Zwinger palace was one of the most beautiful palaces I ever seen. I was thinking I will be bored of baroque - rokoko style, but it was vise versa. As I read, it is one of the best examples of late baroque style in Germany.
Giant palace, called also as Zwinger palace, was built in 1710 – 1728 by the architect Poppelmann. First purpose of this place was an orangery. What Zwinger means? It is old German word, meaning part of a fortification between the outer and inner defensive walls.
As I discovered, it is possible to see the main yard, but also to climb some steps in front of palace and see other parts of it. Zwinger now houses huge collections of pictures, armory, porcelain.
This is a fantastic display of military armor and weapons. The collection of display totals 1,320 pieces and a lot were donated by European and Oriental rulers. A standout is the gold scrolled armour for a man and horse that was designed and scrolled by a famed goldsmith from Sweden made for its king. There are also hundreds of ornamental pistols and rifles on displays as well as decorative swords.
Entry is 10 Euro, or use a Dresden card for 2 days 24 Euro. Open time are 10-6 Tuesday-Sunday
This is a wonderful presentation of the pieces on display of porcelain Augustus the Strong collected. It is but a mere amount on display of all the pieces in the collection, and the last section was added in 2006, after the first displays in 1962. Primarily noted are the large "Dragon Vases" that were purchased by Augustus the Strong from King Wilhelm I in exchange for some military dragoon troops.
The museum has a long wing that houses the pieces. The collection totals 20,000 and spans the Ming and Quin Dynasties plus many made in Saxony in Meissen. Meissen has some pieces on display, but of all places the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville Florida also has a large collection of 3,000+ pieces purchased in the 1920-30's when real wealth value was not considered as it is today. Take a look outside the building to see the 40 porcelain bells that chime on the hour.
Fee to enter is 10 Euro and it is open Monday-Sunday, but closed Thursday. Time is 10-6PM. A Dresden card is cheaper at 24 Euro for 2 days to see most museums.
This is worth taking a few moments to absorb all the splendor of the style on the crown. The whole complex has so much elaborate frosting and it is in my opinion one of the most beautiful palaces in he globe (but I have not seen them all).
The interior of the compound is nearly beyond imagination. The fountains only adds to the impressive memories, along with the hundreds of sculptures ringing the outside walkway on top. The Baroque and Classical decor styles stand out.
It was built in early 1700's, and the most magnificent Baroque architecture anywhere in Germany. The last wing being the north side Semper GAllery was added in mid 1800's, and designed by architect Gottried Semper in Neo Classical style. it served as the fortress for the town in the beginning, and had an outer and inner walls system; hence the name standing for how the complex swung outward for defenses. Later in the period, this became an orangery, then gallery and festival gathering place for the rulers and gentry.
There is an armory, porcelain museum collection, art gallery, mineral collection, sculptures, coin collection in the tower (closed at this time)and mathematics/physics museum(closed now). And then there are fabulous statues all around the outside, and a large wonderful courtyard.
Here is a small plan of where to go in Zwinger: the entrance is from Julian-Grimau Alley through Kronentor ("Crown Gate").
You will see Sempergalerie right in front of you.
It occupies the left part of the Semper Building. The Historic Museum is in its right part.
To your left is the Wallpavillion and to your right is Meissner China Pavillion.
Visiting Semper-Galerie I was very impressed by seeing Raffael's Madonna.
I saw its reproductions many times, but it was something special to see its original.
I stood there and pondered what the great artist had conveyed to us by his masterpiece.
In the Semperbau Armoury the visitor can take a trip through time, following the footsteps of those who went to court festivities, knightly tournaments and court hunts.
Beautiful weapons, impressive racing and jousting equipment, paintings of tournaments and princes of the 16th to 18th century, all told more than 1,300 items from all corners of Europe and the Orient which reflect the royal court culture of the Early Modern Period and provide witness to the glamorous court fests in Dresden.
You can watch my 44 sec Video Dresden Armory out of my Youtube channel.
Rüstkammer, Semperbau, Zwinger 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays
normal: 3,00 Euro
reduced: 2,00 Euro
children until 16 years free: free
groups (10 persons and more) per person: 2,50 Euro
The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister or Old Masters Picture Gallery features major works of art.
Its works originate from the 15th to the 18th century. Among the primary focuses of its holdings are Italian painting of the Renaissance and Baroque as well as Dutch and Flemish painting originated mainly from the 17th century. The gallery has art works of famous German, French and Spanish painters.
You can watch my 6 min 24 sec Video Dresden Old Masters Pictures Gallery out of my Youtube channel.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
incl. Rüstkammer, Porzellansammlung and special exhibitions in the Semperbau and Zwinger
normal: 10,00 Euro
reduced: 7,50 Euro
children until 16 years: free
groups (10 persons and more) per person: 9,00 Euro
The Zwinger includes six pavilions connected by large galleries.
The name derives from the German word Zwinger (outer ward of a concentric castle). It was for the cannons that were placed between the outer wall and the major wall. The Zwinger was not enclosed until the neoclassical building called the Semper wing was built.
You will get the most magnificent vies at the Zwingerhof and all six pavilions from the balustrade.
You will also enjoy Nymphenbad, Zwingergraben and Zwinger Wasserspiele from there.
The Wallpavilion (Rampant Pavilion) serves as a staircase to the upper arcades. It is a fine symbiosis of architecture and sculpture and more art than construction.
The numerous statues are from Greek mythology and include Herkulus Saxonicus carrying the globe and the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Glockenspielpavillon (Carillon Pavilion) is famous with its gilded clock ant its mesmerizing melody originating from 40 bells made of Meissen Porcelain.
They are hanging either side of the clock and chime every 15 minutes as well as play a classical tune thrice daily: 10:15, 14.15 and 18.15 (unfortunately I didn’t hear it…). Its carillon of Meissen porcelain was only completed in 1936.
The Crown Gate (Kronentor) with its golden dome has become a famous Dresden landmark. The best known feature of the Zwinger is the Kronentor or Crown Gate, a baroque gate topped by a large crown. The statues in the gate's niches represent the four seasons.
Near the Rampart pavilion is the Nymphenbad, a small enclosed courtyard with a baroque fountain featuring numerous statues of nymphs and tritons.
It is adorned by a large crown carried by four Polish eagles symbolizing the dual role of Augustus as Prince Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.
Originally the Zwinger had only three wings, the courtyard opened up towards the Elbe river.After the completion of the Semper Opera House in 1841 Gottfried Semper closed the courtyard by adding a gallery in Renaissance style. Construction of this new wing, now known as the Semperbau, started in 1847.
The wing is also referred to as the Picture Gallery as it is home to the Gemäldegalerie Alter Meister (Old Masters Gallery), a museum with top-class works from famous artists such as van Dijck, Vermeer, Rubens, Titian and Raphael (the Sistine Madonna).
The wing also houses another museum, the Rüstkammer (armory), also known as the Historical Museum, with a large collection of weaponry from the 15th to the 18th century, including many weapons and harnesses used by the Saxon rulers.