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[ '''Dresden'''] is the capital of the [[Germany|German]] federal state of [[Saxony]] (''Freistaat Sachsen''). Located Dresden is located on the Elbe River and is an industrial, governmental and cultural centre, known worldwide for Bruehl's Terrace and its historic landmarks in the Old Town (Altstadt).
Dresden became a city in 1206 and celebrated its 800th birthday in 2006.
It was home to many Saxon princes and kings, the most famous of them being ''August der Starke'' (Augustus the Strong), whose kingdom included Poland as well. They appertained to the family of the Wettiner and were closely related to many other European royal families. Many buildings date from their reign and especially the . The rich art collections are testimony of their extreme wealth. The "Madonna Sixtina," was for instance , was bought by the son of August the Strong.
[[Image:PC280033b.jpg|thumb|200px|Dresden's most famous landmark, the '''Frauenkirche''' in winter.]]
The last Saxon king abdicated in 1918.
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.
For many years the ruins and now the newly rebuilt Frauenkirche, with its donated gold cupola donated from the UK, acted acts as a call for peace among the different nations of the world.
The historical centre is nowadays largely restored to its former glory, however some parts are still under reconstruction.
Dresden has about ten million tourists a year, most of them from Germany. The Zwinger was rebuilt in 1964, the Semper Opera house in 1985, and the now most famous landmark of Dresden, the Frauenkirche, in 2005. When asked what they like most about their city, Dresden citizens will reply Old Town (which is quite compact, even though it has a lot of well-known attractions and museums of worldwide meaning), Dresden-Neustadt (an alternative central quarter) and the surroundings like the wine town [[Radebeul]], the climbing area [[Saxon Switzerland]], lots of castles, and most of the city landscape of about 80 quarters.
The level of international tourism is growing, especially from the US and China since Dresden is a stop between [[Prague]] and [[Berlin]]. Architecturally, Blasewitz Loschwitz is the most interesting living quarter, despite it being a hilly landscape.
Some people think that the sand stone buildings look black because of burnings or polutionpollution. This is not true. Sandstone turns naturally dark after a whileas it ages. You can see the dark stones as well in the near by saxon switzerland Saxon Switzerland and on pictures of Dresden from the 18th Century, where the sandstone-buildings are black as well.
Dresden lies in the former German Democratic Republic and the GDR architecture is still well easily visible in the city. In the city center The "Prager Straße" and the "Kulturpalast" are examples for classical GDR architecture. If you leave the center you will find a lot of appartment apartment blocks, called "Plattenbau" as they are typical in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Traces of World War II are not visible in the city anymore.
[ '''Dresden-Klotzsche Airport'''] is located north of the city and can be reached by bus (line 77 and 97) and tram line 7 (change for the bus at tram station ''Infineon Nord''). Even faster is the connection with local train lines (''S-Bahn'', line S2) which takes 21 minutes to reach the main station.
Flights leave to nearly all important German cities and a few European destinations, like [[Moscow]], and [[Zurich]] and (but not [[London]]or [[Paris]]). The emergence of low-frills airlines [ ''Germanwings''] and [ ''Air Berlin''] has led to reduced fares to [[Cologne]], [[Düsseldorf]], and [[Stuttgart]] and [[Munich]]. [ ''Lufthansa''] operates to most domestic destinations.
===By train===
Dresden is served by two big train stations, one on the northern side of the Elbe, '''Dresden Neustadt''', and one on the southern side of the Elbe, '''Dresden Hauptbahnhof''' or "main railway station". Be sure to check if your train is really leaving/going to Dresden Hauptbahnhof or to Dresden Neustadt.
The ''Dresden Hauptbahnhof'' is situated at the southern end of Dresden's main shopping street, Prager Straße, and in is a short walking distance from most central attractions in Old Town. It is very well connected with the local bus and tram network and can be reached very quickly from nearly everywhere, also even at night time. Trains to nearby towns, such as [[Meissen]] and [[Pirna]] run till until around midnight. Regular trains leave Trains regularly depart the main train station for the rest of Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich) and to Prague, Budapest and Wroclaw.
