The Zwinger comprises a number of buildings that together represent a Gesamptkunstwerk, roughly a ‘complete work of art’. Largely rebuilt after the war, this is an almighty baroque jewel in Dresden’s considerable architectural crown that includes the Old Masters Gallery, Porcelain Collection and the Mathematics-Physics Salon.
Zwinger, Sophienstraße, Dresden, Germany + 49 351 491 420 00
The Residenzschloss (Royal Palace), home to the Saxon royal family for centuries, was fortunate not to be pulled down after its near-destruction during the war. Its reconstruction presents a mighty impressive structure, with a style owing something to its Renaissance origins, though it received a neo-Renaissance make-over between 1899 and 1901. Towers, sloping roofs, courtyards and various museums make the Residenzschloss an attractive visit, with the treasures of the Green Vault a particular delight. Climb to the viewing platform in the 100-metre Hausmannsturm’s for a great city view.
Residenzschloss, Taschenberg 2, Dresden, Germany +49 351 49142000
Located at the eastern end of the Brühlsche Terrasse, the Albertinum’s cellars, first floor and Tuscan pillars date back to its original Renaissance past. Its former arsenal was converted for the hugely significant sculpture collection (classical to Renaissance to the present day) in the 1880s. Recent renovations cost millions of euros and it now also holds the Gallery of Modern Masters, with works by the likes of Caspar David Friedrich, Monet, van Gogh and contemporary greats such as Dresden-born Gerhard Richter.
Planned and built during the communist period, Dresden’s Kulturpalast was originally conceived as the House of Socialist Culture. Completed in October 1969, it was a fantastic example of a classical socialist style of architecture, with a nod to international modernism thrown in for good measure. More than 50 years later- after a peaceful democratic revolution and recent major renovation – the Kulturpalast is a listed building and home to the Dresden Philharmonic, city library and theatre.
Kulturpalast, Schloßstr. 2, Dresden, Germany: Dresdner Philharmonie +49 351 486 6866; Dresdner Musikfestspiele +49 351 656 067 00; city library +49 351 864 8113