Magnificence of Central Europe- Part 2- Dresden
Second spot of our Europe trip was Dresden.
Next, we took a train to Dresden, the capital of Saxony- and known as the most beautiful city in Germany (it's gorgeous!). According to Britannica- "Before World War II, Dresden was called “the Florence on the Elbe” and was considered one of the world's most beautiful cities owing to its architecture and art". Dresden is stunning and you should definitely visit if you are coming to Germany. A unique aspect of the city is that it has been ruled by a single family for more than 800 years. A number of architectural monuments date to times of Augustus the Strong who ruled in the 17th century, and whose kingdom included Poland as well. While 75% of the historical center of Dresden was destroyed by the Allied bombing in 1945, it has been beautifully restored.
We started our trip with a guided tour of the historic center- including Zwinger, Royal Palace, Bruehl Terrace, and Procession of Princes. Zwinger palace was commissioned by Augustus the Strong after he saw the Palace of Versailles.
It is not at the same level as the Palace of Versailles, but where it stands out is in its collection of art (Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister), oriental porcelain collection from 1600s, and mathematical/scientific instruments. The collection of mathematical and scientific instruments was interesting; and so was the reason why Augustus the strong did it. On one hand, surveying instruments helped him effectively document, rule and collect taxes and on the other hand complex machines like astronomical clocks acted as symbol of power to impress his citizens into believing that he was powerful and intelligent enough to understand and explain the movements of celestial bodies.
We also happened to be in Dresden at a time when the Beach Volleyball festival (Die Techniker Beach Tour) was in Dresden. Alot of locals and tourists grabbed their beers and snacks and cheered on the teams enjoying the sunny June day.
With that our Dresden trip came to close. We took an evening train to Prague.