Unique Places in Dresden

  • The flooding starts: June 2, 2013
    The flooding starts: June 2, 2013
    by Kathrin_E
  • Landtag
    Landtag
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  • Main entrance
    Main entrance
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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Dresden

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    HISTORIC BLUE WONDER BRIDGE

    by balhannah Written Dec 4, 2013

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    It was a bit of luck that we saw and crossed over the Blue Wonder Bridge. We wanted to got to Loschwitz, so this meant crossing the river over this cantilever truss bridge. The bridge connects the city districts of Blasewitz and Loschwitz, and is close to Dresden's funicular railway and the world's oldest suspension railway Schwebebahn as well as the Dresden TV tower.
    Even back in 1893, this Bridge was considered and engineering feat because of its length without piers supporting it. It cost of 2.25 million Goldmarks was named in honor of King Albert of Saxony.
    The "blue" in the name comes from the colour of the bridge. The original bridge toll was removed in 1923, so we and many other people drove over it freely. This was one piece of architecture that survived the war.

    Crossing the Blue Wonder Bridge
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    TEPLICE TO DRESDEN

    by balhannah Written Oct 15, 2013

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    Coming by car from Teplice in the Czech Republic, we followed route 8 to the border, then route 170 to Dresden. At the border was the usual signage, no Toll station anymore as both are part of the EU, just the three flags flying high!

    The road took us over the Ore mountains where there was still some snow around in June. We came to the town of Altenberg, located in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. The style of housing had changed dramatically, now the houses were built from dark, grey slate, making them look rather dark and gloomy.

    Altenberg hosted the FIBT World Championships in 2008 for the 5th time.
    We were only passing through and didn't have the time to stop, which was a shame as it sounds like it has quite a bit to offer.
    Coming from a warm/hot country, I was a little disappointed when I read and saw photo's of the Winter Sleigh Rides for either 1 or 2 hours in the Ore Mountains.
    The photo of the horse-drawn sleigh you would travel in looked sooooo lovely, I will keep it in mind .....Just incase I ever return!

    Check it out on the listed website.....
    Doesn't it look enticing?

    Altenberg is situated in the Ore Mountains, just 15 km from Teplice, and 32 km south of Dresden.

    Border crossing Slate houses in Altenberg Slate houses in Altenberg
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    Friedrichstraße

    by german_eagle Updated Sep 15, 2013

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    Not really many of Dresden's Baroque patrician-/townhouses are preserved. Most of them were destroyed in the bombing on 13 Feb 1945. Few have been restored, most of them are in the Inner Neustadt district (Königstraße/Rähnitzgasse/Hauptstraße). However, the non-touristy and somewhat still run-down Friedrichstadt district has a Baroque ensemble along its main street, Friedrichstraße, from townhouses to Palais Brühl-Marcolini, Matthäus church (exterior only) and the catholic cemetery.

    House No. 29 dates from 1670, No. 33 from 1740 (pic 3). Both houses are well preserved and nicely restored - No. 33 with oriel window, both with small Baroque courtyard (pic 4). Inside are even stucco and painted wooden ceilings preserved. Across the street is another ensemble of Baroque houses, turned into hotel and restaurant (pics 1, 2).

    Continue your Friedrichstadt walk here.

    Friedrichstra��e 29-33 portal from 1911
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    Old Catholic Cemetery

    by german_eagle Updated Sep 15, 2013

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    Saxony is a mostly protestant state, but after Elector Duke August the Strong converted to Catholizism to become King of Poland, and his first-born son married Hapsburg's princess Maria Josepha, the court attracted many catholics, too. Thus it was a must to have a catholic cemetery. Upon the Elector Duke's decree the first one was opened in 1720. From 1738 on any catholic human in Saxony could be buried there.