The other big train station called ''Dresden-Neustadt'' is located just north of the New Town and also offers very good train connections, as most trains run through there, too. Some trains even terminate there and not at the main train station. Dresden-Neustadt is also easily accessible by tram or car.
===By Bus===
[ com/ '''BerlinLinienbusFlixbus'''] operates seven to eight buses has connections from Berlin all over Europe that can connect to Dresden on a daily basis. The central bus station is at Hauptbahnhof station and some of the buses stop at Schlesischer Platz in front of the Neustadt station.
[http://http '''Mein Fern BusEurolines'''] also especially connects Dresden from Berlin South and several other destinationsEastern European Countries. Cost from €7 singleBut also connections between Germany, Austria and Switzerland are available.
==Get around==
===By bus and tram===
There is a combined system of tram trams (''Straßenbahn''), bus buses and even traintrains, but no underground trains. It works very well and connects all points of interest, but can be a little busy at peak times. Most lines run at night but with less at reduced capacity. This allows you to go out to most places or restaurants without the necessity to use bringing a car, including to far flung places like [[Pillnitz]]. See [ Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe (DVB) website].
Best is to get yourself a Day Ticket (€6.00) or, for families, a Family Day Ticket (€8.50). It allows you to ride on all trams, buses, most ferries and trains (except InterCitys and ICEs). It is relatively cheap and valid until the next day at 04:00. You can also get a ticket limited to an hour and some others, but Day Tickets are good if you are travelling recommended for flexible travel in and around and not sure where you will be going and what you will be doingthe city.
As with most places in Germany, the public transit operates on the honour system: you are assumed to have a ticket, and there are a few inspectors out spot checking. The exception is on the buses after 20:00, when the drivers are required to see all tickets.
===By car===
The street network is very good and many roads have been refurbished recently, especially in the city centre. As in all bigger towns it can be a bit crowded during rush hours. There are many parking lots in downtown Dresden and it should not be a problem to find a place to park, except on Saturdays when everyone goes to town for Saturday shoppingdays. A number of automatic signs have been created, showing you indicating the available number of free available parking spaces, before entering within the parking lots. Shops are open c. 10:00-20:00 and you will see a lot of tourists and locals going shopping in the city centre. Please beware of them when driving and note that this is the time with the fewest available parking spots. Car drivers might seem to be a little more aggressive than in other countries, but are usually more friendly if you don't have a local registration number.
===By bicycle===
Dresden is a very beautiful, light spirited city, especially in summer, when you can appreciate the serene setting of the historic centre. Although Dresden is larger than [[Munich]] when measured by area, the historic centre is quite compact and walkable. Be sure to check out these places while in Dresden.
* <see name="Frauenkirche" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">The original Church of Our Lady was completely destroyed during WWII; however, it has been reconstructed. The City of Coventry, which was raided by the Luftwaffe in WWII, donated the golden cross for the dome of the church. Open church most days from 10:00-12:00 and 1:00-6:00. Entry is free. Check out some ruins in the basement. Do not miss the tower visit and bring good shoes to climb in (otherwise you will not be admitted!)Same hours as open church. Entry fee €8 for adults.</see>
* <see name="Zwinger Palace" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="10:00-18:00. Closed on Mondays" price="Entry is free to the palace but some collections such as the porcelain exhibition have an entry fee" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The baroque palace features a nympheum, many sculptures of Permoser, a bell pavilion and famous art collections. Do not miss the "Alte Meister" - you'll find the famous Madonna Sistina of Rafael there including the well known angels. There is also a very nice museum on the arms of Saxon kings, the "Rüstkammer".</see>
* <see name="Dresden Neustadt" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Very nice, lively neighbourhood. Part alternative, part "pseudo-exclusive" and expensive. Check out the ''Bunte Republik Neustadt'' festival in June. But you shouldn't leave your bicycle unattended without a good lock, as there can be a serious risk of damage to your bicycle as well as your car, especially on weekend nights.</see>
* <see name="Dresden Baroque Quarter" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Real baroque houses. The quarter reaches from the "HeinrichstrasseNeustaedter Markt place" up to the "Albert Platzplace". On the Heinrichstrasse street, Obergraben street and in the surroundings Koenigstrasse street you will find a lot of antique stores, galleries, cafés, restaurants, bars, fashion, design & jewelry stores. It is the quarter where you will find different nice and small extraordinary furnished shops where the owner will serve you. It is the quarter of individuality.</see>
* <see name="Elbwiesen (River Banks)" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Go to the (mostly) green river banks, especially in hot summer evenings/nights for a very nice view of the old parts and lot of people playing sports, having barbecues and parties. There are often big concerts and a huge movie screen offers "outdoor cinema."
