When in Neustadt you cannot miss the yellow Kügelgenhaus. This haus was constructed on order of count Zinzendorf from 1765 through 1770 in Rokoko style.
At the upper floor in big golden wording one can read: "An Gottes Segen ist alles gelegen", what gave this house the nickname of "Gottessegenhaus".
In 1997 some Neustadt buildings that were on the list of local monuments had to be restored. The buildings themselves were easy to reconstruct, but to redo the courtyards was another thing.
Five courtyards were being transformed by local artists into the courtyards of Mythology, Light, Metamorpheses, Elements and Animals.
In the Passage are 15 shops and workshops, a restaurant and a bar.
The baroque Dreikönigskirche (Church of the three Magi) in Hauptstraße was planned by Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann and George Bähr - the architects of Zwinger and Frauenkirche - and erected in 1732-1739. It substituted the older parish church of the Inner Neustadt, which had been located in Neustädter Markt. The neobaroque steeple was added in the 1850s.
The church was heavily damaged by World War II bombings in 1945. Its outward appearance was restored till 1990. The interior was divided, the back half serves as church, the front half was turned into a parish centre and offices of the church administration. As Haus der Kirche (House of the Church) it is used for meetings, conferences, concerts and exhibitions.
The damaged altar has not been reconstructed, it stays just like after the bombing. The remaining fragment tells its story of war and destruction.
The backyards of the houses next to Dreikönigskirche have been turned into a little green oasis. They are a reconstruction of how the gardens of the wealthy citizens who once inhabited the baroque houses in the main street of Neustadt may have looked like. Benches invite to sit down and rest. I particularly loved the quince garden with the baroque pavillon.
You reach the gardens if you walk through Kunsthandwerkerpassagen from Hauptstraße (see previous tip).
Part of the complex is the Societaets-Theater with a cafe terrace which may be open in summer - it wasn't when I passed.
The doorways of three restored baroque houses in Hauptstraße open to the so-called Kunsthandwerkerpassagen, Artisans' Passages. The passages and little courtyards contain small arts and crafts shops and galleries. Even if you have no intention to go shopping, these cute shops deserve a look, like the one in the photo that sells china and old-style linen.
August the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, planned the Neustadt on the right Elbe bank as his new residential town. The new quarter was built on a regular, geometric ground plan. In the central axis of Augustusbrücke and Hauptstraße a gilded statue of August on horseback was erected in 1736 - usually known as Goldener Reiter, the Golden Rider.
Photography hint: The gleaming gold is hard to catch in bright sunlight due to reflections. You'll get the best results when the sky is slightly overcast.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect in the Neustadt when I set off on my little voyage of exploration. I had finally escaped the constraints of the group and just wanted to get across a bridge and see what was on the other side. The bridge I chose, happened to be the Augustbrucke and as I've repeated over and over on this page, it gves the best views of the river and the city and is altogether the kind of bridge you end up spending alot of time on, rather than just crossing.
At the other side lay the Haupstrasse with the Golden statue of Augustus the Strong rearing up proudly against the sky. From there on, it was one massive Christmas Market which distracted me for quite some time. Eventually I got off the pedestrianised centre and found the street itself to be an intriguing mass of contradictions. On one side were square blocks of 60's looking concrete and glass, then further up, perfectly preserved Baroque townhouses. It was then I realised that the New Town is actually 300 years old and that it has some of the only Baroque buildings to escape the bombing of 1945.
Carrying on up the street I detoured into Ritter Strasse and sneaked some quick shopping time in the Markt Halle, then finally emerged at the busy hub of Albert Platz. Here there were two stunning fountains and lots of intriguing streets leading off in all directions.
At this point I backtracked into Konigstrasse, not realising that I was missing out on the largest preserved Victorian neighbourhod in Europe. So if you find yourself in the Neustadt, carry on from Albert Platz, turn into Alaunstrasse and enjoy the art passages of the most Bohemian quarter of Dresden.
Across the unadorned August Bridge over the Elbe lies the Neustadt or New City, a totally different Dresden from the tourist-overrun Old City. At the foot of the bridge stands the golden equestrian statue of August the Strong (Elector Friedrich August I of Saxony and King August II of Poland), facing directly towards Poland, and with both of the horse's front legs elevated commemorating his death in battle in Poland (1733). Note the Roman-style garb.
The statue was commissioned by his son, Friedrich August II.
The design was by court sculptor Jean Joseph Vinanche and molded by a blacksmith Louis Wiederman in 1733 layering heated copper over an iron frame, then covered in gold plate. It was too heavy to be placed on the bridge so a base was made in 1735 and the statue unveiled one year later. It has been refurbished over the years. In 1944 it was dismantled and hidden in a cave escaping war damage and replaced in 1956 for the 75th anniversary of the founding of Wettin Dresden.
