Dresden City Travel Guide

Dresden semper opera house - Foto: DWT - Dittrich

Dresden is a city of startling contrasts. Next to the beautiful vistas and impressive sights in the city (most of the famous buildings destroyed in World War II have been restored or rebuilt from scratch) one can find several appalling areas and depressing neighbourhoods.

Partly, history is to blame for this.

Two long nights in February 1945 were enough to annihilate the bigger part of Dresden's architectural heritage. The city was once an important cultural and commercial metropolis featuring some of Germany's most impressive architecture. However, Dresden was practically wiped out during two nights of air raids in February, 1945. Severe bombing turned the proud centre of the city into a heap of rubble. Even today, the ruins of the 'Frauenkirche' (women's church) commemorate this event. Only now, half a century later, is the church being rebuilt using all that original materials that can still be found.

Dresden's city centre is home to many other impressive sights: the Semperoper, renowned for its excellent acoustics, the baroque 'Zwinger', cathedral, and royal castle are just some of the highlights.

Dresden's equivalent to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is called the Blue Wonder ('Blaues Wunder'). The impressive bridge is an atypical example of 19th century fascination with steel and engineering.

Learn German in Dresden