    The gate house (pic 1) is from 1742, the small chapel (pic 2) in the centre is from 1842. In the years 1914-17 the chapel was reconstructed and the crucifixion group from Balthasar Permoser's (Zwinger!) grave, created by the sculptor himself, was moved to the apse (pic 3). The cemetery is a picture book for fans of Baroque and classicistic sculptures. And also for history lovers - many famous people were buried here: Permoser aside, there are the graves of General field marschall Johann Georg Chevalier de Saxe, son of August the Strong; J. A. Dreissig, court organist; Jan Dismas Zelenka, composer; C. W. Friedrich von Schlegel, Historian, philosopher and writer; Joseph Tichatscheck, tenor who created the roles of Rienzi and Tannhäuser; Carl Maria von Weber, composer, Gerhard von Kügelgen, painter and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts ... and so on.

    The mostly beautiful, elaborate gravestones are often works of excellent sculptors/artists, like Balthasar Permoser, Gottfried Semper, Franz Pettrich, Ernst Rietschel, Caspar David Friedrich.

    Location: Friedrichstraße 54, across the street from Palais Brühl-Marcolini, nowadays hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt. Tram #10, stop Krankenhaus Friedrichstadt.

    Continue your Friedrichstadt walk here.

    Carl Maria von Weber's grave
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    Matthäus church and cemetery

    by german_eagle Updated Sep 15, 2013

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    The parish church of the Friedrichstadt district was built 1728-32 according to plans of Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, the famous architect who also built the Zwinger. Unfortunately it was severely damaged in the bombing in 1945 and only the exterior was somewhat close to the original restored (1974-78). Inside it is totally modern (read: plain) and not really interesting. The architect Pöppelmann is buried in his family's burial vault under the church.

    The cemetery, located around the parish church, is a bit older than the church itself. It is nicely landscaped and has beautiful old gravestones, mostly made of sandstone, many of them prior to 1875.

    Location: Friedrichstraße 43, close to the port and the landmark Bienert's mill. Tram #10, stop Krankenhaus Friedrichstadt or Vorwerkstraße.

    Continue your Friedrichstadt walk here.

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    MESSE Dresden

    by german_eagle Updated Sep 15, 2013

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    The largest part of the former municipal slaughterhouse is now occupied by the MESSE Dresden, where trade fairs, congresses, concerts and other events take place. Even if you're not attending one of those events the area is still worth a visit - at least for people who are interested in history and architecture.

    The slaughterhouse complex was built 1906-10 in the northern area of the Friedrichstadt district, in a bend of the Elbe river valley. The ground had been raised by the excavated material from the port construction some years earlier for flood protection. The city's master architect, Hans Erlwein, designed a picturesque complex of 68 buildings, forming a sort of settlement in rural ambience. It was one of the most modern slaughterhouses in Europe, with perfect infrastructure from railway station, halls for livestock, (refrigerated) warehouses, power plant, the actual slaughterhouses, shops, apartments for the employees, hotel, restaurants, shops ...

    The are saw only minor damage during the bombing in 1945, but an American guy survived that bombing in one of the cellars and wrote a pretty famous book about it later: Slaugherhouse Five is the book, Kurt Vonnegut is the writer. Get it and read it to get an impression of the impact of the bombing. The cellar is preserved and accessible upon request.

    Folks with architectural interest will enjoy a walk around the former slaugherhouse complex. As said above, it's a quite picturesque architecture and the details are nice (pics 3-5). You can see sculptures by Georg Wrbar, frescoes by A. Strohriegel and paintings by Paul Perks.

    Continue your Friedrichstadt walk here.

    slaughterhouse complex from Tr��mmerberg hill main square of slaughterhouse complex a fresco by A. Strohriegel bull fountain by Georg Wrba
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    Alberthafen

    by german_eagle Updated Sep 14, 2013

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    The port was built in the Friedrichstadt district, northwest of the old town, in the years 1891 - 95. More than 1.5 Million m3 ground soil were moved to the place where nowadays the Dresden Fair is, back then meadows in a bend of the Elbe river just north of the port, for the port basin and the canal.

    Nowadays the port basin is a bit smaller than the original one, but the port is still quite busy. The engineering industry in and around Dresden is quite happy to have an option for shipping huge goods like rotor blades (wind-energy plants!), large turbines etc.

