Dresden
Overview
 
Dresden (ˈdʁeːsdᵊn) is the capital city
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 of the Free State of Saxony in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

, near the Czech border
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

. The Dresden conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

 is part of the Saxon Triangle
Saxon triangle
The Central German Metropolitan Region is a metropolitan region in Germany, consisting of the cities: Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig and Zwickau in Saxony; Dessau-Roßlau, Halle and Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt; Erfurt, Gera, Jena and Weimar in Thuringia. The population is about 2,400,000 in 11 cities...

 metropolitan area.

Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 and Kings of Saxony
Kingdom of Saxony
The Kingdom of Saxony , lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War...

, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendour.
The city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 and rococo
Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 city centre.
Encyclopedia
Dresden (ˈdʁeːsdᵊn) is the capital city
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 of the Free State of Saxony in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

, near the Czech border
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

. The Dresden conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

 is part of the Saxon Triangle
Saxon triangle
The Central German Metropolitan Region is a metropolitan region in Germany, consisting of the cities: Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig and Zwickau in Saxony; Dessau-Roßlau, Halle and Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt; Erfurt, Gera, Jena and Weimar in Thuringia. The population is about 2,400,000 in 11 cities...

 metropolitan area.

Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 and Kings of Saxony
Kingdom of Saxony
The Kingdom of Saxony , lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War...

, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendour.
The city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 and rococo
Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 city centre. A controversial Allied aerial bombing
Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force and as part of the Allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War...

 towards the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 killed thousands of civilians and completely destroyed the entire city. The impact of the bombing and 40 years of urban development during the East German communist era have considerably changed the face of the city. Some restoration work has helped to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the Katholische Hofkirche
Katholische Hofkirche
The Katholische Hofkirche is a Roman Catholic Cathedral, located in the 'Altstadt' in the heart of Dresden, in Germany. Previously the most important Catholic parish church of the city, it was elevated to cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dresden-Meissen in 1964.-Overview:The Hofkirche...

, the Semper Oper and the Dresdner Frauenkirche. Since the German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 in 1990, Dresden has regained importance as one of the cultural, educational, political and economic centres of Germany.

History

Although Dresden is a relatively recent city of Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 origin, the area had been settled in the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 era by Linear Pottery culture
Linear Pottery culture
The Linear Pottery culture is a major archaeological horizon of the European Neolithic, flourishing ca. 5500–4500 BC.It is abbreviated as LBK , is also known as the Linear Band Ware, Linear Ware, Linear Ceramics or Incised Ware culture, and falls within the Danubian I culture of V...

 tribes ca. 7500 BC
8th millennium BC
In the 8th millennium BC, agriculture became widely practised in the Fertile Crescent and Anatolia.Pottery became widespread and animal husbandry spread to Africa and Eurasia. World population was approximately 5 million.-Events:*c. 8000 BC—The last glacial period ends.*c...

. Dresden's founding and early growth is associated with the eastward expansion of Germanic peoples
Ostsiedlung
Ostsiedlung , also called German eastward expansion, was the medieval eastward migration and settlement of Germans from modern day western and central Germany into less-populated regions and countries of eastern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The affected area roughly stretched from Slovenia...

, mining in the nearby Ore Mountains, and the establishment of the Margraviate of Meissen. Its name etymologically derives from Old Sorbian Drežďany, meaning people of the riverside forest. Dresden later evolved into the capital of Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

.

Early history

Around the late 12th century, a Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 settlement called Drežďany had developed on the southern bank. Another settlement existed on the northern bank, but its Slavic name is unclear. It was known as Antiqua Dresdin verifiable since 1350 and later as Altendresden, both literally "old Dresden". Dietrich, Margrave of Meissen
Dietrich, Margrave of Meissen
Dietrich I , called the Oppressed, was the Margrave of Meissen from 1198 until his death. He was the second son of Otto II, Margrave of Meissen and Hedwig of Brandenburg.-Biography:...

, chose Dresden as his interim residence in 1206, as documented in a record calling the place "Civitas Dresdene".

After 1270, Dresden became the capital of the margravate. It was restored to the Wettin dynasty in about 1319. From 1485, it was the seat of the duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

s of Saxony, and from 1547 the electors
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 as well.

