Throwback Thursday: Dresden

Where: Dresden, Germany
When: February 2014
Hotel: Aparthotel Neumarkt
Why Dresden: John and I were trying to pick a place for one more trip before John’s month-long stay in Germany came to an end. We started making a list of places, and when John mentioned Dresden, I was definitely interested and a plan was born. Dresden is about 4.5 hours northwest of Stuttgart, right in the middle of the route between Berlin and Prague.

The Trip: Dresden’s history is arguably one of the most intriguing outside of the larger towns in Germany. Towards the end of World War II, the US and English militaries carried out a controversial bombing on the city that killed approximately 25,000 cities and destroyed the entire town center. The bombing included fire bombs which caused heavy fires throughout the town. To add to the devastation, Dresden fell into East Germany following the war and although select buildings were rebuilt to their former glory, several areas of Germany were built in “socialist” style. It wasn’t until the reunification of Germany that the remainder of Dresden was rebuilt, and the local people focused heavily on restoring Dresden exactly how it was before the war.

 

The main market square, highlighted by the Frauenkirche. It was only recently renovated (completed in 2005) and i

The main market square, highlighted by the Frauenkirche. It was only recently renovated (completed in 2005) and it is beautiful!

The inside of the Frauenkirche is beautiful!

The inside of the Frauenkirche is beautiful!

Love it!

Love it!

 

The outside, with a statue of Martin Luther in front.

The outside, with a statue of Martin Luther in front.

The burned stones of the Frauenkirche from the original church.

The burned stones of the Frauenkirche from the original church.

Dresden is a very walkable city with all of the main attractions within a couple of blocks from each other.

Dresden is a very walkable city with all of the main attractions within a couple of blocks from each other. This is the Zwinger Palace.

The entrance to the Zwinger palace courtyard

The entrance to the Zwinger palace courtyard

Very pretty courtyard, even in the winter!

Very pretty courtyard, even in the winter!

The Dresden Opera House

The Dresden Opera House, Semperoper, reopened in 1985

The highlight of the Dresden old town - with the Katholische Hofkirche on the left and the Kreuzkirche on the right

The highlight of the Dresden old town – with the Katholische Hofkirche on the left

The Katholische Kirche

The Katholische Kirche

The Dresden skyline

The Dresden skyline

After spending a lot of time walking around, we took a break for dinner and just to relax in our awesome Aparthotel – which is really just an apartment for rent nightly. We had a kitchen, living room, bedroom – the place was huge, affordable and in a great area of town.

After our break, we went out for a night walk of Dresden and this was really when you saw the beauty of the town.

The first stop - the Frauenkirche, which was steps from our hotel.

The first stop – the Frauenkirche, which was steps from our hotel.

The Furstenzug, or Processional of Princes, an impressive mural documenting the history of the ruling parties of Dresden.

The Furstenzug, or Processional of Princes, an impressive mural documenting the history of the ruling parties of Dresden.

The Kreuzkirche on the right...

The Kreuzkirche on the right.

John and me on our night walk

John and me on our night walk

View across the river from the Aldstadt

View across the river from the Aldstadt

The next day, we decided to head to Poland instead of looking around Dresden some more, which turned out to be a great choice (more on that later), and the next day – we hit the road back to Stuttgart!

Final Impressions: I’m very happy that we went to Dresden, but I am not sure it was worth the two nights we originally dedicated to it. Dresden is absolutely worth a stop, but maybe on a trip from Berlin (1.5 hours north) to Prague (1.5 hours south). It would be a great middle ground to stretch your legs and relax a bit.

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