The 20 best sights of Dresden – descriptions and photos

Top 24 best sights in Dresden

Dresden can be compared to a precious chest full of curiosities. Germanic neat, beautiful and well-kept, it is famous for its extraordinary architecture, rich museums and luxurious castles. Visitors come here to enjoy the spirit of an ancient city that rose from the ashes of the Second World War bombings.

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Who goes to Dresden and why?

The sights of Dresden will be of interest to any cultural person. Those who want to see masterpieces of world art with their own eyes and not on reproductions should visit the local art galleries and museums.

Baroque cathedrals and churches will appeal to people who appreciate beauty set in stone.

The picturesque embankments and boulevards invite you for long walks amid breathtaking landscapes and fine architecture.

Architectural sights



This elegant palace complex is the epitome of Baroque style. Duke Augustus the Strong, on a visit to France, was so impressed by Versailles that he had a magnificent palace built at home. It was to eclipse its European counterpart in grandeur.

The construction lasted from the XVIII to XIX centuries. Today, the Zwinger halls are home to three museums: the Picture Gallery, where old masters are exhibited, the Physics and Mathematics Salon and the Porcelain Museum. The building is surrounded by a picturesque park and fountains, the most exquisite of which is considered the Nymphenbad – “Bathing Nymphs”.

Dresden Castle

dresdenski samok

Built in the 13th century, this castle was the residence of the Saxon electorate until the early 19th century. During the war the building was severely damaged. The reconstruction was finally completed only a few years ago. Using old photographs and drawings, the architects painstakingly recreated the Romanesque facade.

There is a museum inside the castle, including the armory, engravings and numismatics rooms. There is also a “green vault” – a collection of precious objects.

Opera house

operni teatr

The theater was founded by Gottfried Semper, so it is often called the Semper Opera. The luxurious building with majestic interiors opened to the public in 1814, and it quickly became the epicenter of European cultural life. It was the first time Strauss was ever performed on the stage of the opera, making the composer famous.

If you can not get to the show, you can just sign up for a tour. Tourists will be told about the architecture of the building, will be shown the foyer, boxes and other available theater rooms.

Castle Moritzburg.

samok morizburg

The country estate of the ruling Wettin dynasty is 14 km from Dresden. It was built in 1546 by decree of Moritz of Saxony and is named after him. Ballrooms were held here, and the nobility hunted in the local forests full of game. Today the castle operates as a museum. The antique furniture, antiques, gilding, and sumptuous furnishings of the rooms decorated with leather wallpaper are impressive.

Augustus the Strong carried out a global reconstruction of Moritzburg, turning an ordinary building into a chic castle. The beauty of its Baroque architecture is emphasized by the location – the palace stands on a peninsula and is surrounded on three sides by water.



The former tobacco factory building, built in the early twentieth century, resembles a bizarre Arabic mosque. On the sides are “minarets” (disguised pipes), in the middle – a glass dome, through which the gold decor comes through. The factory closed long ago, and today the building houses offices, stores, a cafe, and a restaurant.

Music of the Rain” house

dom musika dogdia

The concept of this building is reflected in the name. The spectacular facade of the building attracts tourists and photographers. It is especially crowded in rainy weather, when the drops, flowing down the twisted pipes, play unusual melodies. Connoisseurs say the music is different every time and never repeats.

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The once country residence of the Dukes of Saxony is now within the boundaries of modern-day Dresden. Elector Johann Georg IV. bought it for his young mistress. His successor Augustus the Strong had not only the building, but also the entire surrounding landscape transformed.

During his reign the Highland Palace and the Water Palace were built in the Chinoiserie style. Later came the New Palace – the embodiment of classicism in stone. There is a museum of applied arts and the castle museum in the palace ensemble. The building is surrounded by green park in the English style.

The Japanese palace

yaponski dvorec

This unique building combines three styles: chinoiserie, classical and baroque. This eclecticism attracts many tourists to the castle. They come to admire not only the architecture, but to visit the museums, which in the walls of the palace found three: Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Prehistory and Senckenberg natural history collection.

Galleries and museums



The Art Museum is named after King Albert, a great connoisseur and lover of art. An extensive collection of sculptures ranging from antiquity and the Renaissance to the late 19th century is on display, as well as more than 2,000 paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Dresden Art Gallery

kartina galery

This is the main attraction of the capital of Saxony. The gallery was founded back in the 16th century by King Frederick the Wise as a private collection. The public gallery became accessible to the general public only in the 19th century.

