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Saxony is looking back at a continuous history of 1,200 years and it was ruled by one family for more than 800 years. The rulers from the Wettin dynasty built impressive castles and palaces, amassed some of the best art collections in the world and attracted musicians like Bach, Wagner, Schumann and Mendelssohn. Saxony has a wealth of traditions, especially at Christmas and Easter, and is famous for its high-end products, like Meissen, Europe’s oldest porcelain, and the watches from Glashütte.
Saxony’s capital, Dresden, is famous for its buildings and art collections. Along the winding Elbe River, architecture and nature are in perfect harmony. Lively Leipzig, best known for the oldest trade fair in Germany, is the most famous musical city in Europe besides Vienna and produces best-selling contemporary art. And smaller towns like Görlitz, Meissen, Torgau, Freiberg or Pirna present themselves in never-destroyed beauty. The Saxon Switzerland National Park, on the other side, is one of the most dramatic landscapes in Europe.
There are also some interesting connections to India: The centerpiece of the Green Vault treasury museum, one of 11 museums that form the renowned State Art Collections of Dresden, is a priceless table-sized miniature masterpiece made from precious metals and stones depicting the birthday of the Indian mogul ruler Aurangzeb. It was made by the famous jeweler family Dinglinger in Dresden. The famous Green Diamond in the same museum hails from India itself. The German editions of the works of Rabindranath Tagore, authorized by the author himself, were published in Leipzig. Tagore visited Dresden many times and was enthusiastically received by the court and the public on these occasions. Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg from Pulsnitz was the first Protestant missionary in India. He translated the Bible into Tamil and founded the Tamil Lutheran Church in Tarangambadi. And Subhas Chandra Bose’s Free India Legion was trained in Königsbrück near Dresden during World War II.
Getting to Saxony is easy. Dresden and Leipzig have international airports with great and fast connections to the German hubs of Frankfurt and Munich. Both cities are on the ICE train network and connected by various motorways. Berlin and Prague, with own airports, are both just 90 minutes away from Dresden.
So come and fall in love with Saxony!
Saxony is a prime destination for families. This is why Saxony tourism has created the “Family Holiday in Saxony” quality label to distinguish the best from the good. Family attractions can be found all over Saxony, just like family-friendly accommodation. Highlights include:
In a unique exhibition in Lichtenstein near Chemnitz, it is possible to take a journey around the world by exploring contemporary and traditional wooden art from all continents.
More information on: www.daetz-centrum.de
East Germany’s largest amusement park is located in the south of Leipzig. It offers themed attractions like the Valley of Pharaohs, the Knights’ Island, the Beach of the Gods, or the Empire of the Sun Temple.
More information on: www.belantis.de
Germany’s only tree-house hotel is part of a large adventure playground with imaginative wooden constructions, located just north of Görlitz on the Polish border.
More information on: www.kulturinsel.de
In 2011, the largest Saxon Zoo opened its latest attraction: Gondwanaland, Europe’s largest tropical hall. It joined Pongoland, the world’s largest artificial ape habitat, the Tiger Tundra, the elephants of the Ganesha Mandir and other outstanding zoo attractions.
More information on: www.zoo-leipzig.de
Saurierpark & Irrgarten Kleinwelka
Amazingly established by private initiative during Communist time and way before “Jurassic Park”, the Kleinwelka Dinosaur Park in Bautzen provides encounters with life-size dinosaur models. Right next to it, you can get amazed by Germany’s largest maze.
More information on: www.saurierpark.de
The Museum of Mankind in Dresden is the only museum in the world devoted to the human existence and the human nature. It is also famous for its special exhibitions and the “Dresden Children Museum” department where the little ones can explore all of their senses.
More information on: www.dhmd.de
True to its name, the oldest miniature park in the world, located in Oederan near Chemnitz and just one of many in Saxony, displays the 200 most beautiful buildings in the Saxon Ore Mountains which are coming alive with many movable parts and 1,300 figurines.
More information on: www.klein-erzgebirge.de
Getting to Saxony is easy. The Dresden and Leipzig international airports are well connected to the Lufthansa hubs of Frankfurt and Munich. Access is also possible from all other major German airports. The Berlin and Prague airports are just about 150 km away. Dresden and Leipzig are part of the German high-speed ICE rail network. Dresden also has EuroCity and night train connections to other European cities. Dresden is on the Berlin-Prague and Frankfurt-Krakow motorways, while Leipzig is on the Berlin-Munich connection.
