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Incredibly diverse and cultured, Dresden once again is laying claim to the most beautiful city in Germany. It's not there yet, but it's on its way, which is remarkable considering that it was firebombed by the Allies on February 13 and 14 of 1945 and turned into a jungle of cement block housing and factories by its Communist leaders during the Cold War. But the "Florence of the Elbe" is emerging once again, with the restoration of its monuments including the Frauenkirche, Zwinger, and Albertinum. The capital of Saxony is a city in motion, filled with great art and architecture that takes at least two or three days to absorb if only ...

Incredibly diverse and cultured, Dresden once again is laying claim to the most beautiful city in Germany. It's not there yet, but it's on its way, which is remarkable considering that it was firebombed by the Allies on February 13 and 14 of 1945 and turned into a jungle of cement block housing and factories by its Communist leaders during the Cold War. But the "Florence of the Elbe" is emerging once again, with the restoration of its monuments including the Frauenkirche, Zwinger, and Albertinum. The capital of Saxony is a city in motion, filled with great art and architecture that takes at least two or three days to absorb if only superficially. With the restoration of the Semperoper, the Hofkirche, and the Brühlsche Terrasse on the Elbe, Dresden is being returned to the silhouette made famous by court painter Canaletto. Concrete and glass are giving way to the former baroque and rococo splendor. Berlin and Leipzig are far more sophisticated, of course, since Dresden was less touched by Western influences during the Cold War. It lay isolated near the Czech and Polish frontiers, but its people are in Germany's forefront of culture, art, and music.

Danforth Prince
About the Expert

Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince have written many guidebooks for Frommer's, including Frommer's France and Frommer's Germany.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring, summer, early fall