Dresden – Eurocities
Attractive, likeable and distinct – these three typical characteristics have applied to Dresden for centuries. Today it is a city of living art and culture of European significance and much loved by national and international visitors. Located on the banks of the Elbe in eastern Germany, not far from the Polish and Czech borders, Dresden has more than 560,000 inhabitants.
There is no doubt that the city owes much of its atmosphere to its unique geographical location. The sunny slopes on both sides of the river create a pleasant microclimate which, even on the coldest days, keeps the city a little warmer than the rest of its surroundings. And this warmth is noticeable: people are more relaxed, laid-back and energetic, which instills a sense of creativity and entrepreneurship.
Dresden is a city of art and culture, with more than 50 museums and more than 30 small and large theater stages. Dresden’s orchestras and music festivals are among the highlights of the European cultural scene. The Semper Opera, the Staatskapelle orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic and the Kreuzchor choir are many examples of this. Attractive festivals and a series of premier events provide opportunities to visit the city whatever the season.
Dresden can look back on more than 800 years of turbulent history, because every square meter is steeped in it – and moving stories. The city experienced its most dazzling era in cultural history during the Baroque “Augustan age”. During the reign of Augustus the Strong and his successor, it was an era that saw the construction of most of the buildings that forever cemented the city’s place in the art history books. Prominent artists from all over Europe participated in the creation of the city. In addition to brilliant German master builders, the city’s cityscape was particularly shaped by the Italians and the French. The result was the enchanting and opulent architecture of the Zwinger with its perfect combination of design and sculpture; Dresden Cathedral, with its Italian aura; and the famous Frauenkirche, with its stone dome. The picturesque “Canaletto View” of Dresden’s iconic skyline has indeed become the epitome of a beautiful urban scene.
Yet there are many places in the heart of Dresden that still allow visitors and residents to enjoy rural idylls. Among the buildings of former villages that were incorporated into the suburbs of the city, but also in reformist neighborhoods like the famous Hellerau Garden City. The Grosser Garten park, the meadows of the Elbe, the forests of the Dresdner Heide and countless parks and green spaces, as well as the vineyards on the slopes of the Elbe valley, characterize the way of life and make Dresden one of the greenest cities in Europe.
Dresden is a great place for creative minds. It spawned many inventions that set global trends, including Europe’s first porcelain (1708), Germany’s first locomotive (1883) and the first 35mm SLR camera (1936). Today, Dresden has the highest density of researchers in all of Germany. Dresden University of Technology is designated as one of eleven German universities of excellence. Science and industry in Dresden work closely together on smart solutions for the future.
Today, Dresden’s commercial development is driven by its high-tech industries. Dresden is the only place in Europe where all these key technologies are represented. Today, the capital of the Land of Saxony is a location for microelectronics recognized worldwide and which plays a leading role in Europe. Every second chip produced in Europe comes from Dresden. The branch brings together around 1,500 companies, 48,000 employees and an annual turnover of 13 billion euros in Dresden.
Dresden is a city of contrasts. Classic and modern, dynamic and tranquil, a pulsating economy and a relaxed quality of life, a glorious past and a promising future – all coexisting in perfect harmony. The people of Dresden have known how to have fun and party for centuries – and they do it with guests and newcomers.