Dresden Neustadt "new town"
Explore alternative culture, night life and international flair in Dresden's most colorful neighborhood.discover
Since the Renaissance, Dresden was the residence of the Wettin family. They were the electors and kings of Saxony for almost 800 years, and Dresden was one of the big courts of Europe until monarchy was abolished in 1918. The Wettin rulers started collecting art from all over the world around 1700, and Dresden's museums guard many of their treasures to this day.
Representative buildings, palaces and fortifications from the Renaissance and Baroque period still shape the picture of the city today - or rather, again. Dresden was tragically destroyed in February 1945 in allied bombings, with the entire inner city burned down and tens of thousands dead or homeless. (Book recommendation? Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse Five' contains the author's impressions of Dresden as a young US soldier just then.)
An old cultural capital of world renown, Dresden was lucky enough to be at least partially rebuilt, and much of the old town is as splendid as it ever was. Perhaps the most iconic reconstruction project is the Frauenkirche, the huge Baroque domed church that once again dominates Dresden's skyline.
Along the gentle curve of the Elbe river, many important cultural institutions reside in impressive historic buildings: The art galleries of old and new masters in the Zwinger court, the treasure collections of Grünes Gewölbe in the Wettin castle, the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts on Brühl's Terrace.
A few steps further, Saxony's political center, its state parliament, is located in the Sächsischer Landtag building.
Around Altmarkt, the 'old market square' and Prager Strasse is where shopping malls, food joints, cinemas and office buildings cluster.