Although the Lutheran Church of Our Lady is today an internationally recognised symbol of Protestant architecture as well as a famous Dresden landmark, the Reformation initially attracted very few supporters in the city.
Luther visited Dresden in 1516 and 1518, one year after nailing his theses to the church door in Wittenberg. He was sent by his order to the Augustinian monastery, where he received a warm welcome but little sympathy for his ideas. This rejection was supported by the resident Dresden duke, who had every Lutheran Bible on his territory confiscated in 1523. Luther's followers subsequently did take the Reformation to Dresden, as commemorated by the Church of Our Lady, the Luther statue outside the church and the Martin Luther Church in Dresden's Neustadt district.
Dresden, 'Florence of the Elbe', is an artwork in itself. Beautiful buildings such as the baroque Zwinger Palace, magnificent treasures and world-class museums make this city in the Free State of Saxony a hotspot for cultural tourists from all over the world. Nature lovers can explore the Saxon Switzerland National Park with its bizarre rock formations and the gentle vineyards of the Elbe valley.
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What travellers from around the world are saying
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!read more »
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!read more »
Erich Kästner Museum
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!read more »
Dresden Hygiene Museum
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.read more »
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.read more »
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.read more »
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."read more »