Zwinger, Dresden

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  • Detail of the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon
    Detail of the...
    by EasyMalc
  • Long Gallery Fountains
    Long Gallery Fountains
    by balhannah
  • Nymphenbad (Nymph's Bath) with water cascade
    Nymphenbad (Nymph's Bath) with water...
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    THE ZWINGER - MATHEMATICAL MUSEUM

    by balhannah Updated Nov 30, 2013

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    Another very interesting museum!

    Once again, it was "August the Strong" who founded this Museum in 1728, making it the oldest Museum in the Zwinger complex, and one of the world’s most important museums of historical scientific instruments.

    So, what did we see in this type of Museum?
    Things I saw were mechanical music instruments and a Astronomical clock from the 16th century. There is an excellent collection of Globes, featuring the Earth, the Heavens, and even the Moon and Mars, it's known as one of the best in the World. It is amongst the globes where I find the oldest object in the Museum - the Arabic celestial globe from 1279.
    There are old Telescopes, burning mirrors and Astronomical pieces. Other devices in the Museum were pieces used for calculating and drawing, for determining length, mass, temperature and air pressure. How clever were these people?
    No wonder this Museum is very important!
    .
    Guess what, instead of being boring like I thought it may be, it was quite interesting.

    NO PHOTOS ALLOWED

    ADMISSION IN 2013
    Combined Ticket: Adults 10 eu Concession 7.50 eu -16 year-olds free
    This pass gives you entry to the Zwinger with Old Masters Picture Gallery, Porcelain Collection, Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments.

    Tickets on there own are 6 euros.

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    THE ZWINGER

    by balhannah Updated Nov 30, 2013

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    The Zwinger
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    Where do I begin!

    When I researched Dresden, the Zwinger Palace - Dresden's most famous landmark, was what I wanted to see!
    My first view of this magnificent baroque complex of pavilions and galleries was "this looks good," then to wow!..... as I walked through the entrance gate.
    Luckily I had plenty of time to have a very good look around, something to remember if coming here. I think you could easily spend a full day here! I wasn't here in peak season, so there weren't the crowds to contend with!

    The beautiful Palace, one of the most magnificent in Germany, was commissioned by Frederick Augustus I, or “Augustus the Strong “, as he was called. French King - Louis XIV had moved his court to the grand palace of Versailles, so when Augustus later was elected King of Poland in 1697, he wanted something built to rival the French King’s grand palace. The result is the Zwinger Palace.

    It has six pavilions which are connected by galleries, impressive gates, fountains, museums, a beautiful courtyard & gardens and more, A MUST SEE IN DRESDEN.

    The Zwinger suffered from aerial bombardment of Dresden on 13 February 1945 and was rebuilt during the 1950s and 1960s.
    I was interested in the word “Zwinger,” not a name I had heard used for a Palace. It comes from the German word “bezwingen” which means “to conquer”.

    This would have to be one of the most stunning Palaces of this kind. The Museums are excellent.

    NO PHOTO'S ALLOWED IN THE MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

    OPENING HOURS
    10 - 6PM

    ADMISSION IN 2013

    Ticket Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon
    Adults 6 Euro
    reduced: 4,50 Euro
    children until 17 years: free
    audioguide: free

    Zwingerticket
    Valid for: Old Masters Picture Gallery, Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, Porcelain Collection
    Adults: 10,00 Euro
    reduced: 7,50 Euro
    children until 17 years: free
    audioguide: 3,00 Euro

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    THE ZWINGER - WALL PAVILION WALK

    by balhannah Written Nov 29, 2013

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    Cherub on the top balustrade
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    This is another walk to do at the Wall Pavilion end of the Zwinger Palace. Yes, I know, you have to climb more stairs, BUT, it is worth it, as the views at this end are quite different to the other end!

    The stairs are located in the Wall Pavilion, so we climbed these and were quite surprised with what we found, for up here was another pretty fountain with some large fish spurting water. The balustrade has alternating cherubs and vases all the way, worth a close look as they all are different.
    What was surprising, was looking over the edge to find walls filled with Nymphs, another beautiful fountain and a large pond. We were glad we came up here first! After a good look, it was time to head back downstairs to see what we had been looking at from the top!

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    THE ZWINGER - NYMPHENBAD

    by balhannah Written Nov 29, 2013

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    The Nymphenbad - Another beautiful baroque fountain!

