Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History
[ source: Wikipedia]
The Dresden (Dresden vacation rentals | Dresden travel guide) Castle or Residenzschloss is one of the oldest buildings in the city, and was the residence of the Saxon electors and kings for over 400 years. The original castle was constructed on the site in 1200. In 1701, a major fire ravaged the castle, and Augustus the Strong rebuilt the structure in the Baroque style. On the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the House of Wettin, the ruling family of Saxony, the Dresden Castle was significantly renovated. It was given its current Neorenaissance appearance at that time.
February 13, 1945, is a date forever etched in the heart of every Dresdener. On that fateful night, the Allied bombing of Dresden destroyed the vast majority of the historic city center. The Dresden Castle was partially destroyed that night with only the exterior walls remaining. The restoration of the castle did not commence until the early 1960s and is expected to be completed in 2013.
Today the Dresden Castle functions as a museum complex and contains the following: the Historic and New Green Vault, the Collection of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, the Coin Collection, and the Turkish Chamber. The Green Vault is the repository of arguably the largest collection of treasures in Europe. It was originally the secret treasure chamber for the rulers of Saxony. In the 1720s, Augustus the Strong opened the chamber as a public museum. During World War II, the treasures were removed from the Green Vault and placed in the Koenigstein Fortress. As a result, they survived the destruction of Dresden. The collection includes stunning jewelry and goldsmith works, as well as exquisite amber and ivory artifacts. The Coin Collection is Dresden's oldest museum, dating from the early 1500s. This museum contains one of the largest universal mint collections in Europe.
Besides its museums, the Dresden Castle is noted for its Sgraffito facades in the Great Castle Courtyard and for the exterior frieze called the Procession of the Princes, which depicts the numerous generations of the Wettin rulers. The original mural scene faded quite quickly, and it was replaced by 25,000 painted porcelain tiles from Meissen (Meissen vacation rentals | Meissen travel guide). This unique artwork is located on the exterior wall of the stable courtyard on the Augustusstrasse.
[ source: wikipedia.org ]
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.
Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).
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