man ikke bruge betegnelsen „verdensberømt“ i flæng. Men i Dresden er den imidlertid særdeles velanbragt. Ikke blot på grund af de „berømte tre“, Zwinger, Semperoper og Frauenkirche, men også for Brühlsche Terrasse og Residenzschloss, for Elbschlösser på Loschwitzer Hang, for Blasewitzer Villenviertel, Hellerauer Gartenstadt og naturligvis for de statslige kunstsamlingers tolv museer. Og sidst men ikke mindst for bycentrets placering på Elbens venstre bred, i en henrivende bugtning af floden.

Det „mest verdensberømte“ bygningsværk er nok Zwinger, over alt beundret som højdepunktet af barokkens bygningskunst. Frauenkirche, der er genopstået i al sin glans fra ruinerne, er protestantismens måske mest betydningsfulde kirke, og den massive Sächsische Staatsoper i italiensk højrenæssancestil, kaldet Semperoper efter sin skaber, er uden tvivl et af verdens smukkeste musikteatre. Fra parkanlægget på Brühlsche Terrasse, „Europas altan“, har man et storslået udsyn over Elben og Neustadt på den anden side; omgivet af repræsentative bygningsværker som Kunstakademiet og Albertinum med Galerie Neue Meister og skulptursamlingen er det et af byens mange andre kulturelle highlights. Også de storslåede museer som Grüne Gewölbe i Residenzschloss – verdens største skattekammer – Türckische Cammer og Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister med Rafaels Sixtiniske Madonna beriger kulturoplevelsen på uovertruffen vis.

Naturligvis er Dresden også verdensberømt for sin musik, og har været det gennem næsten 700 år. Ikke blot operaen, også Staatskapelle, Philharmonie og Kreuzchor vækker begejstring med deres orkestre og ensembler. Internationale festspil, engagerende teater- og danseproduktioner samt topevents som SemperOpernball er på spilleplanen året igennem. Kultur er i Dresden imidlertid også jazz: Den Internationale Dixieland Festival er Europas største oldtime-jazzfestival. Traditionelle højdepunkter er Riverboat Shuffle, jazz-strøget på Prager Straße og dixieland-paraden gennem den gamle by. Open-air-events som filmeventen "Filmnächte am Elbufer", Elbhangfesten og koncerter i de romantiske parkanlæg ved slottene ved Elben fuldender festspilkalenderen.

At Dresden ikke blot plejer traditionerne ses af flere arkitektoniske mesterværker. Karakteristiske eksempler er f.eks. Neue Synagoge og det dekonstruktivistiske UFA-Kristallpalast af den østrigske stjernearkitekt Coop Himmelb(l)au. Også hovedbanegården, hvis historiske jernkonstruktion stjernearkitekten Sir Norman Foster har overdækket med en transparent teflon-membran, og det militærhistoriske museum er seværdige. Sidstnævnte er for nyligt blevet udvidet og ændret efter et modigt design af Daniel Liebeskind. Modig var i sin tid også bygningen af „Blaues Wunder“: Europas første bro uden strømpiller er et ingeniørmæssigt mesterværk og samtidig et vidunderligt udsigtspunkt.

Og hvis du en gang skulle besøge Dresden i december, venter der dig endnu en kulturel begivenhed: Striezelmarkt. Tysklands ældste julemarked nævnes første gang i dokumenter i 1434, og det er den dag i dag en fest af lys, farver og dufte. Nyd den højtidelige stemning mellem Glühwein, julekager og varme kastanjer – og lær en Dresden-specialitet at kende: Den særlige julekage Christstollen, som her kaldes „Striezel“, og som kun kan karakteriseres med ét ord: verdensberømt.

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Stollenfest

The Christmas Stollen (fruit cake) of Dresden is famous all over the world. It was already baked in the 15th century, and in the 18th century the Stollenfest was born. In 1730 August II the Strong ordered the Bakers’ Guild of Dresden to make a giant 1.7-ton Stollen. In 2013 the giant Stollen was 4 tons heavy and was paraded in the traditional way on the back of a horse-drawn carriage through the city. At Striezelmarkt, one of the most beautiful Christmas markets of Germany, the giant Stollen gets sold for a good cause. This year it took 2,5h hours and the whole Stollen was gone. For sure you can also buy smaller Stollen at Striezelmarkt and everywhere else in Dresden during Christmas time. The Stollenfest always takes place on the Saturday before the second Sunday in Advent. A fun event to get into Christmas mood!

