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Dresden became a city in 1206 and celebrated its 800th birthday in 2006.  
 
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. The rich art collections are testimony of their extreme wealth. The "Madonna Sixtina," for instance, was bought by the son of August the Strong.
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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 rich art collections are testimony of their extreme wealth. The "Madonna Sixtina" was for instance bought by the son of August the Strong.
  
 
[[Image:PC280033b.jpg|thumb|200px|Dresden's most famous landmark, the '''Frauenkirche''' in winter.]]
 
[[Image:PC280033b.jpg|thumb|200px|Dresden's most famous landmark, the '''Frauenkirche''' in winter.]]
 
The last Saxon king abdicated in 1918.
 
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.
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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 gold cupola donated from the UK, acts as a call for peace among the different nations of the world.
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For many years the ruins and now the newly rebuilt Frauenkirche, with its donated gold cupola from the UK, acted 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.  
 
The historical centre is nowadays largely restored to its former glory, however some parts are still under reconstruction.  
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The level of international tourism is growing, especially from the US and China since Dresden is a stop between [[Prague]] and [[Berlin]]. Architecturally, Loschwitz is the most interesting living quarter, despite it being a hilly landscape.
 
The level of international tourism is growing, especially from the US and China since Dresden is a stop between [[Prague]] and [[Berlin]]. Architecturally, 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 pollution. This is not true. Sandstone turns naturally dark as it ages. You can see the dark stones as well in the near by Saxon Switzerland and on pictures of Dresden from the 18th Century, where the sandstone-buildings are black as well.  
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Some people think that the sand stone buildings look black because of burnings or polution. This is not true. Sandstone turns naturally dark after a while. You can see the dark stones as well in the near by 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 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 apartment blocks, called "Plattenbau" as they are typical in Eastern Europe and Russia.
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Dresden lies in the former German Democratic Republic and the GDR architecture is still well 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 blocks, called "Plattenbau" as they are typical in Eastern Europe and Russia.
 
Traces of World War II are not visible in the city anymore.
 
Traces of World War II are not visible in the city anymore.
  

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