Brühlsche Terrassen, Dresden
The Bruhlsche Terrasse is a broad 500+ yard long promenade overlooking the Elbe River is built on centuries old fortifications which today is a gathering place for leisurely strolling for both visitors and residents. The creation of European porcelain by Bottger in 1708 was in the vaults of the old fort. Constructed in 1738, it was gifted to Count Heinrich von Bruhl in 1747 by Elector Frederick Augustus II in appreciation for the development of a consumption tax intended to maintain the city and which is a forerunner of today's VAT tax. von Bruhl was the curator of the royal art collection - a man of many talents.
The terrace can be entered by a narrow stairway leading up from the restaurants of Munzgasse (image 4) or by an elegant wide staircase from Castle Square lined by statues of the four seasons. There is an elegant and expensive cafe at the midpoint. Nearest the square is a large square with a stand of linden trees ( image 3), but most of the terrace is a wide stone area for leisurely strolling and sightseeing.
On the old city side, art galleries and a court building line the walkway with the tall Frauenkirche in the background. Looking across the Elbe, the Augustus bridge is named after the most famous Saxon ruler. This is the area where the riverboats dock for passengers as well. And the new city side is lined by a broad green expanse of parkland ideal for strolling (see tip below ) fronting the elegant residential and business buildings of the new city, the Japanese palace, a government financial building and the Westin Bellevue hotel where we stayed in Dresden. In the background is the darkened steeple of the Church of the Three Kings (image 2).
Bruhl Terrace and the Elbe below it is probably the most painted and photographed view of Dresden. When you leave Neumarkt and Frauenkirche a short stroll down Mungasse will bring you out to the riverside, underneath Bruhl Terrace. At Christmas time Mungasse is thronged with people visiting the Christmas Market and this is where we had lunch then walked parallel with Bruhl Terrace to find a coach. The coach brought us to visit some of Dresden's more interesting outer suburbs but walking towards it I was absolutely furious to be walking away from Bruhl terrace, rather than walking on it.
Later in the afternoon I came back and spent quite some time here. From the end of Auguststrasse, wide steps lead up to the Terrace and suddenly you are elevated above the Old Town centre and the river and every way you look there are panoramic views. It's been described as the Balcony of Europe ( along with countless other places) but it truly is a balcony and you don't so much walk there as promenade. Lined with stately buildings such as the amazing Kunst Akademie, illuminated by ornamental lamps, everything up here seems rare and beautiful. Between buildings you get interesting views of the town centre, you look down at the traffic and people traversing the banks of the Elbe and gaze across the river to the Neustadt.
In front of the Albertinium, the Terrace peters out into Bruhl Gardens and here you will find the monument to Caspar David Friedreich. As darkness fell, returning from my trip to the Neustadt, I couldn't resist walking al round the Bruhl Terrace again. This time, with sunset flaring in the sky and lights beginning to come on across the city, it was even more magical.
Most of the historical buildings in the old town are illuminated at night: excellent opportunities for night shots.
Best spot: Brühlsche Terrasse! Crowds of photographers will be around at dusk.
Theaterplatz also provides good options.
Neumarkt and Frauenkirche are less easy but also doable.
The Zwinger has rather little illumination and is difficult to catch in full darkness. Try shortly after sunset when the sky is still blue.
Equipment: Any camera that allows turning the flash off. A tripod is useful but not indispensable. In case you don't have one with you, use the railings and the lantern posts to hold your camera steady. There are more than enough that provide good angles for photos.
The old-style lanterns have fluted poles which come handy to lean small cameras against.
Better avoid the flash, it is of no use. You'll ruin not only your own photos but also everyone else's.
My Dresden By Night travelogue pages show you some of my shots. All these photos were taken with a tiny Nikon Ixus 700 without a tripod, using lanterns, railings, walls and benches as tripod substitute.
Brühlsche Terrasse is a horticultural treasure of a special kind. The terrace owes its name to count Heinrich von Brühl (1700 – 1763), then cabinet minister of Friedrich August II. (1797 – 1854). Brühlsche Terrasse got gradually its current appearance above all by numerous building alterations at the end of the nineteenth century, and the filling of the terrace bank.
Thus the terrace is with its unique ensemble consisting of horticulture and architecture one of the primary trails to take a stroll in the town on the river Elbe, because the nickname “The Balcony of Europe” from the early nineteenth century holds true for today.
Among other things Brühl’s Terrace is framed by the Academy of Fine Arts (Kunstakademie), the Sächsisches Ständehaus (today housing Saxony’s Supreme Court), the Sekundogenitur, and the Albertinum.
Bruhl‘s terrace differently is called Europe‘s balcony (maybe due to just nice view, representing power and vitality of Europe). Place is like a promenade along Elbe river on one side and famous Dresden buildings in the other (Albertinum, Cathedral, so on).
Terrace is made from the ruins of former Dresden fortress in 1814. The fortress itself known mostly from middle of 16th century or even earlier. Now some details still saved under the terrace.
Brühl's Terrace is one of the favourite places of both locals and tourists for walking, people watching and having a coffee.
It had been a part of the fortifications in medieval times, before Graf Brühl, a powerful minister under King Augustus the Strong, built his palace and gardens there. In 1814 the gardens were opened for the public, became a beloved walking promenade with cafes and got the name "Balcony of Europe".