    The Nymph is called a water theater or Grotto Hall. It certainly was a pleasure to view, especially as this one had water!
    Located on the balcony area is a fountain. From this fountain water runs over and past artificial rocks and blowing Tritons situated on the side of the cascade, to be caught in a large semi-circular basin. On both sides are large Dolphin heads [although to me they looked like fish], these are both spurting into another fountain in the wall. Standing Nymphs are located on each side. The wall surrounding this fountain has 7 niches on each side, each one contains a statue of a nymph. In the middle of Nymphenbad, is a large pond with some small fountains.

    This is another area not to be missed when visiting the Zwinger!"

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    THE ZWINGER - THE COURTYARD

    by balhannah Updated Nov 29, 2013

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    Zwinger courtyard
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    The courtyard in the Zwinger shows that something plain still can be beautiful!

    Originally, the courtyard was a garden and orangery, a place where tournaments and court festivities took place.
    Today, it's where the visitors walk along the red gravel, past the bright green sculptured lawns and the four fountains, at the same time admiring the architecture of this Palace.
    A MUST DO, is to climb the steps up to the balcony, because it was from here, I thought the view was the best.
    From here, I could see the whole design of the garden, plain, but attractive!
    the urns that sit atop the balcony are interesting too!

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    THE ZWINGER - ENJOY THE SATYRS!

    by balhannah Written Nov 29, 2013

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    Satyr
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    Stayrs can be found everywhere in the Zwinger Palace!

    These mythical creatures are a part of either Greek or Roman mythology. Along the walls of the Wall pavilion, I found heaps of these creatures holding up the pillars. As they were ground level, I had a good time photo-graphing them!

    The satyrs are half male and half goat. As I walked along the wall, I found many different satyrs, some with big pointed ears and flat noses, others had goaty beards and lots of curly hair, all had goats hooves and most had hair on the legs. Mature satyrs will have goat's horns, while juveniles often have bony nubs on their foreheads.

    I noticed one Satyr with a flute, a sound of nature in the form of flowing water, singing birds and the whistling of the wind.

    The satyrs' chief was Silenus,associated with fertility. Now I know why they are lovers of wine and women and physical pleasure.

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    THE ZWINGER - LONG GALLERIES

    by balhannah Written Nov 29, 2013

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    Long Gallery Fountains
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    I have never seen so many Fountains in one place!

    The Long Galleries consist of 18 arched windows, with a Fountain under every other arched window. In the centre is the Fiischschwänziger, wasserspeiender Fountain where the water flows by sea creatures down five levels to the basin. For some reason, this Fountain and all the others weren't working! They are still great to see, although it would have been better to see all with water flowing.

    Above the windows and on the pillars are cherubs and vases alternately positioned. A flight of stairs leads to the porcelain collection in the southern Long Gallery.

    Evidently the idea of this Long Gallery came from a cave wall at the villas at Frascati .

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    THE ZWINGER - CROWN GATE

    by balhannah Updated Nov 29, 2013

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    Crown Gate sculpture
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    I had a little bit of bad luck here as the famous baroque Crown Gate was under wraps! Well, at least I could see the Crown!
    The Gate is also known as the Kronentor. I was able to walk through it and realized it was having a much needed clean. How different the sandstone looked when clean!
    On either side of the Crown Gate are the Long Galleries.
    The architecture is Italian High Baroque. Once again there are interesting sculptures to view, including a Hercules head with lion's skin on the outside, and a woman's head on the courtyard side.
    Vases and twelve figures, representing the themes to the seasons and Hercules line the onion-shaped dome made of partially gilded copper sheet. At the top are four Polish eagles and a replica of the Polish crown.
    Other statues are of ancient gods volcano and Bacchus plus Ceres and Pomona. I read the Crown Gate is the most photographed part of the Zwinger.

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    THE ZWINGER - WALL PAVILION

    by balhannah Updated Nov 29, 2013

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    Wall Pavilion
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    Another beautiful Pavilion!

    The Wall Pavilion is located the opposite end to the Carillon Pavilion. To me, they looked similar, both are impressive! I really loved all the sculptures of mythical people that adorned the exterior, just wished I had taken more close-ups!

    Starting at the top, I could see a figure, this was [Hercules] the strong man and the divine hero, he is holding a ball [globe].

    Another group of sculpture on the Wall Pavilion are known as "The Judgment of Paris." This is said to symbolize Augustus the Strongs youthful days. He is seen with the Polish Crown, and flanked by three goddesses Venus, who gives love, beauty, sex, fertility, then came Minerva, the Roman Goddess of Wisdom, and Juno, another Roman Goddess who is a the Goddess of marriage and the Queen of the Gods. They offer him gifts of love, power and wisdom.

