Dresden

Travel arrangements

Unless you have a pick-up arrangement, you can either opt to take a taxi (approx. EUR 25 from Dresden International airport (DRS) to the city centre and EUR 100 to Königstein), or use the following more economical means:

  • To Dresden city centre: Take the S2 line (suburban/commuter train) from the airport to Dresden Hauptbahnhof (central railway station). From there, the main tourist attractions  and shopping area (look for “Prager Str.” for standard shops and department stores or “Neumarkt” for luxury shops) are within walking distance. Please note that shops are generally closed on Sundays and public holidays.
  • To Königstein: Take the S2 line (suburban/commuter train) from the airport to Dresden Hauptbahnhof (central railway station), then change to the S1 (direction “Bad Schandau” or “Schöna”) to Königstein.

“Florence of the Elbe”

With a population of approximately 500,000, Dresden is the capital of the German state of Saxony and spans both banks of the river Elbe.

First documented in 1206, the city was the residence of the Wettin dynasty from 1465 onwards. Frederick Augustus I, simultaneously Elector of Saxony and King Augustus the Strong of Poland (1664-1733), was responsible for the typical baroque architecture using sandstone. He gathered the best musicians, architects and painters from all over Europe and his reign marked the beginning of Dresden’s emergence as a leading European city for technology and art. Numerous world-renowned museums and art collections have earned Dresden the nickname “Florence of the Elbe”. Augustus the Strong also started up Europe’s first porcelain manufacturing plant in neighbouring Meissen.

“UNESCO World Heritage”

In the twentieth century, Dresden was a leading European centre of art, classical music, culture and science until its devastating destruction (90% of all buildings) in 1945, which turned it into a major cultural centre of historical memory.  In 2002, torrential rains caused the Elbe to flood nine metres (30 feet) above its usual level, damaging many landmarks.

The Elbe Valley of Dresden was internationally recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as a site of cultural significance for five years. However, it had its status formally removed in 2009 for the wilful breach of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention through construction of a highway bridge across the valley within two kilometres of the historic centre. It thereby became the first place in Europe ever to lose this status, and the second in the world.

Dresden_en
  • Dresden International airport to Dresden city centre: 10 km
  • Dresden International airport to Königstein: 60 km

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Frauenkirche

The Frauenkirche (“Church of Our Lady”) was built in 1726-43 as a Lutheran (Protestant) parish church, even though its founder, Frederick Augustus I, was Catholic.

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An architectural mixture of high baroque and early classicism, the Frauenkirche gives the city its distinctive silhouette and ranks among its top attractions. It was formerly Europe’s main Protestant church, holding around 4,000 believers, but it was completely destroyed during World War II.

Intensive efforts to rebuild this world-famous landmark were completed in 2005, one year earlier than originally planned and in time for the 800th anniversary of the city of Dresden in 2006. Since re-opening, the Frauenkirche has been a hugely popular tourist destination, visited by seven million people during the first three years alone.

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Zwinger Palace

Zwinger Palace (built 1709-1732) and its distinctive “Crown Gate” enjoys widespread fame as a baroque masterpiece and is a legacy of Dresden’s distinguished history as a royal seat.

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Richly decorated pavilions and galleries surround the majestic “Festplatz” square and, together with the charming fountains, form a picturesque backdrop.

The palace houses the world’s largest porcelain collection and the famous Old Masters Gallery – Dresden’s main gallery with a collection of artwork from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, including the “Sistine Madonna”. Equally renowned is the collection of former crown jewels, now on display in the Green Vault, a unique treasure chamber of the Saxon kings with some of the most priceless exhibits in the world.

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“Semper opera”

Dresden’s Semperoper (Semper Opera House) is considered the most beautiful and, with around 98% seats filled for all performances, most successful opera and ballet house in Europe.

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Original plans envisioned its construction in Munich as a tribute to Richard Wagner’s operas commissioned by Bavaria’s “fairytale king” Ludwig II but this did not prove financially viable.

 

Other attractions

  • The Fürstenzug frieze is made from Meissen porcelain tiles and adorns one side of the old stables building of the Wettin palace, depicting a 320-foot procession including 35 members of the Wettin dynasty.
  • The Blaue Wunder (“Blue miracle”), a bridge erected in 1891-93, was the first large suspension bridge in Europe.
  • Schloss Pillnitz, a lakeside palace, was built as a summer residence for Augustus the Strong and was a present to his mistress Countess Cosel, later banished to another castle for refusing to hand over his written promise of marriage.
  • Schloss Moritzburg, located in the north of Dresden, is a hunting lodge built from plans sketched by Augustus the Strong.

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Königstein and “Saxon Switzerland” National Park

The National Park of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains (Elbsandsteingebirge), also referred to as “Saxon Switzerland”, is just a stone’s throw away from Dresden. This is the home of our second production site, the Königstein paper mill.

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Together with nearby Pirna, Königstein forms the gateway to “Saxon Switzerland” and makes an ideal starting point for hiking and day trips. This picturesque village, founded in 1379, is located about 40 kilometres from Dresden, right on the river Elbe.  Situated at the foot of the unique Königstein fortress after which the village is named, our Königstein paper mill produces over half the banknote and security paper required by more than 100 countries all over the world.

Historically, Königstein was the sole producer of currency and security paper for the former German Democratic Republic and was then acquired by Louisenthal after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991.

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