Pillnitz is the old garden residence of the Saxon kings near Dresden, Germany. Today it belongs to Dresden but it´s still rather outside, served by city buses, ships and ferry boat from Dresden-Kleinzschachwitz, a villa quarter which is felt as more inside the city, served by the railed street cars which are the most typical public transport system of the city.
Before Dresden became an industrial, research and tourist center it was a royal residence city. The royals kept castles. Pillnitz was built in a Japanse but also English style and the closest royal one to Dresden, besides the city castle.
The park and castle were built in the end of the 18th century as English garden and remained like that since then. The castle became worldwide known for the Declaration of Pillnitz by Emperor Leopold II and Frederick William II of Prussia. Calling on European powers to intervene, this declaration was intended to serve as a warning to the French revolutionaries not to infringe further on the rights of Louis XVI, and to allow his restoration to power. It helped begin the French Revolutionary Wars.
Pillnitz was the summer residence of the Saxon kings till 1918 and therefore used for festivities by the royals, too. The English garden is home to an barque of these days. Today there are still concerts and cultural events.
The site consist of the English garden, a Chinese garden and Chinese pavilion (with Chinese style buildings) and the Orangerie (Home to the tropical plants in winter).
Flora and fauna
A big attraction is the camellia. Imported in the end of the 18th century from Japan is it now the oldest in Europe. it flowers beautifully in spring. It stands in the open during summer, but is been put in a mobile glass house for winter.
During summer you will also see all kinds of tropical plants in pots standing in the gardens, but in winter they are all transferred into the Orangerie. There are however a huge number of other indigenous and foreign plants to be discovered.
By public transport
Bus line 63 stops directly at the castle. Tram line 2 and bus line 88 stop on the southern side of the river and you will need to take the ferry.
From Dresden drive towards the east along the Elbe River. If on the northern site, you will directly get to the parking aera (advisable). When arriving from the southern site, you will need to cross the Elbe on a ferry.
Paddle-steamers  operate on a regular base to Pillnitz (single from Dresden €9,20, return €14,30). A truly unique experience.
There are no entry fees at the moment, although there still is a debate about a small fee.
Within the grounds is the four-star Schloss Hotel Dresden-Pillnitz (Dresden-Pillnitz Castle Hotel), August - Böckstiegel - Straße 10, 01326 Dresden, tel.: (03 51) 26 14 - 0, fax: (03 51) 261 44 00 . Situated within the gardens it promises a quite and enjoyable stay within a beautiful ambience.