    Another group, is the figures of the four winds. These are Notos, the south wind, with Iris the messenger of the gods, Euros is the east wind, with Eos the mother of the winds, then Zephyr, the west wind, with Chloris, the bringer of flowers and Boreas, is the north wind.

    This gives you some idea of what your looking at. I would suggest taking photos, then later you have time to read about these mythological figures and what they meant to Augustas the Strong - This is what I did!

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    THE ZWINGER - SEMPERGALERIE

    by balhannah Written Nov 29, 2013

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    The Sempergalerie
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    The Sempergalerie is where the Old Masters Picture Gallery is located. The Galerie is named after the architect, Gottfried Semper, who designed this Italian High Renaissance style building in 1854.
    The Sempergalerie is only the ground floor. It is connected to the German and the French pavilions which have a terrace upstairs linking the buildings.

    The gallery has many famous Art pieces, including Raphaels "Sistine Madonna." There are many well-known paintings by van Eyck, Dürer, Rubens, Rembrandt and many more. It is a wonderful collection, which could take you half a day to look through properly if an Art fan - you may need the comfy seating that is provided!

    More than half a million visitors annually visit the art gallery, so be aware, you will not be alone

    OPEN.
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays

    ADMISSION IN 2013

    Valid for: Old Masters Picture Gallery, Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, Porcelain Collection
    Adult 10,00 Euro
    reduced: 7.50 Euro
    children until 17 years: free

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    THE ZWINGER - WANDER THE BALCONIES

    by balhannah Written Nov 28, 2013

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    Balconies
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    Going for a walk along the balconies is A MUST DO in my opinion.

    After we finished with the Porcelain Gallery, we exited and took the stairs to the balcony. The views of the courtyard are the best from here! On the balustrade were sandstone vases with interesting motifs, flowers, heads, birds and Cherubs. After looking into the Zwinger courtyard walk back the other side which overlooks Dresden Palace. Both sides are excellent viewing!

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    THE ZWINGER - GLOCKENSPIEL PAVILON

    by balhannah Written Nov 28, 2013

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    The Glockenspiel
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    The Glockenspiel or Carillon Pavilon is where we entered the Zwinger. This impressive Rococo / Baroque Pavilion has been destroyed by fire and then in an air raid during 1945. Lucky it was reconstructed.
    Inside are two stairs in a semicircle that lead to the upper floor. At the base are little cupids. Outside, are many statues and ornaments representing heroes of Greek mythology and rare gods. Sculptures are of Perseus- one of the most celebrated heroes in Greek mythology, and the son of Zeus and Danae . Andromeda - the daughter of the Ethiopian king, Cepheus -the son of the Trojan king Priam and Hecuba . He has 99 half-siblings! Lastly, Cassiopeia - A local goddess of vegetation.

    The pavilion was originally crowned by the figure of Hercules with his club, sadly it was destroyed in the fire of 1849.

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    THE ZWINGER - THE CARILLON

    by balhannah Updated Nov 28, 2013

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    The Carillon

    The Carillon, Chimes & Glockenspiel Pavilion are all the same building. When I walked through this gate and into the courtyard, I turned around to take a photo, this was when I noticed the Carillon. The Carillon was on display at a 1930 exhibition. Later, it was moved to here.
    Today, the Carillon plays well know melodies by famous Composers every quarter, half, three-quarter and on the full hour it plays the original composition for the Dresden Bell game.

    Melodies of the Meissen porcelain Carillon

    In Spring
    "Spring" from the "four seasons"
    "We squirm you the bridal wreath"
    "A little night music"

    Summer
    "The summer" from the "four seasons"
    "Contretanz"
    melody from "The magic flute"
    "No beautiful land"

    Autumn
    "The fall" from the "four seasons"
    "Sailor chorus" from "The Flying Dutchman"
    "Hunters 'choir"

    Winter
    "Winter" from the "four seasons"
    "Pastorale"
    "Evening blessing"

    From 6 January until Wednesday before Maundy Thursday the chimes not plays.

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    THE ZWINGER - PORCELAIN COLLECTION

    by balhannah Updated Nov 28, 2013

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    Zwinger Porcelain Collection
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    Also known as Porzellansammlung in German.
    I guess were are lucky August the Strong was passionate about porcelain - we have him to thank for this stunning collection.

    As I am a porcelain painter myself, this was a must for me! After walking through the collection, I would say it is a MUST SEE for anyone, for collected here would be the best collection of Porcelain I have ever seen!

