One of the most populous cities of Germany and capital for the state of Saxony, Dresden is also well recognised as a cultural and art capital. Started as a linear pottery culture at around 7500 BC, to be recognised as the centre of modern European art till 1933, the city has a long cultural heritage embedded within its evolution. The riverfront capital showcases excellent baroque architecture, making it a must-visit destination for architects. 

1. The royal palace

One of the oldest buildings in Dresden, it indeed is a treat for every architect and historian. The palace is situated in the heart of the city, has witnessed a long monarchy of 400 years. Being the display and a symbol of royalty, baroque architecture is indeed highly celebrated. Few Slavic references from its history are visible in the exteriors in the form of few green onion domes. 

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Dresden Palace ©wikipedia.org

2. Zwinger complex museum

Built by ar. Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, it is a museum whose huge gardens are one of the reasons to make it a successful tourist attraction. Started as an orangery in 1709 and a representative festival area, today it houses art pieces from all over the world, talking about modern art. It is located in the proximity of the Dresden castle. One of the most populous cities of Germany and capital for the state of Saxony, Dresden is also well recognised as a cultural and art capital. Started as a linear pottery culture at around 7500 BC, to be recognised as the centre of modern European art till 1933, the city has a long cultural heritage embedded within its evolution. The riverfront capital showcases excellent baroque architecture, making it a must-visit destination for architects. 

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Zwinger ©wikipedia.org

3. Dresden cathedral

Built in 1938 by Gaetano Chiavari, the church was turned to ruins during the second world war bombing, and was later restored in 1962, with some further restorations and modifications done in the 21st century. The highly ornate cathedral is one of the landmark structures in the city, adding to the cultural value. 

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Dresden Cathedral ©wikipedia.org

4. Dresden square

A rich collection of historical buildings and culture can for sure be experienced at the Dresden square. A small walk through the adjoining streets towards the square, as well, turns out to be a visual treat. One of the key attractions of this open space is the 102m tall, 1870 mural, representing the former prominent ruling figures of Germany.   

Places to visit in Dresden for the Travelling Architect - Sheet
Dresden square ©hotels.com

 

5. Dresden terraces

After a long day, if you want to enjoy the scenic city views, then the Dresden terrace is the place to be. The terraces are formed overlooking the Elbe River. Along with the historic art, modern artwork can also be found at the Academy of Fine Arts. It is a perfect place to get a complete glance of the city. 

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Dresden terrace ©hotels.com

6. Grosser Garten

Located close to the main square, Grosser Garten is one of the biggest open green spaces the city can offer. The park consists of a botanical garden, open-air amphitheatre and a 17th-century palace. The openness of the place makes it a good location for concerts and fireworks shows to take place. 

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Glosser Garten ©hotels.com

7. Dresden art passage: Courtyard of light 

Within the old city and the entire highly decorated Baroque, the city offers an array of modern art through the art passage, also known as the Kunsthofpassage. It features modern art installations alongside the cafes and bars. Within the Neustadt district, it is a series of 5 courtyards. The courtyards of light show the different faces of natural light, thanks to the irregularly shaped mirrors placed over the bright yellow façade. This courtyard is also the winner of the people’s choice awards, held in 1998 for its unique play of light. 

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Courtyards of light ©hotels.com

8. Dresden art passage: Singing Drain Pipes

The bright blue facade with pipes as an architectural feature, it is one of the most famous buildings in the Kunsthofpassage is the singing drain pipes. With the rains in place, the exterior down take pipes turn into musical instruments. It is a part of the Kunsthofpassage series and is a pedestrian court, giving it a more humane touch. 

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Funnel Wall ©CHICUREL Arnaud/Getty Images

9. Dresden art passage: Courtyard of Animals

Another display structure in the series is the animal courtyard, a huge green façade displaying wild animals. Other small details such as window framings and balcony supports are designed and done is wood, trying to give the façade an authentic forest essence.  

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Animal Courtyard ©A S Galffy images

10. Dresden art passage: Courtyard of the Mythical Creature

Unlike the previous courts, this one is not designed to focus on single colour composition, but rather has a variety to offer. The façade is designed by artist Viola Schöpe representing the never-ending flow of life. Designing forms such as mosaic and Sgraffito are used to decorate the modern art piece.  

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Mythical creatures courtyard ©A S Galffy images

11. Dresden art passage: Courtyard of the Metamorphoses

The last one in the art passage series is the metamorphoses, designed by artist Arend Zwicker. The main elevation consists of a pair of 15-meter high metal pillars, attached to the façade only at one single point. The curved surface of the pillars consists of optical fibres, glowing at night, making it a tourist attracting destination. 

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Court of Metamorphoses ©A S Galffy images

12. Student district: apart from the courtyards series

Placed in the students’ district, apart from the courtyards, the residential neighbourhood offers many photogenic locations. Locations such as lanes decorated with lush plantation and florist shops along with the number of cafes, taking you back to the cultural Dresden, adding to the typical European essence.

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Kunsthofpassage cafes ©A S Galffy images

13. Semperoper

Designed by Gottfried Semper in 1841, the opera house is the prominent structure of the main Dresden square. A culturally celebrated place, where statues of famous people, related to the field of art and literature can be spotted. The structure consists of a quite good foreground, allowing one to appreciate the intricate baroque masterpiece. 

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Semperoper ©hotels.com

14. The Georgentor and the Procession of Princes

One of the very first of renaissance buildings for the city to witness, it was the original city exit to the Elbe bridge. The exteriors consist of rich sculptural decoration, whereas the inner side is a long Tuscan-style arcade, with 22 rounded arches, leading to the Court Stables. The exterior Meissen Porcelain tiles portrait depicts the leading German dukes, kings and the leading figures in arts and science.

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Dresden georgentor procession of princes ©www.planetware.com

 

15. The German Hygiene Museum

A museum to promote and spread awareness about German hygiene was built in 1912. Built in the southeast of the old town Lingerplatz, the structure has a modern character to itself, unlike the baroque language, ones built in the heart of the city. It’s a fun interactive museum, making one engage with all of the human senses. 

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The German Hygiene Museum ©www.planetware.com
Author

Sanjana is a young architect with keen interest in place making and urban theories. It's the stories of the spaces and it's expressions, which got her exploring the field of journalism.

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