Modern age

The Elector
Rulers of Saxony
This article lists Dukes, Electors, and Kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the beginning of the Saxon Duchy in the 9th century to the end of the Saxon Kingdom in 1918.-Dukes of Saxony:...

 and ruler of Saxony Frederick Augustus I
Augustus, Elector of Saxony
Augustus was Elector of Saxony from 1553 to 1586.-First years:Augustus was born in Freiberg, the youngest child and third son of Henry IV, Duke of Saxony, and Catherine of Mecklenburg. He consequently belonged to the Albertine branch of the Wettin family...

 became King August the Strong of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 in personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

. He gathered many of the best musician
Musician
A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

s, architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

s and painter
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

s from all over Europe to Dresden. His reign marked the beginning of Dresden's emergence as a leading European city for technology and art. Dresden suffered heavy destruction in the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 (1756–1763), following its capture by Prussian forces, its subsequent re-capture, and a failed Prussian siege
Siege of Dresden
The Siege of Dresden took place in July 1760 during the Seven Years War when a Prussian force led by Frederick the Great unsuccessfully besieged the city of Dresden in Saxony....

 in 1760. Friedrich Schiller
Friedrich Schiller
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life , Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

 wrote his Ode to Joy
Ode to Joy
"Ode to Joy" is an ode written in 1785 by the German poet, playwright and historian Friedrich Schiller, enthusiastically celebrating the brotherhood and unity of all mankind...

 (the literary base of the European anthem) for the Dresden Masonic Lodge
Masonic Lodge
This article is about the Masonic term for a membership group. For buildings named Masonic Lodge, see Masonic Lodge A Masonic Lodge, often termed a Private Lodge or Constituent Lodge, is the basic organisation of Freemasonry...

 in 1785.

The city of Dresden had a distinctive silhouette, captured in famous paintings by Bernardo Bellotto
Bernardo Bellotto
Bernardo Bellotto was a Venitian urban landscape painter or vedutista, and printmaker in etching famous for his vedutes of European cities . He was the pupil and nephew of Canaletto and sometimes used the latter's illustrious name, signing himself as Bernardo Canaletto...

 and by Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl
Johan Christian Dahl
Johan Christian Claussen Dahl , often known as was a Norwegian landscape painter, who was connected to the Norwegian romantic nationalism. He is often considered have been "the father of Norwegian landscape painting"....

.

Between 1806 and 1918 the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Saxony
Kingdom of Saxony
The Kingdom of Saxony , lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War...

 (which was a part of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 from 1871). During the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 the French emperor made it a base of operations
Headquarters
Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility managing all business activities...

, winning there the famous Battle of Dresden
Battle of Dresden
The Battle of Dresden was fought on 26–27 August 1813 around Dresden, Germany, resulting in a French victory under Napoleon I against forces of the Sixth Coalition of Austrians, Russians and Prussians under Field Marshal Schwartzenberg. However, Napoleon's victory was not as complete as it could...

 on August 27, 1813. Dresden was a centre of the German Revolution
German Revolution
The German Revolution was the politically-driven civil conflict in Germany at the end of World War I, which resulted in the replacement of Germany's imperial government with a republic...

s in 1849 with the May Uprising
May Uprising in Dresden
The May Uprising took place in Dresden, Germany in 1849; it was one of the last of the series of events known as the Revolutions of 1848.-Events leading to the May Uprising:...

, which cost human lives and damaged the historic town of Dresden.

During the 19th century the city became a major centre of economy, including motor car
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 production, food processing, banking and the manufacture of medical equipment
Medical equipment
Medical equipment is designed to aid in the diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of medical conditions.-Types:There are several basic types:* Diagnostic equipment includes medical imaging machines, used to aid in diagnosis...

.

In the early 20th century Dresden was particularly well known for its camera works and its cigarette factories. Between 1918 and 1934 Dresden was capital of the first Free State of Saxony. Dresden was a centre of European modern art
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

 until 1933.

Military history

During the foundation of the German Empire in 1871, a large military facility called Albertstadt was built. It had a capacity of up to 20,000 military personnel
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

 at the beginning of the First World War. The garrison saw only limited use between 1918 and 1934, but was then reactivated in preparation for the Second World War.

Its usefulness was limited by attacks on 17 April 1945 on the railway network (especially towards Bohemia). Soldiers had been deployed as late as March 1945 in the Albertstadt garrison.