Saxony offers a large variety of accommodation of all standards. All hotels were either newly-built or completely refurbished in the last twenty years, following German reunification. Major hotel brands have a presence in Dresden and Leipzig, while family-owned hotels dominate in the rural areas. Right in the heart of Dresden, a large number of apartments offers perfect accommodation for families and small groups. Accommodation can be booked directly from Saxony Tourism.
Dresden is the ideal base for trips in Saxony if you do not want to drive a car or hire a driver. Major sights like the Saxon Switzerland National Park, Meissen, Leipzig, Görlitz and Freiberg can be easily reached by train. The dense rail and bus network gives you a choice of local, regional and Saxony-wide tickets. Travel times within Saxony are short:
Germany is a safe country and Saxony is one of the safest regionis of Germany. In all tourist areas, you can feel safe at day and night times.
Duration of stay
To really enjoy Saxony, you need to spend a couple of days. If you are pressed for time, allow at least for two full days in Dresden. This will give you the pleasures of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe as well as a chance to see Meissen and the Saxon Switzerland National Park.
How to include Saxony
Compared to India, Germany is a very small country and the infrastructure is excellent. Thus, Saxony can be included in all German itineraries. A natural combination is Saxony, Berlin and Prague. Poland can also be added easily. But Saxony also borders Bavaria, so a Munich to Berlin trip should also include Saxony. And how about a trip from Switzerland to Saxon Switzerland? After all, the Saxon national park got its name from Swiss artists in the 19th century because it reminded them so much of their home country.
The most famous angels in the world
Everyone knows the two little angels, seemingly lost in thought. To see them in original as part of Raffael’s “Sistine Madonna” you have to visit the Old Masters Picture Gallery, just one of the fantastic museums of the Dresden State Art Collections.
More information on: www.skd.museum
The most beautiful dairy shop in the world
Certified by the Guinness World Records, the flagship shop of the former Pfund dairy empire is decorated completely with tiles made in cooperation with Dresden artists by Villeroy & Boch.
More information on: www.pfunds.de
Europe’s highest fortress
Covering a whole table mountain, Königstein Fortress was never conquered. From the top, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Saxon Switzerland National Park.
More information on: www.schloesserland-sachsen.de
The oldest and largest paddle steamer fleet in the world
No trip to Dresden is complete without a ride on a paddle steamer. Nine historic boats are in regular service and you can even charter them for events.
More information on: www.saechsische-dampfschiffahrt.de
The birthplace of Audi
When August Horch founded a new car company in Zwickau, he named it by his surname translated into Latin. Today, the factory is a museum illustrating more than 100 years of Saxon car manufacturing.
More information on: www.horch-museum.de
A unique concept
The Military History Museum in Dresden does not only impress with spectacular architecture. You will also find an exhibition which deals in most unusual ways with the effect of war on the human being.
More information on: www.mhmbw.de
The greatest musician of all times
Johann Sebastian Bach spent the last 27 years of his life in Leipzig and his grave can be found in St Thomas’ Church. The Bach Museum is just one of 23 stops on the self-guiding Leipzig Music Trail.
More information on: www.notenspur-leipzig.de
The oldest Christmas market
For almost 600 years, Dresden has been celebrating its famous Striezelmarkt. You will find it quintessentially Saxon, distinguished by traditional Christmas delights and Christmas ornaments made in the Ore Mountains.
More information on: www.striezelmarkt.de
The first newly-built Protestant church in the world
Saxons biggest contribution to world history was the Reformation. In 1544, the very first church built to the ideals of Martin Luther was dedicated in Torgau’s Hartenfels Castle with the reformer in attendance.
More information on: www.schloesserland-sachsen.de
The cradle of German Reunification
It was the people of Leipzig who gathered for peace prayers in St. Niclas’ Church and later for protest marches on the streets who brought an end to the German division. You can relive history in the former secret police headquarters.
More information on: www.runde-ecke-leipzig.de
Saxony offers a very different kind of shopping experience. While all the well-known brands of consumer goods can be found, often at very competitive prices, it is the shopping for locally-made crafts and luxury goods which makes a visit to Saxony complete. Naturally, famous Saxon products are available all over Saxony. However, you might prefer to buy them from the horse’s mouth after experiencing how they are made:
Europe’s first porcelain, distinguished by the oldest trademark of the world, the Crossed Blue Swords, has been made for more than 300 years. Visit the workshops and the museum, enjoy dinner or hot drinks ceremonies on Meissen Porcelain and shop at the factory outlet.