* <see name="Schwebebahn Dresden" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">A unique aerial tramway.</see>
* <see name="Gläserne Manufaktur (Transparent Factory)" alt="" address="Lennestr. 1" directions="" phone="+49 18 0589-6268" url="" hours="M-F 08:00-20:00" price="Tour: €5" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="">The transparent factory is the site where Volkswagen builds built its luxury sedan Phaetonand now its e-Golf. There is a tour (English language) offered by Volkswagen. </see>
* <see name="Pfunds Molkerei" alt="" address="Bautzner Straße 79" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">A milk store which is in the Guinness Book as the most beautiful milk store in the world. Decorated with 247.90 square meters of handmade tiles.</see>
*'''Watzke Brauereiausschank am Goldenen Reiter''', Hauptstraße 1, Phone [0]351/8106820, [], €10-15/person, One of their 3 locations in Dresden and is a great place to go to taste Saxonian cuisine. Their self-brewed beer is fantastic.
*'''Hellmuts''' [http://], Eschenstrasse 11, 01097 Dresden. Part of Rosis Amüsierlokal [http://] and maybe the craziest restaurant in the Neustadt. It's a mixture of asian, rock'n'roll and classic german trash interior. Besides that, maybe the best burgers in town. At least the biggest. Cheaper prices for drinks and food on mondays.Vegan and vegetarian food available. Open 5pm to 1am.
*'''Keké''', Louisenstraße 21 [], you should try the stomped potato (called Kumpir) in Dresden Neustadt. Keké has the best Kumpir.
*'''Hot Shüzzle''', Rothenburger Straße 9 [], real thai streetfood. With a chef from Thailand, Hot Shüzzle has the authentic Thai food in Dresden!
*'''Kantine No.2''', Görlitzer Straße [], the best Burger in Dresden Neustadt. Just grab one and eat at the corner where all the people sitting and have bear from the Späti (like late shop for drinks).
*'''Pizzastube''', Hechtstr. 12 [], best Pizza at the edge from Dresden Neustadt. Some people say it's already Hecht (District) but you can walk there and it's worth it!
===Eastern Dresden===
The '''Weiße Gasse''' is just around the corner of the '''Altmarkt''' near the shopping center and the historical town. Good alternative, if you do not want to go to the Neustadt.
* '''Hebeda's''' [] Rothenburger Str. 30, This pub is quite popular for the locals, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. The old East German furniture gives it a cozy and retro feel. Beer is cheap and there's a small dance floor for those who feel like dancing.
*<drink name="Hop Cult" alt="" address="Görlitzer Str. 25" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Craft beer shop with a vast bottle selection. Some seating available for consumption after purchase.</drink>
* '''Katy's Garage''' [], Alaunstrasse. 48, If you're walking around Neustadt, you can't miss the beer garden at Katy's Garage. It's a great place to have a drink when it's warm outside. When the beer garden closes at around 10PM, you can make your way into their night club, which consists mostly of rock music.
* '''Planwirtschaft''' [] Louisenstrasse 20, 351-801-3187, This quaint bar and restaurant is in a refurbished wine cellar. The drinks menu is extensive and served by an energetic staff.