    I must admit, I was disappointed that 'NO PHOTOS WERE ALLOWED."
    It is so hard to remember what I saw and I would love photos to remind me. I did buy a booklet which included photos from all the museums, so that was better than nothing! Unfortunately, it didn't have photos of the pieces I really liked, and that was of the large pieces of Meissen porcelain created into shapes of many different animals - IT WAS FANTASTIC!
    These were all grouped together in the Animal hall, where mirrors enhanced the viewing. Two Chinese-style bed canopies topped by a pagoda roof and featuring porcelain bells were another amazing display. On gilt wall consoles there are porcelain birds also made in the 18th century.

    In the long gallery, were porcelain specimens dating from the Ming Dynasty in China and from the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662–1722) to Japanese Imari and Kakiemon wares from the early 17th and 18th centuries. Sections of the wall has been painted quite a bright colour, and the porcelain has been set against it, making quite a stunning effect. Each display is set out to its best advantage point.
    On the inner side of the Glockenspiel Pavilion, adjoining the Porcelain Collection, is a carillon of 40 porcelain bells, also manufactured by Meissen.

    IT IS STATED: "The Dresden collection is the most exquisite, and also the largest, specialist ceramics collection in the world, not least on account of the outstanding holdings of early Meissen porcelain as well as oriental porcelain dating from the 17th and early 18th centuries."

    OPEN...10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays
    ENTRANCE AT: Carillon Pavilion
    ADMISSION IN 2013
    Ticket Porcelain Collection
    Adults 6,00 Euro - Concession 4.5 Euro - children until 17 years: free

    The Zwingerticket is a good buy at Adults 10eu - Concession7.5 euro
    Valid for: Old Masters Picture Gallery, Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, Porcelain Collection

    To get an idea of what is in the collection, the listed website has a video of the collection being put together.

    People in Wheelchairs are able to see this collection as there is an Elevator they can use.
    See the visitor service area before hand and the staff will help you to access the museum.

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    Zwinger

    by EasyMalc Updated May 3, 2013

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    The Wallpavillon
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    If you like the excess of Baroque architecture you’ll love the Zwinger.
    The word ‘Zwinger’ derives from the German word ‘Zwingen’ which means to constrain, and ‘Zwingenhof’ refers to the area between an outer and inner defensive castle wall where enemy troops could be trapped
    Dresden’s fortifications evolved during the Middle Ages but by the time Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, came to power in 1694 they weren’t as essential as they once were.
    To improve his stature on the European stage Augustus set about transforming this area into something more in keeping with his ambitions. To start with the courtyard became an area for open air festivals and extravagant balls but the wooden structures used for these occasions were to be replaced by something more elaborate.
    For this he used the expertise of architect Matthaus Daniel Poppleman and the sculptor Balthasar Permoser to carry out the work and the majority of what we see today is some truly wonderful Baroque architecture on three sides of the courtyard. The work was carried out between 1709 and 1728 with the formal opening occurring in time for the wedding of his son to the Archduchess Maria Josepha, daughter of the Habsburg Emperor in 1719.
    The 4th side wasn’t completed until 1855 when the Sempergalerie finally completed the enclosure of the courtyard.
    The main entrance to the Zwinger is through the Kronentor (which was under scaffolding when I was here) but it’s just as likely that you’ll enter through the Sempergalerie arch from Theaterplatz. If you do, you’ll see the Kronentor opposite with the Wallpavillon on your right.
    The Wallpavillon is the most outstanding feature and it warrants a much closer look to see all its fine detail. It’s flanked by the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon which houses an important collection of scientific and technical instruments.
    If you walk through the French Pavilion, to the right of the Wallpavillion, it will bring you out into the lovely Nymphenbad, an open courtyard with ornate water features and nymphs surrounding it inside scalloped shells.
    At the complete opposite end of the Zwingerhof is a mirror image of the Wallpavillon. When it was built it was recognised that it could never surpass Popplemann’s original Wallpavillon and was subsequently fitted out with a Meissen glockenspiel which always seems to start chiming when you’re not expecting it. The Glockenspiel Pavilion houses one of the most important porcelain collections in the world.
    If you haven’t spent long enough here already you can also visit the Armoury and Old Masters Gallery in the Sempergalerie.
    One thing to remember though is that the Zwinger was severely damaged in the bombing raids of 1945 but the whole complex has been beautifully restored and in the summer months open air serenades are still performed. I can’t dance because I’ve got two left feet but I’d love to sit here and see those who can. It must be quite something.

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