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...
    by german_eagle
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    Zwinger

    by EasyMalc Updated May 3, 2013

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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.

    The Wallpavillon The Zwingerhof View of the Schloss from the Zwinger Detail of the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon The Nymphenbad
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    Zwinger palace

    by Raimix Written Jan 2, 2013

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    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.

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    Zwinger Rustkammer-Military Museum

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 10, 2011

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    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

    Row of weapons Ornamental armour for man and horse Staircase form the horsecarriage entry
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    Zwinger Porcelain Museum

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 10, 2011

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    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.

    Rampart pavilion houses the collection Porcelain circular design of animals under canopy Row of porcelain pieces Another row of art pieces Porcelain chimes on the clock in Rampart
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    Zwinger Entrance-Golden Crown

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 8, 2011

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    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).

    Look up high for more glitter Angle of of the domed structure Shows more columned and arched decor Porcelain clock and sculptures Row od sculptures along back walkway
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    Zwinger courtyard fountains

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 8, 2011

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    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.

    View of Zwinger from on high Deck view of the courtyard Upper level picture Background from close up water shot Wrap view from the top
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    Zwinger-Simply the Best

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 8, 2011

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    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.

    Main entrance Courtyard view One wing-connected View from the walking deck View through the water fountains
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    Plan of Zwinger

    by hunterV Updated Nov 12, 2011

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    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.
    Enjoy!

    Plan of Zwinger, Dresden
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    World Heritage

    by hunterV Updated Apr 24, 2011

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    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.

    Admiring Raffael's Madonna
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    Rüstkammer (Armory)

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Mar 28, 2011

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    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

    R��stkammer (Armory) R��stkammer (Armory) R��stkammer (Armory) R��stkammer (Armory) R��stkammer (Armory)
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    Old Masters Picture Gallery

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Mar 28, 2011

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    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

    Old Masters Picture Gallery Old Masters Picture Gallery Old Masters Picture Gallery Old Masters Picture Gallery Old Masters Picture Gallery
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    Zwingerhof and Ballustrade

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Mar 13, 2011

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    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.

    Zwingerhof and Ballustrade Zwingerhof and Ballustrade Zwingerhof and Ballustrade Zwingerhof and Ballustrade Zwingerhof and Ballustrade
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    Wallpavillon

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Mar 13, 2011

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    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.

    Wallpavillon from ballustrade Wallpavillon
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    Glockenspielpavillon

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Mar 13, 2011

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    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.

    Glockenspielpavillon Glockenspielpavillon Glockenspielpavillon
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    Kronentor

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Mar 13, 2011

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    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.

    Kronentor Kronentor
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