Dresden was on my travel list of places visited during my first ever trip to Germany. It was a very busy day in the summer, and I loved the diverse architecture and stories told by the city. This time, my main aim was to discover Meissen, and to spend the rest of the time revisiting old places in Dresden and eventually find new spots. For one hour before boarding my train to the porcelain factory, I walked around the old train station, whose old charm and posture still reminds of its sources of inspiration from Milan and London. Prager strasse is a modern shopping area, with spectacular steel and glass apparitions, around old blocks of apartments from the communist era that got a new colourful painting, and small statues partially damaged during the bombings.
Once my visit to Meissen finished, I ran straight away direction Residenzschloss, to enjoy the last rays of light. As during my first visit to Dresden almost 8 years ago, around the historical area, cranes and construction works were intense, sign that the city is still looking for a new identity. However, the main square and the area around the castle were quiet and unchanged with many corners covered by snow.
The black stones of the statues and buildings brought a feeling of sobriety, broken only by the colourful golden decorations of the Opera Haus.
On Augustusstrasse, close from the main square, I admired the famous Procession of Princes. Initially, it was a mural painting, presenting the procession of the rulers of Saxony, from the 12th century, till the end of the 19th. But the 5-year hard work was not waterproof and in 1904 it was replaced with 23,000 pieces of Meissen porcelain. It is the largest porcelain artwork in the world – 102-meter – and an interesting way to display local historical identity.
Dresden has also a very high-end selection of shops, champagne bars and luxury hotels, most of them located around the main square, where most groups of tourists stop usually. In the Passage area, fine pieces of art create an ambiance of luxury and exotic dreams. For the gourmets, Weissegasse is a good start for a tasty exploration. If interested to have a flavour of the local literature and buy interesting books about the history of Dresden, I recommend the old Ungelenk bookstore, on Kreuzstrasse.
As I saw previously almost all the classical collections and museums, I wanted to try something new this time. The Transportation Museum has an exhibition of luxury cars, some of them presented to the public for the first time, after many years of restoration. Visiting the permanent exhibition, I had the chance to update my knowledge about the history of transportation in Germany.
After such a busy and, at the end, cold day I needed to rest and get ready for my trip back. Out of many temptations, I chose Camonidas, a cozy place in the main square, offering tasty chocolates of all sorts but more pleasantly, a lovely customer service that helped me to understand (and taste even more) the secrets of Saxony chocolate. With new energies, I continued for 2 more hours my walk on the snowy streets, with a stop at the Theatre – Schauspielhaus – with its modern productions and a history of opposition to the excesses of the communist dictatorship.
As I noticed during my first visit, Dresden has many interesting faces and was good to be back, even only for a short while.
For more details about Dresden, visit my dedicated Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/ilanaontheroad/dresden/