During the Great Patriotic War the gallery was damaged by numerous destructive bombings. Some of the paintings were irretrievably lost. But even today you can enjoy the works of such masters as Rubens, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Titian, Dürer and others at the permanent exhibition.


orugeina palata

Also known as the Museum of History, the Dresden Armory is a collection of ceremonial weapons, portraits and military textiles from the 16th and 18th centuries. The museum holds over 10,000 exhibits: among them are about 3,000 types of cold steel arms and almost 4,000 types of firearms. Medieval knight’s armor is also a big attraction.

Old Masters Gallery

galery old masterov

The museum is located on the territory of the Zwinger. There are 750 paintings in the gallery, among which are the masterpieces of world significance: “Sistine Madonna” by Raphael, “Prodigal Son in the Tavern” by Rembrandt, “Chocolatier” by Lyotard, as well as works by Titian, Vermeer and Rubens.

The collection was begun by Elector Augustus II, and his work was continued by his noble descendant Augustus III. After the war the collection was taken to the Soviet Union and only in 1965 did the canvases return to Dresden.

Bundeswehr Museum

musei bundesvera

Military History Museum has an unusual exterior. It seems that the two classic buildings of the 19th century are cut through by an iceberg. If you look closely, the iceberg is a separate structure, designed by the local authorities to give the museum a modern look.

In the rich storerooms of the Bundeswehr there are more than 10,000 exhibits. These include cold steel and firearms from different times, guns, a tank, even an airplane and a submarine.

“Green Vaults.

seleni svodi

One of the richest museums in Europe, housing paintings, crockery, sculptures, household items, interiors and jewelry that belonged to the Wettin house.

On display is one of the largest diamonds in the world, weighing almost 41 carats, a trophy of Ivan the Terrible, as well as an earring with more than 100 human faces engraved on it. The pearl of the collection is the Amber Cabinet, a gift from the King of Prussia to the Electorate of Dresden.

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German Hygiene Museum

musei gigieni

The museum was founded more than 100 years ago by entrepreneur Carl Lingner, who invented the mouthwash. Exposures tell about the structure of the body, the functions of internal organs, visualize the dynamics of some diseases, the process of digestion and even aging.

Many exhibits are interactive: you can press a button to illuminate an organ or system. A number of stands focus attention on proper nutrition and proper hygiene. In this museum, visitors of all ages will have an interesting time.

Porcelain Museum

musei farvora

Augustus the Strong started collecting porcelain curiosities back in 1715 and the Electorate commissioned an entire museum in 1715. Today its collection consists of more than 20 thousand pieces.

The most valuable are the samples of Chinese porcelain, dating back to the Qing and Ming dynasties. They are several thousand years old. Augustus exchanged the Dragoon regiment for valuable artifacts from King Friedrich Wilhelm I. Also worthy of close attention is a selection of Meissen porcelain, known throughout the world.

Interesting places

Brühl’s Terrace

terrasa brulia

A picturesque stretch of the embankment on the River Elbe stretches for 500 metres from the Karoly Bridge to the Augustus Bridge. This stretch is also called the “balcony of Europe”. Walking along the neat path among the trees one can admire the majesty of the water element and architectural masterpieces of the city landscape. There are small cafes along the entire route.

Once upon a time, Brühl’s Terrace was part of a fortification structure, but over time it has lost its importance, becoming a pleasant place for promenades.

Suspension road

podvesna doroga

In the 19th century, expensive cottages and parks were built on Oberlowschitz Hill on the right bank of the Elbe. Then a monorail suspended road was built to this new abode of wealth and beauty. The author of the original technical project was Eugen Langen, a courageous scientist and engineer, who was behind the invention of the internal combustion engine.

The simple and elegant vehicle worked for 100 years without serious failures. And only in 2002 on a monorail have made repair-reconstruction works. Suspended road smoothly lifts passengers to this day.

The Blue Wonder Bridge

most goluboe chudo

The bridge spanning the banks of the Elbe was built in 1983 to a pioneering design by engineer Klaus Koepke. The airy and elegant structure was officially named after King Albert. However, the public quickly renamed it the “blue wonder” because the bridge’s azure-colored iron trusses echo the sky and the water surface. Because of this effect, the structure seems to literally float in the air.

Bastai Bridge

most bastai

The stone bridge between the sandstone cliffs is almost 195 m high. It is the highlight of the Saxon Switzerland National Park. A bird’s-eye view of the picturesque plateau and forests offers a stunning panoramic view. Nearby there is a waterfall, stylized hunting huts and the ruins of a medieval castle.

Religious sights



The Church of Our Lady, located in the historic part of the city, is also known as the Frauenkirche. The Baroque-style cathedral was built in the 18th century to a design by H. Baer. In 1945 the building had not survived the destructive bombing. Its restoration began only with the unification of the two Germanies.

Today, the church once again impresses with its grandeur. Its distinctive feature – the whole 7 entrances, designated by letters of the Latin alphabet. The main entrance is under the letter D.