* '''Rosis Amüsierlokal''' [], Eschenstrasse 11, 01097 Dresden, Tel.: +49/351-5005305, Ask everybody in the Neustadt, they all know Rosis. It's a big but cozy bar/club/concert-hall with an included restaurant [] and a pool hall [http://grü] in kind of a trashy red-light district ambience with lot's of love for details. Extremly busy on weekends and mondays (studentsday with cheaper prices) and always a guarantee for a wild party. Don't miss to destroy yourself with a Rosis Rocket! Open everyday from 8pm to 5am. Free entrance.
* '''Studiobar''' Görlitzer Str. 1, The best cocktails in town are available here. Located on the 2nd floor, it is a little bit hard to find. From the entrance, go into the main floor bar and straight to the back. There is a stair case that leads up to the second floor. Smoking is allowed here.
* '''Mondpalast''', Louisenstraße 77, Tel. +49-351-5634050, []. Very clean and bright rooms starting at cheap 10 bed dorm rooms up to ensuite doubles with balcony and TV. Offers a lounge and bar, as well as a self service kitchen.
*<sleep name="Kangaroo Stop Hostel" alt="" address="Erna-Berger-Str. 8-10 01097 Dresden" directions="" phone="+49 351 314 34 55" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Very good and clean hostel in the Neustadt district within a few minutes walking distance of the Dresden Neustadt train station. A kitchen, hammock, bar, lawn and computers are situated are at this hostel.</sleep>
==Stay safe==
Dresden is very safe in general. You can walk around the city center and most other parts late at night without having any worries.
In several regions of Saxony xenophobic right-wing political parties such as the quasi-fascist NPD (which was even able to win seats in the state parliament of Saxony) have gained significant strength and Neo-Nazis have attacked and injured foreigners, homeless people and people with alternative looks. The areas with the highest risk of encountering right-wing extremism are Gorbitz, Prohlis or Reick. In the vicinity of Dresden, the southeastern region stretching from the city of [[Pirna]] to [[Saxon Switzerland]] are also strongholds of right-wing parties and extremists. Outside centers of tourism in this region, chances of racist encounters are higher. So it is better to avoid these areas or to at least to stay in groups and not to stroll around at night. If you encounter Neo-Nazis immediately leave the scene without engaging in discussion and call the police as soon as possible.
Since winter 2014 Dresden became the center of weekly protest marches of a group called Pegida, which opposes immigration by Muslims or immigration overall. The protest marches take place next to the Semper Opera. Similar protests took place in other German cities, but there they never gained any significant strength and were typically vastly outnumbered by opposing protesters. As of February 2016, no significant violance has occurred at the Pegida protests, but with continuing radicalization and participation of extremists it is recommendable to stay away from the Pegida protests and avoid the inner city of Dresden on Monday nights.
* Radeberg - a small town a short S-Bahn ride away from Dresden. Home of the Radeberger Brewery. They offer tours throughought the day for €9, including tasting at the end. [] Phone ++49 3528 454 880.
* [[Saxon Switzerland]] (Sächsische Schweiz) upstream along the river Elbe is a national park for hiking and rock-climbing ([] is available in English while [] is the official site)
* [[Bastei]] - Footbridge and fortress ruins high above the Elbe river valley with beautiful views of the valley, rock formations and towns below. The Bastei bridge is approximately 40km from Dresden. A good day trip can include the Bastei and the [[Königstein|Königstein Fortress]]
* Tharandt and Forest of Tharandt - a small town 30min west of Dresden, with the direct train from the main station, where the forestry faculty of the Dresden University is located. You can walk up the ruins of an old castle from the 13th century to have a picturesque view, take a long, pleasant walk in the huge botanical gardens that belong to the university and get lost on long hikes in the outstandingly beautiful, calm and well signed forest of Tharandt surrounding the city, beat accessed from the small village of Kurort Hartha.

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