Castles & Palaces

Zwinger Palace, Dresden – baroque architectural perfection

Dresden: Zwinger, rampart pavilion in the evening ©Lookphotos (Wolfgang Ehn)

Dresden's Zwinger Palace is famous the world over as a masterpiece of baroque architecture dating back to the time of Augustus the Strong. It's no wonder that this remarkable building is now one of the main attractions in the state capital of Saxony.

Dresden's Zwinger Palace was built in 1709 as a venue for tournaments and other court games played by the nobility in Saxony. The Long Gallery was created in 1712, whilst the Crown Gate, the most frequently photographed part of the entire attraction, has existed since 1714. Zwinger Palace was officially inaugurated in 1719 at the wedding of Frederick Augustus to Maria Josepha, the daughter of the Habsburg Emperor. The building was then ultimately completed in 1728, when it was ready to house its magnificent collections.

Most of the rooms inside the palace are now home to museums, including the Dresden Porcelain Collection, which is one of the largest in the world. The armoury is without doubt another highlight, featuring a magnificent collection of weaponry and garments. The Semper Gallery is also well worth a visit since it contains a globally significant collection of paintings dating from the Renaissance to the baroque period, including The Sistine Madonna by Raphael. Another charming nearby attraction is the Nymph Bath, one of the most stunning baroque fountains that Germany has to offer.

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