The main Protestant church in Dresden gets its name from a unique shrine. A piece of the cross, on which Jesus was crucified, was once stored here. The church, which originated from a twelfth century basilica, was repeatedly reconstructed. It acquired its final appearance only in the XVIII century.

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Kreuzkirche is the center of sacred music. The church hosts organ concerts, as well as a choir of boys and young men.



Also known as the Church of the Three Magi, the Dreikönigskirche has survived fires, bombings and other destruction. It is still active – services are held here on Sundays. Only here can tourists see the 7-meter high altar of the XVIII century, which miraculously survived to this day. And the epic bas-relief “Dresden Dance of Death” is impressive.



The former court church of the German Electors was built in the middle of the 18th century. Inside is the family tomb of the Wettin dynasty, who ruled Saxony for several centuries.

There is a lot to see and do. The Hofkirche Altar is made of white marble and decorated with gilding, the bell tower has 78 three-meter high statues. The working cedar organ is impressive in size.

20 best sights in Dresden

Dresden has long been considered the cultural capital of Saxony. For tourists, it is one of the most interesting German cities. This picturesque oasis in the valley of the River Elbe is remarkably harmonious, tranquil and elegant. Dresden’s numerous sights were skillfully restored after the devastation of World War II, so today thousands of tourists can marvel at its unique atmosphere.

The cultural treasures of the Dresden museums were carefully preserved for future generations and taken out of the city during the terrible bombings. After the reconstruction many collections were returned to the city. Today, visitors can still enjoy the exhibitions and learn about the history of ancient Saxony from them.

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The most interesting and beautiful places to walk. Photos and a brief description.


The palace and park complex of XVIII-XIX centuries. Its construction began during the reign of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, who was impressed by the beauty of Versailles in France and wanted to build an equally beautiful residence in his kingdom. The Zwinger contains a picturesque landscape park and several famous museums. The complex was badly damaged during the 1945 bombing and much of the palace was rebuilt from the ruins.



Dresden Art Museum. Until the end of the 19th century, the building housed the Arsenal, and then the city archives and museum collections were located there. The gallery was named after King Albert, who was an ardent admirer and connoisseur of art. The Albertinum exhibits works by realist, impressionist and romantic masters. In addition to paintings there is a rich sculptural exposition.


Old Masters Gallery

The museum, located in one of the palaces of the Zwinger. In the gallery unique masterpieces of artists, beginning with the Renaissance are collected. The collection was begun in the first half of the 18th century with the help of Augustus II and Augustus III. Prior to the bombing of the Zwinger, the paintings had been removed from the museum and were thus saved from destruction. Until 1965 the gallery’s collection was in the Soviet Union.

Gallery of old masters.

Dresden Castle Residence

The official residence of the Saxon rulers. According to the evidence of historical documents, the first castle appeared on this site at the end of the XIII century. Over time, the construction was becoming more and more solemn according to the architectural traditions of the successive epochs. By the mid-16th century, the palace had become a residence and was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. By the 19th century the facade had become “enriched” with Baroque elements and acquired its present appearance.

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Dresden Castle-Residence.

Brühl’s Terrace

A section of the embankment of the River Elbe about 500 meters long. In the 19th century it was a popular destination for walks of European nobility who came to Dresden to admire picturesque views of the city and river. It was at that time that Brühl’s Terrace became known as the “balcony of Europe”. In the 16th century, the promenade was part of Dresden’s military fortification system, but gradually lost its defensive significance.

The terrace of the Brühl.

Frauenkirche – Church of the Virgin Mary

An 18th century cathedral in the monumental baroque style, designed by architect H. Baer. After the total destruction of the historic building in 1945, the church lay in ruins until the unification of Germany at the end of the 1980s. The inauguration of the fully restored church took place in 2005. This was preceded by painstaking work of restorers, who had been working to restore the original appearance of the building since 1993.

Frauenkirche - Church of the Virgin Mary.

Hofkirche – Catholic court church

Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Dresden. The building was built in the Baroque style by G. Chiaveri in the middle of the 18th century. The Hofkirche was originally used as a court church for the family of the ruler Friedrich Augustus II. Inside is the family crypt of the dynasty of the Dukes of Wettin – the rulers of Saxony. The church was completely rebuilt after the devastation of World War II by 1962.

Hofkirche - Catholic court church.

Kreuzkirche – Church of the Holy Cross

Dresden’s main Protestant church and one of the oldest and largest churches in Saxony. In the 12th century, it was the site of St. Nicholas Basilica. The building burned down, crumbled and was rebuilt several times until it was given its present form at the end of the 18th century. The exterior facade of the Kreuzkirche survived the 1945 bombings. The church became famous thanks to the boys’ choir, whose virtuoso singing has accompanied the services for many centuries.