August is a legendary character. As a politician, he left a great deal to be desired. His incursion into Polish history led to wars and emnities which lasted for decades. He has no statues in Lithuania, where he was constantly meddling. His personal life is far more interesting - alleged to have fathered 356 little Augusts, he was uncommonly strong and apparently broke horseshoes and metal goblets in his bare hands. More importantly, he and his son were great supporters of the arts and responsible for the great buildings of Dresden and much of the famous artwork within. He was crazed for porcelain and his mania led to the first European commercial production of porcelain art. His is the most famous statue of Dresden.
This wide pedestrianized street runs from the Augustus Bridge to Albertplatz and is the main shopping street of the New City. It offers some older buildings but many are GDR era prefab cement rectangles. Stores and restaurants line the street. Of interest is Venezia immediately adjacent the Golden Reiter and said to offer the best ice cream in Dresden (also see restaurant tip on AMThor). The shopping here is less upscale than Konigstrasse but twe were most attracted by the tree-lined corridors and the absence of hordes of tourists. The central walkway is lined with benches - very popular- separated from the walkways fronting the stores by wide columns of grass and flowers. A walk here was a walk in Germany.
Towering over the Hauptstrasse and New City and clearly visible from the Altstadt is the tall black steeple of the Epiphany Church (Dreikonigkirche). It was built on the site of several earlier churches in 1732-9 to plans by the ever-present Bahr and Poppelman. The iconic steeple, also Baroque in style, was added about 100 years later. It was heavily damaged but reconstructed after WWII and served as the government offices in the period following the end of the GDR. Today it predominantly offers non-sectarian lectures, seminars, exhibits, and concerts and, not unlike the Frauenkirche, welcomes all faiths.
Described as Dresden's most elegant street, Konigstrasse runs from the Japanese Palace to the central Alberplatz. The street is said to best represent the appearance of upscale Dresden in prewar years. It was designed in 1731 by Poppelman and is lined by impressive Baroque townhouses, all of similar color and design, fronted by rows of linden trees. The area was not as heavily damaged as much of Dresden during the war but fell into disrepair under the GDR. Beginning in the 1990's, the buildings and street were repaired and today house elegant boutiques with designer clothing and interior decor, art galleries, as well as several upscale restaurants with a few luxury hotels in the area as well. This is also the preferred address for professional firms like architects, lawyers, etc. Many of these stores and restaurants are in passageways and courtyards leading off the main street with its uniform facades and are well worth looking into.
Originally a Dutch embassy, the Japanese palace was bought by August the Strong for one of the venues at the marriage of the Crown Prince. He later had the building reconstructed as a museum for his porcelain collection - until a few years earlier all imported from the east. Under plans by the ubiquitous Matthew Poppelman, the bulding was reconstructed in Baroque style with Chinese touches such as the curved roof line and the figures on the gable above the door ( images 2,3). Reconstruction took over 30 years and ethnic and archeologic museums were opened here. Today these museums are again closed and their contents removed from Dresden and the building is of interest only for its exterior as one walks down Grosse Meissner St. to the fountain and Konigstrasse.
If you're looking to hang with a younger crowd, head east of the river to the Neustadt. There are plenty of fun bars and shops, all populated by university students. Plus, we found some really fun crafts shops and artsy music stores in the area.
The Northern bank barrio directly across from the Palace Square is called Neustadt. It mainly contains modern apartment blocks and older buildings restored after the bombing in the "simplified form". There is a very pleasant pedestrian boulevard that runs directly from the main bridge starting with the statue to Augustus the Strong which was installed by his grandson.
Most tourists miss this area I think. Not your usual backpacker though as there quite a few hostels here. We were lucky to have stayed in one of them so we had the chance to see this very untouristy part of Dresden... The Äußere Neustadt is a colourful area full of punks, pubs, backyard bars and alternative beergardens. There are murals here that make you feel like being in Hamburg's Hafenstraße. When it comes to the density of pubs it makes you feel like being in Friedrichshain, Berlin.
This part of town didn't suffer from the WWII bombs as bad as the old town. Hence you find mostly Wilhelminian style buildings here, more than anywhere else. A great area! Why don't you give it a try and go out here one night while in Dresden?
Every year there is a big festival here called "Bunte Republik Neustadt". When it was started in 1990 it was a festival celebrating the autonomy of the Neustadt. They even had their own currency, the Neustadtmark. Since 1993 politics are not part of the festival anymore.
Opposite the beautiful city centre, on the other side of river Elbe, Dresden's new centre (Neustadt) can be found. It mostly consists of houses built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Dresden Neustadt is famous for its buzzing nightlife and young population. It's a good place to hang out after a long day in the old town.