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Saxony's capital city sits in baroque splendor on a wide sweep of the Elbe River, and its proponents have worked with German thoroughness to recapture the city's old reputation as "the Florence on the Elbe." Its yellow and pale-green facades are enormously appealing, and their mere presence is even more overwhelming when you compare what you see today with photographs of Dresden from February 1945, after an Allied bombing raid destroyed the city overnight. Dresden was the capital of Saxony as early as the 15th century, although most of its architectural masterpieces date from the 18th century and the reigns of Augustus the Strong and his son, Frederick Augustus II.
Although some parts of the city center still look as if they're stuck halfway between demolition and construction, the present city is an enormous tribute to the Dresdeners' skills and dedication. The resemblance of today's riverside to Dresden cityscapes painted by Canaletto in the mid-1700s is remarkable. Unfortunately, the war-inflicted gaps in the urban landscape in other parts of the city are too big to be closed anytime soon.
Dresden at a Glance
- Altmarkt (Old Market Square)
- Augustusbrücke (Augustus Bridge)
- Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden
- Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
- Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Court Church)
Elsewhere in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia
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