    Originally the main business in the port was the handling of grain. Evidence is the still standing Bienert's mill (pic 2), built by Lossow & Kühne (the architects of the main railway station in Leipzig and the play theatre in Dresden) in 1913. It's a huge building, 64 m tall and one of the earliest steel-concrete buildings in Germany - a landmark in the cityscape of Dresden.

    There is also an excellent fish & seafood restaurant there (see separate tip "Fischhaus Alberthafen", next tip of the Friedrichstadt walk) and right in front of it a small museum port where you can see the 100 years old barge "Waltraut" and the minesweeper "Atlantis" of the German Navy, which was on duty 1968 - 1995.

    Continue your Friedrichstadt walk here.

    port seen from Tr��mmerberg hill Bienert's mill museum port Bienert's mill
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    Trümmerberg

    by german_eagle Updated Sep 14, 2013

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    In the Friedrichstadt district, close to the Elbe cycling trail, is the so called "Trümmerberg" - mountain of rubble in English. Of course, it's a hill, not a mountain, but the emphasis is on "Trümmer / rubble." Between 1949 and 1952 the rubble of the buildings in the old town (mostly around Neumarkt square) that were destroyed in the bombing on 13/14 February 1945 were transported by trains/trams to this place. The rubble was piled up here, forming this hill, then it was covered by soil and grass was sown.

    Nowadays it is an excellent viewing point as you can see from my pictures. There are a couple of benches there, locals use to meet up here and hang out, sometimes have parties around bonfires in the evenings/nights. Great sunset from here, too.

    Acess to Trümmerberg is either from the Elbe cycling trail near "Sportpark Ostra" (see Sports Tip) or from Friedrichstadt district - tram # 10, stop Alberthafen.

    Continue your Friedrichstadt walk here.

    view north toward Messe (Trade Fair) view in western direction (harbour) view southward (Friedrichstadt in the foreground) view eastward - old town view east - Loschwitz hills / Saxon Switzerland
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    Yenidze

    by german_eagle Updated Sep 8, 2013

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    The Yenidze was originally a cigarette- and tobacco plant, built in pseudo-oriental style 1907-09. It looks like a mosque: a magnificent, 18 m tall stained-glass dome is flanked by small spires and a tall minareh-like looking chimney (!). Nowadays it is an office building. On top is a restaurant (with terrace - beer garden) - with beautiful view of Dresden - and in the dome you find a small theatre where they tell fairy-tales almost every evening. Highly recommended for kids (German only, though).

    Continue your Friedrichstadt walk here.

    Yenidze from the opposite bank of the river details of the Yenidze Yenidze
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    Zwinger - Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon

    by german_eagle Updated Aug 3, 2013

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    Well, you must be surprised to read that the Zwinger is "off the beaten path" - no, of course not the Zwinger itself, but it is also home of the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon.

    This amazing collection of scientific (mostly optical and nautical) instruments, globes and similar objects is really underrated and missed by most visitors.

    On the second floor of the pavillon which houses the collection you find an outstanding exhibition of watches, clocks and automatons.

    Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10 - 18 h

    It was reopened 14 April 2013 after thorough reconstruction works, and it is an outstanding presentation, enlarged and with excellenet information. My only complaint is the elevator with too little capacity between first and second floor. Talk about long lines and claustrophobic moments ...

    Mathematical-Physical Salon
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    Landtag: Parliament of Saxony

    by Kathrin_E Written Jun 25, 2013

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    The Landtag, the parliament of the Federal State of Saxony, has its seat right on the Elbe bank, just behind the opera house. It occupies a building from the late 1920s which used to be SED headquarters in DDR times. The new parliament hall and foyers with their glass facades towards the Elbe were added in the 1990s.

    On the rooftop there is a public restaurant, named "Chiaveri" after the court architect who designed the baroque Hofkirche. A glass lift next to the main entrance (I hate glass lifts!) takes you up to the restaurant. The rooftop terrace has a fine view of the river and the buildings in the old town, especially at night when the buildings are illuminated.

    Landtag Main entrance Landtag on postage stamp, 2001 Rooftop terrace Night view from the rooftop
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    Pegel Dresden: Measuring The Water Level

    by Kathrin_E Updated Jun 25, 2013

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    The box on top of the Theaterkahn next to Augustusbrücke and Theaterplatz shows the current water level of the Elbe, measured in centimetres.

