During World War II Dresden was almost completely destroyed by massive bombing raids by an Anglo-American force. Dresden was so damaged that it was suggested that the best thing might be to level the site. Although, the Zwinger, the Saxon royal palace, and the Baroque
buildings around the palace were rebuilt. The aim was to maintain as far as possible the character of the old city. Additionally, a new city in the area outside was created. This is why today you can visit an Altstadt (old town) and a Neustadt (new city) of Dresden which looks like completely different places.
Actually, when you walk in Altstadt it is hard to admire the old, magnificent buildings when you know that they were rebuilt 15 years ago. Everything was rebuilt but the old town lost its soul.
Things to see and do in Dresden
One of the building stories actually impressed me. The Frauenkirche was rebuilt like a puzzle from the pieces which were left after bombing the city. Now, you can gaze at the combination of light (new stones) and dark stones (original) in the facade of the Frauenkirche. It was rebuilt between 1994 and 2005. It was funded by donations from all over Germany and even some foreign countries. One of the interesting idea to raise funds for construction was to sell good quality watches which have a tiny original stone from the Frauenkirche.
I think it is an amazing idea, I would love to have a piece of my city which I could treasure everywhere I go.
The Zwinger Palace
Zwinger Palace is one of the most beautiful buildings you will see in Dresden. It is always full of tourists. An orangery, today serves as museum complex that contains the Dresden Porcelain Collection (Porzellansammlung), the Old Masters Picture Gallery and the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon. I can’t tell more about it, because I wasn’t interested in those museums. More about museums.
Dresden Museum of Military History
This museums (Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr) is an intriguing dive into Germany’s
military history, as well as an analysis of some of the darker elements of the past of the country. Additionally, the focus in this museum is not on the battle or weaponry, but the human aspects of war. It is a huge and interactive museum where is easy to forget the time. On Monday is free admission from 6pm and I believe it is the best timing to go there. When you finish with the exhibition you are on the 4th floor and you can see the magical sunset and how it colors the city.
Saxon Switzerland or the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
It is located 30 kilometers southeast of Dresden. This marvelous hiking place is easy to reach by train. You don’t really need to be fit to go for a hike there, because it has 8 routes which you can choose by difficulties. You can find routes here.
Also, Bastei is the most famous rock formation in Saxon Switzerland, Germany. Bastei and the Bastei Bridge (stage 2) are the highlights of the German Saxon Switzerland National Park area. I don’t think you should miss this bridge it actually looks astonishing, but with a lot of people.
Food and drinks in Dresden
Everywhere I go I try to find a place where I could work remotely. It was not an easy task to find a hipster/ hygge cafe where you could have good wifi and tasty coffee. Actually, it was also hard to find Starbucks, McDonald’s and so on, but after long walks I found Arabusta. I loved there so much, it is a small and cozy coffee place with really nice staff, I highly recommend if you have some work or you just want to read a newspaper.
Marmaris Kebap Haus
For me, kebabs became one of the traditional meals in Germany, but this time I tried the most random kebab which I have ever tried. It was in Marmaris Kebap Haus near music shop and the kebab is called “Berliner”. We laughed with my friends that while you eat this kebab you can play a game “collect all the vegetables”. In that kabab you can find broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and so on, it was the tastiest thing ever.
For me, Dresden is a city of youth because there are high ranked universities. Neustadt has plenty of funky restaurants, bars and one of the liveliest nightlife which every student can dream of. Although, if you decided to travel in Dresden then I believe 3 days in this city will be enough to explore everything you want to see.