Today a nice staircase with four sculptures (Four day times) leads from the Schlossplatz square up to Brühl's Terrace. To the right you find the Staendehaus building, former home of Saxony's parliament and now home of Saxony's Highest Civilian Court (OLG). It was built by Paul Wallot, the architect of the Berlin Reichstag. Walk along the fountains and under trees to Cafe Vis-a-Vis (highly recommended, but pricey), passing the monument for Ernst Rietzschel, a famous sculptor of the 19th century who had his atelier at this place, and have a look to the right into the Münzgasse lane and of the Church of our Lady.
Don't miss the views to the left of the Elbe river, the steamers and the beautiful meadows with nice walking paths on the opposite bank of the river.
The next building to the right is the Academy of fine arts. Sometimes the students exhibit their works, a nice chance to see masterpieces (or not) of the future artist generation :-)
Continue with your walk toward the little hill with woods and a fountain, a nice relaxing place. From there you have a nice view of the new Synagogue, built in very modern style.
Brühl's Terrace ends at the Albertinum building, which houses some great art collections.
Goethe called it the balcony of Europe for good reason with an assortment of beautiful buildings of various architectural styles flanking it on all sides but the one overlooking the serene Elbe River. Built on ramparts that once protected the city, the terrace was formed in fashion as a garden for the palace of August the Strong by his minister von Brühl between 1739 and 1748. The gardens were opened to the public when an ornate staircase was built in 1814 connecting it to the Schlossplatz.
The terrace was originally part of the wall complex to protect the city. In 1739-48 Count Henrich Bruhl converted the area into a terraced garden for his palace. In 1814 a staircase was built to connect the main platz to the terrace and it is centered by four bronze sculptures. After climbing the 45 feet stairs the first building is the Standhaus, which is the former state parliament ( and apparently still a Government building as a Justice courthouse, as I went inside to look). Down a little further is the Royal Academy of Art for students to take classes. It was built in 1891 in neo Renaissance style and has a glass dome with Nike on top. At the end of the terrace is the Albertinum that houses the New Art GAllery and Sculpture museums (combined together inside).
The promenade has many monuments to sculptures and artists along the walk. On the top of the promenade is a garden that you take look over the Elbe for views.
This area is also called the "balcony of Europe". It lies in the old town at the Elbe river, next to the pier from where you can do an excursion by boat. There are several cafés and from this terrace you have a nice view on the Elbe river and the "new town" (which actually is also old) on the other side. Below the Bruehl's Terrace, there's the museum of Dresden Fortress.
The Brühlsche Terrassen (Brühl Terraces) are a great place to enjoy the panorama on river Elbe. They were originally built as private pleasure grounds in 1739-48 - imagine having them as your private garden! Today, they are the area of the most expensive restaurants in Dresden and a very popular place to see and be seen. Check it out!
This 500 metre long terrace overlooking Elbe river is called the "Balcony of Europe". From here you can enjoy nice views over the old town as well as the bridges and the new town. Go for a walk and enjoy the statues and the benches and terrace cafes.
Behind the terrace you find the building of the art academy. Because of it's strange dome people call it the "Lemon squeezer".
The Brühl Terrace is one of the most popular places in Dresden.
Brühl Terrace was originally part of ramparts built to protect the city. Between 1739 and 1748, Count Henrich von Brühl, had the wonderful idea of making them into a Terrace. Work began in 1739, and the Terrace wasn't completed until 1748. In 1814, a staircase was added, so the Schlossplatz connects with the Terrace. Goethe gave it the name 'Balcony of Europe'.
The terraced promenade offers some beautiful architecture combined with magnificent views over the Elbe river - I didn't see it, but I did from the Neustadt side of the River, I could see the whole terrace. I had a wonderful view of all the buildings located along the terrace from here, so wasn't disappointed one little bit!
At the Elbe Terras or Brühl's Terrace a picture frame is placed at a lookoff corner. Here you can make your own "Canaletto" painting picture, a view to Dresden known by the Venetian painter Bernardo Bellotto (1722-1780).
Walking along the "Brühlsche Terassen" you will see splendid examples of Dresdens baroque architecture like the "Albertinum" and the "Kunstakademie", and at the same time perfect views on the River Elbe (Elbterassen).
When you're strolling along Brühl's Terrace you hardly imagine that there it was built above the 16th century city fortifications. And you'll never think you can see the remains of those fortifications, right? It is true that there's quite much preserved, though, and it is definitely worth a visit. Entrance is at a small door at the foot of the staircase between the Art Academy's exhibit hall and the Albertinum.
Elector Duke Moritz commissioned the construction of the city walls in 1545. It took 10 years to complete them - the earliest in modern Renaissance style in a German city, modelled after those in Northern Italy. You can still see a city gate, bridge, rooms for the guards, a cannon yard, models of the fortifications and the original of the Moritz monument (copy outside on Brühl's Terrace).
Audio guide in several languages available.
Open: daily, April - Oct 10-18 h, Nov - March 10 - 17 h. Closed for 4 weeks from early January until early February.
Admission fee: 5 Euro, 50% discount for students, kids 6-16 years, includes audio guide.