Dresden is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Something I particularly love is its architecture – the old baroque and gothic architecture in a town filled with cobblestone streets. What’s not to love?!
This iconic German city is one of Europe’s most beautiful – dubbed the “Florence on the Elbe” for its lovely Baroque architecture along the winding Elbe River.
Dresden itself though, is not as ancient as it appears. Despite looking like it was built within another century, the city was restored and rebuilt after being flattened by WWII bombings in 1945. Thankfully the blueprints of the city remained, so it was rebuilt it the same fashion and for some – using original materials.
While I was only in Dresden for a few days, I made it my personal mission to go out and get as many photos as I could. After my partner treated me to a new tripod for Christmas I was dying to test it out. And this is what i found…
So where are the best photo opportunities for someone’s first time in town?
The most impressive building in Dresden, also known as the Church of our Lady, is Frauenkirche. It sits in the centre of Dresden Altstadt about a 20minute walk away from the central station. It was originally built in the 18th century, and after its destruction its ruins served as a memorial to the war. Come 1994, they began its reconstruction which finished in 2005.
You can also enter the church, and even take in the views over the city from the top of its dome.
Neumarkt is where you’ll find the Frauenkirche. It’s the centre of Dresden’s historic district and was designed in a very German baroque style with light pastel colours, cobblestone streets, and water fountains. It can be a very busy spot during the warmer months, but in winter or the early mornings it’s mostly deserted. I visited in January and it was pretty much empty every time that I went there!
Brühl’s Terrace is known as the Balcony of Europe. It is an enormous platform that stretches along the shores of the Elbe River. While it was once used to protect the city from invaders, during Dresden’s rebuild it was transformed into a picturesque promenade for visitors to explore, stroll around, and enjoy the vibrant flowers during the spring. It’s also a popular spot for the Christmas Markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) during the festive season!
Along Schloßstraße, you’ll find one of the greatest remnants of old Dresden, Fürstenzug or the Procession of Princes. Surprisingly, this mural survived the bombings of WWII and suffered minimal damage. Today, it’s the world’s largest porcelain artwork and was first installed in 1871 after taking five years to complete.
The Zwinger is a palace complex full of gardens and is completely free to enter and walk around. You can wander around and get lost as you like. It was built for Augustus II. He had returned from a visit to his new court of Versaille and was eager to create a similar elaborate palace for himself in Dresden.
Unfortunately for me it was under construction when I visited, but I still got some pretty nice pictures from the outside overlooking Dresden’s Royal Palace.
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Located between the Zwinger and the Royal Palace, the Semperoper (Opera House) can be found towards the Western end of Brühl’s Terrace. It’s the home of the Saxon State Opera, the Orchestra, and the Ballet. It’s yet another building that mostly destroyed during WWII and rebuilt. Today you can visit the inside either by enjoying one of the shows, or by guided tour.
If you head across Augustusbrücke you’ll reach a park that stretches along the Elbe waterfront parallel to Brühl’s terrace. Elbwiesen or ‘Elbe Meadows’ is the perfect place to watch the sunset as it sets over the top of Frauenkirche in the distance.
While exploring Neustadt you’ll find the Kunsthof Passage, the result of many Dresden Artists creativity. There are four different themed courtyards to visit; Elements, Animals, Light, and Metamorphoses. The most famous of these is the Rube Goldberg Machine which turns rainfall into music – it’s also a very popular photo spot!
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Of course there are so many amazing photo spots around Dresden, so for those who have time I would also recommend visiting;
- Pfunds Molkerei
- Großer Garten
- Katholische Hofkirche
- Bastei Bridge in Saxony Switzerland
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