Dresden – The essence of culture

There are many ways to interpret or define culture. But it can be easily summarised with just one word: Dresden. The sheer abundance and splendour of the city’s cultural treasures are enough to take your breath away. And since Dresden also just happens to be set amidst a stunning river landscape, your amazement is soon accompanied by pure delight.

The city is famed not only for its three major landmarks – Semper Opera House, Zwinger palace and the Church of Our Lady. But also the Brühl Terrace, the Royal Palace and the twelve Dresden State Art Collections are worth being seen. The beautiful Semper Opera is considered to be a prime example of “Dresden Baroque” architecture. It was originally built by the architect Gottfried Semper in 1841. After a devastating fire in 1869, the opera house was rebuilt, partly again by Semper, and completed in 1878. It is home of the Saxon State Opera, the Saxon State Orchestra and the Semperoper ballet. Why not include a visit of a concert to your stay in this city full of history.
But Dresden has more to offer than just history. The New Synagogue, the UFA Kristallpalast cinema designed by celebrated Austrian architects Coop Himmelb(l)au and the trans fluent Teflon Membrane (designed by Norman Foster) covering the historical iron framework of Dresden’s Main train station show the modern side of Dresden.
Should you have the chance to be in Dresden in December, you should definitely visit the Striezelmarkt, Germany’s oldest Christmas Market. Enjoy a mulled wine and the famous strietzel, as the locals call their traditional Christmas cake. 

Michael’s recommendations

75% of the historical centre of Dresden was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945. These events have left deep scars on the city and are still remembered each year with processions and ceremonies. More than 30,000 people died in the bombing – the exact number is unknown. This is still a topic in Dresden but also in the German media. Some hard right political movements try to use this topic for their agenda.

Dresden itself, these days is a wonderful restored city with a number of excellent hotels downtown. Most of them are boutique style and allow to walk the city easily. My personal favourite is a visit of the Semper Oper, be sure to book with us in advance. 

Restaurant Recommendations

The Restaurant situated in the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Bülow Palais in the baroque ambience of Neustadt quarter is considered one of the best culinary address in Dresden. Here, urban nonchalance of the bistro meets the culinary finesse of the gourmet restaurant. The influence of gourmet cuisine with Meissen porcelain and exciting wines remains unmistakable, but it has become more international. Seasonal and regional delights are complemented with specialties from traditional world cuisines.

Enjoy an unforgettable day in the Elbland west of Dresden and start with a visit at the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, the oldest and most prestigious producer of finest porcelain in Europe. Several individual options are possible including creating your own porcelain piece. After a stroll through the medieval town with its castle and gothic cathedral you can have a wine tasting in almost mediterranean ambience at Wackerbarth Castle, before ending the day with a dinner in the romantic Michelin starred restaurant Atelier Sansoucci in Radebeul.

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