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Dresden Skyline Photo by Anny Langer

Dresden Skyline
Photo by Anny Langer

I’m back in Oslo after 10 days traveling. This summer I spend four days in Dresden/Germany. Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony by the River Elbe and close tho the Czech border.
I only had read some few things about historical events and the reconstructions of the historical buildings. Those buildings in the city center had been entirely destroyed during the second world war during British and American bombing in 1945.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-Z0309-310, Zerstörtes DresdenCC-BY-SA-3.0-de Beyer, G. – This image was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv) as part of a cooperation project. The German Federal Archive guarantees an authentic … Dresden, 1945—over ninety percent of the city center was destroyed. For documentary purposes the German Federal Archive often retained the original image captions, which may be erroneous, biased, obsolete or politically extreme. Zerstörtes Dresden ADN-ZB/G. Beyer Dresden 1945: Blick vom Rathausturm auf die zerstörte Stadt. Im Vordergrund der heutige Pirnaische Platz.

The city has a long history as capital, but also as the royal residence for the Kings of Saxony and Electors.  Dresden was ones known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque and rococo city center.
Dresden’s history is long and full of important events and persons. I can’t write about everything. It’s history starts already around the late 12th century. The city became the capital of the margraviate after 1270 and restored to the Wettin dynasty in about 1319. It became the seat of the Dukes of Saxony from 1485 and the electors from 1547.
Back in 1521 the Elector and ruler of Saxony Frederick August I became King August the Strong of Poland. King August the Strong gathered many of Europe’s best painters, architects and musicians in Dresden. This marked the beginning of the cities emergence as one of the leading European cities for technology and art.
King August the Strong and his descendants raised several of the historical buildings that got reconstructed during the last decades.
Several of the historical buildings are finished and are opened to the public.

Frauenkirche Photo by Anny Langer

The church Frauenkirche is reconstructed and was finished in 2005. It’s been financed by privately raised funds. The top of the church you see a gold cross. The City of Edinburgh donated it as a mark of the bond between the two cities.
The reconstruction of Frauenkiche was the first step of rebuilding a large area around the church. It’s called Neumarkt square. The area was divided into eight separate projects and are rebuilt with facades similar to the originals, and some to the original structure.

Zwinger with the gallery of "The old masters". Photo by Anny Langer

Zwinger with the gallery of “The old masters”.
Photo by Anny Langer

I spend a lot of time at the castles areas, There you find some great art collections open to the public. At the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Zwinger you can find masterpieces from artists like Dürer, Cranach, Dahl, Rafael, Vermeer, El Greco, Carracci, Canaletto. One of the paintings I studied during my stay was Raphael’s “The Sistine Madonna” (1512/13). You probably have seen a small part of it. The two small angels at the bottom of the painting are often used on postcards, cups and more… Johan Christian Dahl’s painting of “Blick auf Dresden bei Vollmondschein” (1839) is also in the collection at Zwinger.
The New Masters gallery is located at the Albertinum. here you find works from Klimt, Friedrich, Gaugin, van Gogh, Liebermann, Monet, Nolde, Picasso and more. While I visited the gallery there was a special exhibition about Klees and Slevogts travels to Egypt.
I really liked the colours and the light in Slevogts paintings, like Sandsturm in der Lybischen Wüste from 1914. But for those who know me that’s really not a big surprise…

Residenzschloss Dresden Photo by Anny Langer

Residenzschloss Dresden
Photo by Anny Langer

The Residenzschloss Dresden (Dresden Royal Palace) is the current centre of the Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections). It also was destroyed during the bombing and is being rebuilt as a ‘Residenz der Kunst und Wissenschaft’ (Palace of the Arts and Sciences). The Residenzschloss Dresden was among the most magnificent and important Renaissance palaces in Germany. It has remained a High Renaissance castle through all the alterations and modernizations of the intervening centuries. It was planned and built as a castle, and it was used so by the electors and kings as a centre of power and its display: the massive effect of the walls and the limited number of gates clearly communicate this defensive element of the architecture.
There are so many more things to do in Dresden… There are the Semper Opera, the castle Pillnitz, the world oldest suspension railway and funicular railway at Loschwitz, the center of Old Dresden and New Dresden, both with many shops, restaurants and cafés.
You really should take a walk along the riverside. If you walk over to the New Dresden park and follow the sidewalk you pass several bars and cafés. In New Dresden there are a lot of small cool clothes shops. There’s also a cute café called “Tanteleuk” in Louisenstrasse 24. They have great coffee and cakes.

Moritzburg castle Photo by Anny Langer

Moritzburg castle
Photo by Anny Langer

The last day we went to see the Baroque castle Moritzburg castle and the Little Pheasant Castle close to Dresden. Moritzburg has become famous for its horse breeding and carp farming as well as through the activities of artist Käthe Kollwitz. During the winter 1972/1973, Moritzburg castle was the festive backdrop for »Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella« – one of the most popular German fairy-tale movies. Since I was a child I wanted to go to see this castle, and since it was located in the former DDR I was told it never would be possible to go there. I remember I was quite sure it was possible for me to get there one day, and that I would walk the stairs where Cinderella lost her shoe running from the prince… Well – never say never! I’ve been there, and I walked the stairs 🙂

Fasanenschloss  Photo by Anny Langer

Fasanenschloss
Photo by Anny Langer

Little Pheasant Castle is not far from Moritzburg castle. We went for a walk in the park around the castles and it was really beautiful.

Should have stayed for some more days, but I guess it just means I have to go once more…
Wish you all a great weekend 🙂

Sources:
Residenzschloss
Wikipedia
Mister Brücke, Dresden

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