Kreuzkirche - Church of the Holy Cross.

Dreikönigskirche – Church of the Three Magi

The first mention of the temple dates back to the fifteenth century, but the buildings of those times have not survived. The Baroque building was designed by architect M. D. Pöppelmann in 1739. Inside the church is a decorative composition (frieze) called “Dresden Dance of Death”, which was created under Augustus the Strong to denounce “pernicious” ideas of the church reformation.

Dreikönigskirche - Church of the Three Magi.

Semper Opera

Dresden State Opera, with one of Europe’s oldest orchestras. Under the Saxon rulers, the stage served as the royal opera house. The Semper Opera has premiered several works by the famous composer J. Strauss. The last restoration of the building took place in 1985. In order to recreate the nineteenth-century structure, it took a long search for its original design.

Semper Opera.

German Hygiene Museum

Anatomical museum where visitors can learn about the structure and workings of the human body. It was founded in the first half of the 20th century by the industrialist C.A. Lingner, the inventor of hygienic mouthwash. The first and at that time most revolutionary exhibit was the glass human figure. All the organs and systems were clearly visible through the transparent shell of the model.

German Museum of Hygiene.

Bundeswehr Museum of Military History

Large military museum that was first opened in 1877. In addition to housing exhibits, its premises were used as an Arsenal and for renting to businessmen. In 1945 under the terms of the peace treaty the museum was closed, most of the collection was taken to the USSR. Since 1972, the building housed the Museum of the GDR Army. Since 1990, after the reunification of Germany, the exhibition reopened under the name “Military Historical Museum of the Armed Forces of Germany.

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Military-Historical Museum of the Bundeswehr.

The picture “Duke procession”.

Composition made of porcelain slabs that adorn one of the walls of the stable courtyard of the Dresden Castle-Residence. The picture depicts the rulers of Saxony – representatives of the Wettin dynasty. The panel is laid out of 25 thousand tiles, which are produced in Meissen manufactory. The attraction was almost unscathed in the devastation of 1945, so tourists can enjoy its original beauty.


The building of the former tobacco factory of the beginning of the 20th century was built in the original “eastern” style. The building is crowned with a glass dome, typical for mosque architecture, on the sides there are chimneys disguised as Arabian “minarets”. Since the factory was shut down in 1953, the premises have been used to house offices. There is also a restaurant under the dome.


Pilnitz Castle Palace

Summer residence of the rulers of Saxony on the banks of the Elbe. At the beginning of the 18th century under the will of Augustus the Strong of Wettin, the Water Palace and the Highlander Palace were built according to the design of architects Z. Longlun and M. Pöppelmann. The castle complex includes the Castle Museum, Museum of Applied Arts and a beautiful landscaped park in the English style.

Palace-Castle of Pilnitz.

Dresden Elbe castles

Three small castles of the mid-nineteenth century standing on the right bank of the Elbe: Lingner, Albrechtsberg and Eckberg. The constructions never served defensive functions, they were created for the Prussian prince Albrecht. In the XX century the castles were used as hotels, exhibition halls, restaurants, offices of international organizations. The parks surrounding the castles are open to the public.

Elbe Castle in Dresden.

Castle Moritzburg.

Majestic castle in Moritzburg (14 km from Dresden), one of the residences of the Wettin dynasty. In the middle of the 16th century it was the site of a hunting estate. Under Augustus the Strong, the building itself and the surrounding landscape were extensively reconstructed. The result is a picturesque “palace on the water” in the Saxon baroque style.

Castle Moritzburg.

The Elbe River

The riverbed stretches for 1165 km across Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and Poland. Before the Waldschlösschen Bridge the Dresden Elbe Valley (including the old center of Dresden) was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The valley has extensive areas of flood meadows, on which nothing has ever been built, a closed nature reserve and natural terraces.

The River Elbe.

The Blue Wonder Bridge

The official name of the structure is the Lošvický bridge. The structure is 280 meters long and connects the districts of Lošvice and Blaževice. The bridge was built at the end of the 19th century, following a progressive and innovative for its time project by engineer B. Kruger. Before the bridge worked, it was subjected to numerous strength tests. Today the “Blue Wonder” is in excellent condition and is actively used.

Bastai Bridge

Bridge, built between the coastal cliffs in the first half of the XIX century. The architecture of the structure is reminiscent of the ancient Roman aqueducts and early Romanesque construction at the same time. It is surrounded by picturesque views of the area known as the Saxon Switzerland National Park. The bridge rises 195 meters above the Elbe and offers a magnificent view of the river valley, the mountain plateau and the coastal cliffs.

Bridge Bastay.

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