More information on: www.meissen.com
Watches from Glashütte
In a little town in the Ore Mountains, not far from Dresden, some of the best watches in the world have been made by various companies for more than 150 years. Lange & Söhne has been voted the most valuable German brand. Visit the German Watch Museum in the former watchmakers’ school and the transparent manufactory of Glashütte Original before you shop in the various outlets.
More information on: www.glashuette-original.com
In a unique factory in Dresden, Volkswagen makes its Phaeton luxury car. See every step of the transparent production and order or pick-up your vehicle. Tour the Porsche factory in Leipzig, take the Leipzig-built Panamera on the factory’s own FIS-certified racetrack or the Cayenne on the mud track and put down a down-payment or just enjoy the thrill of the moment.
More information on www.glaesernemanufaktur.de and on www.porsche-leipzig.com
365 days of Christmas
In the Ore Mountains, the famous German Christmas ornaments were invented, like the nutcracker, the smoking man, the candle arch and the pyramid. In the little village of Seiffen, where Christmas can be experienced all year long, visit the workshops of various toy makers and the Ore Mountains toy museum. Shop for a nutcracker made by the descendants of its inventor, or wooden animals created by the wheel turners, a profession that only exists in Seiffen area.
More information on: www.erzgebirge-tourismus.de
The sound of music
When it comes to music, there is no place in Germany like Saxony. This includes the making of music instruments, predominantly in the Vogtland region. In Markneukirchen, south of Plauen, visit the amazing Museum of Musical Instruments where most exhibits can also be performed for you. See how string, wind and brass instruments are made in various workshops and apply your own knowledge to one of the instruments and then buy or order one.
More information on: www.erlebniswelt-musikinstrumentenbau.de
Indian food is widely available in Saxony, not only in the large cities, but also in smaller towns like Bautzen, Görlitz, Meissen or Freiberg. Other international cuisine is also on offer. Due to the fact that more and more Germans have gone vegetarian, a number of vegetarian or even vegan restaurants have sprung up. Non-vegetarian restaurants normally offer a variety of vegetarian dishes.
Saxon food, like in the other parts of Germany, relies heavily on potato and meat dishes. Due to Saxony’s location, the Saxon cuisine is also influenced by the Bohemian and, thus, Austrian cuisine. Since hotels in Saxony are mainly family-owned enterprises, good regional food is also available, especially in the countryside. In such restaurants, traditional poor man’s dishes are offered, often in vegetarian form. Young chefs experiment with fusion cuisine, revamping traditional dishes into a lighter and more international form. Saxony also caters for the lovers of star-studded cuisine. The first star chef in East Germany came from Dresden while Leipzig’s Westin hotel boasts even a two-star chef today.
Do not forget to sample some of the famous sweet Saxon specialties:
The famous Dresden Christmas cake is made with various spices, lemon and orange pieces, almonds and raisins, and buttered after baking and covered in icing sugar.
For centuries and throughout the year, the gingerbread makers in Pulsnitz have turned out delicious gingerbread fingers filled with jam and coated with chocolate.
The cake specialty with three layers mainly consisting of dough, curd and whipped egg is available in Saxony only.
Eaten as a main course or a dessert, the little pancakes are made from mashed potatoes, curd, eggs and flour and served with apple sauce or berries.
Saxony is also the region in Germany where most beer is drunk. A large variety of beers, among them Germany’s oldest Pilsen-style beer, is available and beer gardens have a long tradition.
Saxony also has a winegrowing tradition of 850 years. On the Saxon Wine Route in and around Dresden, you can visit vintners and sample their products, among them the Saxon State Winery at Wackerbarth Castle, Europe’s first event winery.
Other alcoholic drinks also have a long tradition, like the herbal liqueurs from the mountainous regions. The fruit brandies of Augustus Rex and Prince zur Lippe have gained a high reputation among connoisseurs.
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Bautzner Strasse 45/47
Phone.: +49 351/49 17 00
Fax: +49 351/4 96 93 06
Contact Saxony Tourism India
Upper Ground-215C Sushant Arcade,
Sushant Lok Phase-I,
Gurgaon-122009 (Haryana) INDIA
Mr. Ashish Sharma