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yvonne@justtravelous.com

Eierschecke

Eierschecke: A Sweet Saxon Dessert

Eierschecke is the Saxon interpretation of cheesecake. It often comes with an apple topping. In the 14th century “Schecke” was a piece of clothing that men would wear, much like a long robe with a tight waist. The waist would divide the robe into three pieces (top, waist, lower skirt) much like the dessert, which consist of three different layers. You can get them at all the bakeries so make sure you plan for a coffee & cake break while visiting!

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lea@reiseblogger-kollektiv.com

Erich Kästner Museum

Exploring the Life of the German Author Erich Kästner

Remember Lindsay Lohan in the role of a young girl finding out about her twin sister in the 1996 movie “The Parent Trap”? One of the many movies that's based on one of Erich Kästner's great writing. The author was born in Königsbrücker Straße, not far from the place that now houses the Erich Kästner mirco museum – not your everyday museum. Much like in a traversable treasure chest you can walk through the museum and open draws that will reveal bits and pieces of Kästner's life and work. The deeper you dig through photos, letters, old theater programs and books, the more you'll want to read!

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lea@reiseblogger-kollektiv.com

Dresden Hygiene Museum

Explore The Human Body in Dresden

If you're into biology and like watching documentaries on the human body this is a must see when you're in town! The Hygiene Museum Dresden is one big adventure to explore the human body. The permanent exhibition displays a large part of the museum's extensive collection, which is made accessible to all ages with the help of media units and interactive elements throughout the museum. The museum itself dates back to the early 20th century. It was first opened by a local businessman and manufacturer of hygiene products. The museum was also the first museum to host the International Hygiene Exhibition in 1911. Since 1930, the best known object is probably the “Transparent Man” - a life-size human skeleton with artificial internal organs as well as arteries and venes. The “Gläserne Mensch” (literally: glass human) has also become a symbol for the museum itself.

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lea@reiseblogger-kollektiv.com

Frauenkirche - Church of Our Lady

Frauenkirche - Church of Our Lady

The Frauenkirche is actually a relatively new sight – at least for for Dresden locals. The Lutheran church vanished from Dresden's skyline in the devastating bombings of the city during World War II in 1945. The ruins where then kept as an anti-war memorial and restoration didn't starting until after the reunification of Germany in 1989. 60 years later in 2005 it was finally reopened. The costly reconstruction of the dome was financed with donations. One very large donation came from Günter Blobel, an American with German roots. He had seen the Church of Our Lady just before the city was bombed and took an interested in restoring the city. In 1999 Blobel won the Nobel Prize for medicine and donated the entire amount of his winning money towards the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche and other restoration works in Dresden. If look at the church from the outside you'll spot some dark stones in the walls – those are the original stones.

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lea@reiseblogger-kollektiv.com

Semperoper

Semper Opera

The Dresden Opera House, more commonly known as the Semperoper, is only a short walk from the famous Zwinger complex in Dresden. It's another prime example of baroque architecture and amazes millions of visitors even just from the outside. If you want to see it from the inside you can either go on a tour or if you have the time and an interest in Opera get some tickets for one of the shows at night. If you look at the main entrance from the front side you'll find two huge statues. One is of the famous writer Friedrich Schiller (right hand side) and the other one depicts Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Both of them where part of the Weimar Classicism, a cultural and literary movement in Germany in the 18th century. If you walk around the building you can spot some more statues of famous thinkers and artists such as Shakespeare, Moliere as well as Roman and Greek gods.

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lea@reiseblogger-kollektiv.com

Zwinger Palace

Zwinger Palace

The Dresden Zwinger is one of Germany's best known and most magnificent baroque buildings. It was commissioned to Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann by Augustus the Strong in 1710. He demanded the architect to include an Orangery for growing oranges, which in those days where called golden apples. As the name already suggests, golden apples where a symbol of power and influence and thought to bring good fortune. Most likely the reason why August the Strong had his people plant over a thousand plants. Today the Zwinger accommodates several museums and stages for music and theater shows. Even if you don't go inside the museum make sure you check it out from the outside and you'll see what Goethe meant when he described it: “I entered this sanctum, and my sense of amazement transcended every conception that I had ever previously had."

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lea@reiseblogger-kollektiv.com