    Photo 1, September 2008: 79 cm is quite low. This means problems for ships, including the paddle steamers that were unable to run further upstream than Blaues Wunder in those days.

    Photos 2 and 3, taken on June 2, 2013: Flooding sets in. The road on the river bank is already under water. The water level is measured as 5.24 metres, which is quite high, but that was just the beginning. A couple of days later it reached its climax at 8.76 metres! The new flood barriers worked and Dresden's town centre did not suffer any flooding this time, though.

    Water level of the Elbe September 2008, very low The flooding starts: June 2, 2013 June 2, 2013: 5.24 metres
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    WEISSER HIRSCH: Protestant Church

    by Kathrin_E Updated Jun 5, 2013

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    The wooden church was planned by Richard Schaeffer after the example of the church in Wang near Karpacz (Krummhübel) in the Polish Riesengebirge. The church was completed in 1889.

    Update: Currently (June 2013) the church is undergoing renovations, hence hidden behind scaffolding. I cannot tell how long these works will take.

    Location: Weißer Hirsch, Stangestraße

    Wei��er Hirsch, protestant church Wei��er Hirsch, protestant church
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    Technische Sammlungen

    by german_eagle Written Apr 13, 2013

    These "Tech Collections" are a branch of the Dresden City Museum. They found home in a former industrial plant - (Heinrich Ernemann AG), the so called "Ernemann building". The building itself is well worth a visit alone - it is one of the outstanding industrial architecture sights in the city, erected 1913-23 (with breaks during WWI) in the style of "Neue Sachlichkeit" or "Reform Architecture". The four-storey building with three wings shows vertical outlines, barely any decoration and has a tower that is the landmark of the district. Architect was Emil Högg. Inside the Art Deco decoration of the lobby and the manager's office is preserved (no admission fee needed for that). Even if you're not interested in the museum you should go up to the tower (escalator) for the views of the surrounding residential area, the hillsides in the north and the cityscape of the old town with the towers of Frauenkirche, town hall, Hausmann tower etc. There is also a pretty good cafe on the top floor of the tower.

    As for the museum - it has excellent exhibits on the history of Dresden's industry, especially optical (once leading in the world!)/movie/music and computer industry, the production of typewriters, and it has a fantastic interactive exhibit called "Math Adventure Land" which is fun for younger and older kids, even adults - in English, too.

    Open: Tue - Fri 9-17, Sat/Sun/holidays 10-18 h
    Admission 4 Euro Adults/3 Euro children
    Free each Friday from 12 h on.
    Photo permit 3 Euro.
    Tram 4, 10 or Bus 61 to Pohlandplatz.
    Free streetside parking or in the courtyard.

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    Botanical Garden

    by german_eagle Written Apr 13, 2013

    The Botanical garden is located in the northwest corner of Dresden's "green lung", Großer Garten. Entrance is at Stübelallee, about 200 m from Straßburger Platz, a short walk along Volkswagen's Transparent Factory. The Botanical garden was founded 1815, in 1893 it was relocated to its current location and since 1949 it is operated by the Tech University. The garden was severely damaged in the bombing of 1945, almost no building remained. Thus you won't find any beautiful greenhouse architecture as in Kew Gardens or Vienna-Schönbrunn.

    However, the garden has about 10,000 species of plant, outdoor aside also three relatively small greenhouses - one for succulents/cactuses, another one for tropical plants Africa and Asia, and last but not least one for tropical plants from America. So, if you want to see blooming plants any time of the year, go to the botanical garden and you'll see some. However, this garden's focus is on education/research. You'll certainly see students there, working and doing research. Guided tours on special themes are offered on regular basis - free or small fee.

    Open all year round daily, hours depend on daylight - in winter from 10 am on until 3.30 or 4 pm, in summer 8 am - 6 pm (greenhouses from 10 am on). No admission fee, a small donation is welcome.

    The Botanical garden has outposts at Boselspitze/Meißen and Fichtelberg/Oberwiesenthal.

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Dresden Off The Beaten Path

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