Augustus the Strong, the art-loving Elector of Saxony, made Dresden a centre of the arts of European standing in the early 18th century. Magnificent baroque buildings in and around still bear witness to this period.
Albrechtsburg Castle, Meissen
Meissen's famous landmark sits in splendour overlooking the town, which is famous for its porcelain. Built in the 15th century, it is considered to be Germany's earliest example of a purely residential castle. Besides the impressive cathedral, the castle ward also features the Grand Staircase, a semi-open spiral stairwell that is unsurpassed in terms of artistry and scale.
Even the writer Heinrich von Kleist was distracted from his reading here as he "looked down from the high banks into the wonderful Elbe Valley below". Known as the 'balcony of Europe' because of the huge flight of steps leading up from the palace square, Brühl Terrace attracts visitors from all over the world.
Grosssedlitz is one of Germany's finest and most unusual garden compositions. Landscaping began in 1719, and after Augustus the Strong took such a delight in the gardens he bought the site in 1723. He then had them extensively converted according to his own designs in the French style.
Moritzburg Palace is one of the most impressive baroque palaces in central Europe. Reached via a tree-lined avenue, it is situated on an island in the middle of a lake. After visiting the palace, you can enjoy a romantic stroll to the enchanting Fasanenschlösschen (little pheasant castle) built in the rococo style.
Dresden's Zwinger Palace is famous around the world for its beautiful baroque architecture. It was built in 1709 during the reign of Augustus the Strong. The remarkable sculptures adorning the gallery walls are by various artists and help make this one of the main attractions in Saxony's regional capital.
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