Leipzig/Dresden

Dec 2nd, 2007, 10:33 AM
  #1  
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Leipzig/Dresden

My husband suddenly wants to go on the JSBach trail and I've been looking for guidebooks. Almost nothing on Amazon US or UK sites.
Anyone??
gertie3751 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 12:02 PM
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No idea about English language guidebooks. Sorry I must say this, but the latest Fodor's Germany guide book is not of much help either, it is full of mistakes (btw, I mentioned this to the Editors). If you have any specific questions post here and I'll try to help.
Ingo is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Here's a German one with English translations: Reisewege zu Bach - Ways to Bach. http://www.imhof-verlag.de/thueringe...ys-to-bach.htm

There are several (in fact, my SO has written one about the young Bach in Thuringia) in German, but I suppose that won't help?

quokka is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Thanks all. I since found a Dresden City Guide and also a Thomas Cook Leipzig on Amazon UK.
Yes, we had a look at the Reiseweg zu Bach...I can read German but it's a struggle.
Looks like we're off! Sometime 2008. I was last in Dresden 1995 and most of the restorations must have been finished by now.
Must dust down my German.
gertie3751 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 10:25 PM
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Sorry Gertie, but very large sections of Dresden along the Pragerstrasse between the Hauptbahnhof and the Frauenkirche are under extensive rebuilding: it would seem to be at least a city block in size. The Frauenkirche is, of course, renovated, and a sensational job has been done. However, the Altstadt has large sections of demolition sites, and certainly was not as presentable this year as it was ten years ago: Nor as it will be in another ten years. Leipzig is going through a similar process though to a lesser degree in stadtmitte.
adeben is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 11:29 PM
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Gertie, it seems that the book I mentioned has the text in both languages, so you'd get by without struggle.

Bach has never lived in Dresden. You may want to include some places in Thüringen in your itinerary, especially his birthplace, Eisenach with the museum Bachhaus: http://www.english.bachhaus.de/
quokka is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 05:34 AM
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Yes, we had looked at Eisenach but it seems a long way from anywhere. How easy is it to get to without a car?
Maybe the whole exDDR is a building site but I'm not sure we can wait 10 more years!
gertie3751 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 05:57 AM
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>How easy is it to get to without a car?

Eisenach is an ICE stop on he Frankfurt-Leipzig ine (see www.bahn.de). Hardly a problem to get there without a car.
altamiro is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 07:30 AM
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Thank you. Yes, very easy. Could be that Leipzig is the best base and Dresden/Meissen/Eisenach can be done from there by train. Any thoughts?
gertie3751 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 07:36 AM
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Hi, gertie,

i suggest that you search for some previous threads about Dresden featuring the fodorite "Ingo", who is local to that area.

He's a mine of information and can tell you a lot about the area.

you might like to contact the Leipzig tourist board [try google] for specific info about JS and all the other Bachs. [15 children as i recall].

good luck,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 11:41 AM
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There is still construction going on in the old town of Dresden. The block that was under scaffolding and netting this year on Prager Strasse is about to be finished with renovation right now. That area looks very presentable to me (if you like a 1960s/70s ensemble). But they demolished another block on the north end of Prager Strasse - they build a huge shopping mall there which will be completed in fall 2009.

The area around the Frauenkirche is still a (re-)construction zone. But they make good progress. Later next year they will have two more blocks in mostly old architecture completed. The Neumarkt square gets a face more and more.

In other areas like Neustadt (Baroque/19th century) and the fantastic and often overlooked 19th century residential areas like Blasewitz, Loschwitz, Weisser Hirsch you won't see much construction going on. Also, from the river (and a steamboat trip is a must) you won't see large construction sites.

Yes, base yourselves in Leipzig and do day trips. Eisenach is recommended, but to be honest, I think hitting the Bach sites in Leipzig would be enough. Bach only played the organs in the Frauenkirche and the Hofkirche (catholic cathedral), no other connection. But why visiting only Bach sites?

I.
Ingo is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 12:03 PM
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No no, we're not only visiting Bach sites: my husband is the Bach fan, I'm the traveller and up for anything. We will only have a week in Leipzig/Dresden then I'll go on to Berlin for another week.
I remember being very impressed with the Dresden art galleries last time I was there. We also went to a concert in the Kreuzkirche I think. I want to see the reconstructed Frauenkirche and the Balcony of Europe again and will do a river boat trip this time too.
Construction work is part of being in Europe: life moves on and nothing stays the same.
gertie3751 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 01:29 PM
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gertie3751, we loved the art in Dresden. Be sure to see the Historic Green Vault - newly reopened treasure rooms - in addition to the New Green Vault exhibit (to avoid "opulence overload" I'd advise seeing them on separate days if you have that luxury). You can get tickets online in advance, but they go early. We ended up queuing on the day for the tickets they reserve for walk ups.
http://www.skd-dresden.de/en/museen/..._gewoelbe.html
noe847 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 01:32 PM
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I'm a big Bach "fan" and play is music myself almost daily as I find the WTC preludes and fugues good for warming up. Anyway, I visited the Bach sites in Leipzig, of course, and really enjoyed them (museum and St Thomas church). I always visit composer homes/museums, etc., and I am very interested in music, but have never heard of something called a "trail". I was in Dresden during that trip, but didn't do anything related to Bach, especially. He gave recitals there occasionally, but I don't consider that such a big deal as a lot of composers and performers traveled around Europe giving concerts and recitals. He never lived there, as far as I know. I think one of his sons lived there, actually.

I just loved Leipzig, as long as you are going there, it has a lot of musical connections other than Bach. I really enjoyed visiting Mendelssohn's home there, for example. Schumann lived there, also, for a while, as I recall, but his home is a little farther out and I didn't get to it. YOu can easily walk to Mendelssohn's as it is near the town center. I was just there on a day trip from Dresden, so I walked to all these things just to/from the train station that day.

I would imagine you could find this information better on the internet than expecting a guidebook on that topic. I have two guidebooks to musical sites in Europe and they don't mention that much about them beyond what you can find on the internet.
Christina is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 01:36 PM
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No Christina, I haven't heard of a Bach 'trail' either, the language is just my attempt to get across my husband's enthusiasm with some humour.
Thanks everyone for all this great information.
gertie3751 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 02:02 PM
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You could really follow the Bach trail by walking from Arnstadt to Lubeck (around 200 miles) just to meet Dietrich Buxtehude hear him play the organ.
Bird is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 04:33 PM
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That last reply should have read:

You could really follow the Bach trail by walking from Arnstadt to Lubeck (around 200 miles). Bach traveled by foot just to meet the then famous composer Dietrich Buxtehude and to hear him play the organ.

Sorry

Bird is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 03:08 AM
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Hi, Bird -

do you have a time machine? I reckon Herr Buxtehude is a getting a little grey-haired by now!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 03:42 AM
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Have you looked at Frommers? Their guide features Dresden. If you can access the New York times website, you can read a few fairly recent travel articles on the city.

www.nytimes.com/travel
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 09:39 AM
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gertie, definitely follow noe's advice and make reservations for the Historic Green Vault far in advance - it's never too early!

You might also want to have a look at the concerts in the Frauenkirche; they often play Bach's works. Maybe you happen to be there one of those days?
Ingo is offline  

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