The Dresden Miracle...and other stories

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Welcome to the Saxon capital of Dresden. Sitting on the banks of the Elbe, this German city of soaring spires and stunning Baroque domes strikes a breathtaking silhouette from the river's north shore. Those who live there, love it - just hear what our guide Silvia has to say.

Willkommen in Dresden! I love to share art and beauty with friends - and my guests are friends. What a privilege to call such a great city my home and working place! I am a passionate guide and hold an MA in History and English Literature.

The Dresden Miracle

Dresden slowly and silently has risen from the ashes of World War II, because since 1945 Dresden folks have been taking tremendous efforts to reconstruct their architectural highlights one after the other. After years of re-construction, our most ardent wish was to finally build up the baroque FRAUENKIRCHE CHURCH - a poor ruin and yet a powerful symbol against the absurdity of war. Full of optimism (as we had just fought for our democratic rights and won by knocking down that wall which had split our country in two!) we started collecting money and fund raising in 1993. Our wish was met by unbelievable support worldwide. The sad heap of rubble transformed itself into a reconciliation symbol: people from all the countries that had killed each other during WWII contributed to the church’s resurrection in 2005. This re-consecrated church became Dresden's most popular and best-known building within 11 years only! Our crazy DRESDEN MIRACLE.

Imagine a walk through Dresden…

Let me take you on a walk now: a few steps behind the Frauenkirche you may admire the Art Academy with its immense glass cupola (respect-lessly called the "LEMON SQUEEZER"). Now let me present to you all our Saxon princes and kings on that long wall, painted on Meissen Porcelain Tiles - the "white gold of Saxony." 800 years of Royalties are here! They give us the overture to the Royal Palace with its Renaissance facade and elegant towers. Today it is full of museums such as the world-famous "GREEN VAULT." Filled with priceless treasures of art and gemstones, this collection is like a grand opera for your eyes!

Or perhaps you will prefer the "OLD MASTERS' ART MUSEUM" with Raphael’s "Sistine Madonna" and "Angels", Giorgione’s "Sleeping Venus", Correggio’s "Holy Night" … and countless other masterpieces. Over 500,000 art lovers visit this gallery every year, for good reason.

When you get hungry…

Passing by the Mistress's palace - all of a sudden there opens the Zwinger Palace's serene and cheerful courtyard: "party zone of the 18th century"! Entranced by its playful statues and spring fountains, here we absolutely need a "Kaffeepause". In winter times it is a must to taste "DRESDENER STOLLEN": a dream of butter, rum-drunk sultanas, almonds, and some secrets we keep for ourselves...Aah! It is sweet paradise on earth! And we won’t mind that it’s the opposite of WeightWatcher's good intentions... In all seasons we are addicted to "EIERSCHECKE" with its golden top of whipped egg yolk on sweet cheese cake. You see: nothing goes on in Dresden without a good cup of coffee and a piece (or two) of cake...

Had enough Baroque?

Being revived and ready again, you may admire SEMPER OPERA and the CATHOLIC COURT CHURCH - a symphony in sandstone and all the saints go marching on the roof. You have seen enough baroque monuments? Just cross over the River Elbe (Madame Elbe is our secret queen, dramatically meandering within the city, shaping vast green river banks and inviting you there to a nap or a picnic…alas - you are still full of cake). On the other side you can discover the NEUSTADT, full of art galleries, artists, street musicians, cool stores and a remarkably high concentration of pubs and cafés.

Now I could tell you what "Anglo-Saxon" and "Dollar" has got to do with Saxony. Curious? However - let me talk about that next time. Enjoy the Neustadt now, hear the music and celebrate life! Auf Wiedersehen!

PS: …and for the carnivores, once you have had your fill of cake, there is also yummy SAUERBRATEN-roast beef with a glass of local wine...

Are you still reading, or have you already opened a new tab to book a flight to Dresden? If you go, be sure to get in touch with Silvia and before you know it, her passion for the city will be your own.
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