5 facts about Dresden

When my sister, Laura, was at university she spent a year living in Dresden, Germany. I visited her for a week and it was probably one of the best weeks ever! Not only did I get to visit my wonderful sister, but I got to explore a whole new city. Whenever I mention Dresden people often don’t know much about it, so I thought I’d get Laura to give us 5 facts about the city:

  1. It’s in the far East of Germany almost on the border of the Czech Republic.
  2. It was previously ruled by a guy called Augustus “the strong” who decorated much of the city in a Baroque style and by doing so helped the city become a cultural centre.
  3. As it is in the East, it was under communist GDR regime for about 40 years until the wall fell down.
  4. It was completely destroyed in the war but much of the restoration didn’t occur until after the wall fell down in 1989. Rebuilding of the main church (“Frauenkirche”) was completed in 2004 – in the GDR regime its ruins were kept as a communist memorial. The cross on the top of it was made by a guy from Coventry, the twin city of Dresden, whose father was an air bomber in the 1945 air raid.
  5. The city is almost divided into two halves: Altstadt (the part that got destroyed) and Neustadt (untouched by the bombings) – most of the tourist attractions are in Altstadt and the nightlife is in Neustadt.

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Now, even though my sister was a new resident of Dresden she was the best tour guide ever! Every day I saw and learnt something new. The city is so beautiful despite being destroyed during the war. I got to visit both Neustadt and Altstadt. In Neustadt we went to some brilliant bars, cafes, pizza places, cocktail bars and also saw some wonderful buildings and street art. One place that stands out in my mind was a bar that was on a road that was under construction. Instead of closing the bar, the bar was brought out into road! We’re talking tables, chairs and even lamp shades set up in the middle of a construction site! It was brilliant. The atmosphere was wonderful, as was the beer. In Altstadt I saw the old, beautiful buildings and became a mega tourist! We strolled along the Elbe and took trams all over the city. Laura gave me a rundown of the history as we strolled along in the rain eating ice-cream. I don’t think I can describe just how wonderful the city is. I urge anyone to visit Dresden if they can, it’s truly beautiful and such a cultural city.

By Lucy Mugford

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