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[http://www.dresden.de/dwt/en/ '''Dresden'''] is the capital of the [[Germany|German]] federal state of [[Saxony]] (''Freistaat Sachsen'').
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
[[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
For many years the ruins and now the newly rebuilt Frauenkirche, with its
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,
Some people think that the sand stone buildings look black because of burnings or
Dresden lies in the former German Democratic Republic and the GDR architecture is still
Traces of World War II are not visible in the city anymore.
[http://www.dresden.aero '''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]]
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
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 and tram===
There is a combined system of
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
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.
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
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="http://www.frauenkirche-dresden.de/" 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. 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!).</see>
* <see name="Zwinger Palace" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.skd.museum/en/museums-institutions/zwinger-with-semperbau/index.html" 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 "
* <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="http://www.dvb.de/en/Recreation-Tourism/Cable-Cars/" hours="" price="">A unique aerial tramway.</see>
* <see name="Gläserne Manufaktur (Transparent Factory)" alt="" address="Lennestr. 1" directions="" phone="+49 18 0589-6268" url="http://www.glaesernemanufaktur.de/en/" hours="M-F 08:00-20:00" price="Tour: €5" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="">The transparent factory is the site where Volkswagen
* <see name="Pfunds Molkerei" alt="" address="Bautzner Straße 79" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.pfunds.de/" 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 351/8106820, [http://www.watzke.de], €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.
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''' [http://hebedas.de/] 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.
* '''Katy's Garage''' [http://www.katysgarage.de/index1.html], 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''' [http://www.planwirtschaft.de/] 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.
* '''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, [http://www.mondpalast.de]. 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.
Dresden is very safe in general. You can walk around the city center and most other parts late at night without having any worries.
* 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. [http://www.radeberger.de/] Phone ++49 3528 454 880.
* [[Saxon Switzerland]] (Sächsische Schweiz) upstream along the river Elbe is a national park for hiking and rock-climbing ([http://www.saechsische-schweiz.de/] is available in English while [http://www.nationalpark-saechsische-schweiz.de/] is the official site)