The Albertstadt garrison became the headquarters of the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army
Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army
The 1st Tank Army was a Soviet armoured formation that fought as part of the Red Army on the Eastern Front during World War II. The army was commanded throughout most of the war by Mikhail Katukov...

 in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
The Group of Soviet Forces in Germany , also known as the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany and the Western Group of Forces were the troops of the Soviet Army in East Germany....

 after the war. Apart from the German army
German Army
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...

 officers' school (Offizierschule des Heeres), there have been no more military units in Dresden since the army merger during German reunification, and the withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1992. Nowadays, the Bundeswehr operates the Military History Museum
Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr Military History Museum is the military museum of the German Armed Forces, the Bundeswehr, and one of the major military history museums in Germany. The museum is under the technical and administrative chain of command of the German Armed Forces Military History Research Office. It...

 of the Federal Republic of Germany in the former Albertstadt garrison.

German Federal Minister of Defence
Federal Ministry of Defence (Germany)
The Federal Ministry of Defence is a top-level federal agency, headed by the Federal Minister of Defence as a member of the Cabinet of Germany...

 Thomas de Maizière
Thomas de Maizière
Karl Ernst Thomas de Maizière is a German politician , currently serving as the Minister of Defence in the Second Cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel....

 has his place of residence and political basis in Dresden.

Second World War

Dresden in the 20th century was a leading European centre of art, classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

, culture and science until its complete destruction on 13 February 1945. Being the capital of the German state of Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, Dresden had not only garrisons but a whole military borough, the Albertstadt. This military complex, named after Saxon King Albert, was never targeted in the bombing of Dresden
Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force and as part of the Allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War...

.

During the final months of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Dresden became a safe haven to some 600,000 refugees, including women, children, and wounded soldiers, with a total population of . Dresden was attacked seven times between 1944 and 1945, and was occupied by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 after German capitulation.

The bombing of Dresden
Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force and as part of the Allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War...

 by the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 and the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 Air Force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 between 13 February and 15 February 1945 remains one of the more controversial Allied actions of the Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

an theatre of war.

The inner city of Dresden was largely destroyed by 722 RAF and 527 USAAF bombers that dropped 2431.0 tons of high explosive bombs, and 1475.9 tons of incendiaries.The high explosive bombs damaged buildings and exposed their wooden structure, while the incendiaries ignited it. However, some perceive the actions of the RAF in particular to be as a direct retaliation for the destruction brought upon the ancient city of Coventry, whose medieval center was destroyed in earlier raids by the Luftwaffe. The bombing raid destroyed the 500 year-old Cathedral, along with almost all of the ancient centre of the city. in three waves of attacks. Early reports estimated 150,000 to 250,000 deaths. The German Dresden Historians' Commission, in an official 2010 report published after five years of research, concluded there were up to 25,000 civilian casualties
Civilian casualties
Civilian casualties is a military term describing civilian or non-combatant persons killed, injured, or imprisoned by military action. The description of civilian casualties includes any form of military action regardless of whether civilians were targeted directly...

, while right-wing groups claim that up to 500,000 people died.

The inhabited city centre was almost wiped out, while larger residential, industrial and military sites on the outskirts were relatively unscathed. Some of the Allies described the operation as the justified bombing of a military and industrial target. A report from the British Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. During World War II the command destroyed a significant proportion of Nazi Germany's industries and many German cities, and in the 1960s stood at the peak of its postwar military power with the V bombers and a supplemental...

 stated the military target was the railway marshalling yard Dresden-Friedrichstadt, which housed 4,000 trucks, at most, per 24 hours. Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 tried to distance himself from the attack, even though he was heavily involved with the organization and planning of the raid. Several researchers have argued that the February attacks were disproportionate. Mostly women and children died. American novelist Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was a 20th century American writer. His works such as Cat's Cradle , Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions blend satire, gallows humor and science fiction. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.-Early...

 witnessed the raid as a POW; his novel Slaughterhouse-Five
Slaughterhouse-Five
Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is a satirical novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim...

is based on that experience. In remembrance of the victims, the anniversaries of the bombing of Dresden are marked with peace demonstrations, devotions and marches.

Post-war period

After the Second World War, Dresden became a major industrial centre in the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

 (former East Germany) with a great deal of research infrastructure. Many important historic buildings were rebuilt, including the Semper Opera House, the Zwinger
Zwinger
The Zwinger is a palace in Dresden, eastern Germany, built in Baroque style. It served as the orangery, exhibition gallery and festival arena of the Dresden Court....

 Palace and a great many other historic buildings, although the city leaders chose to reconstruct large areas of the city in a "socialist modern" style, partly for economic reasons, but also to break away from the city's past as the royal capital of Saxony and a stronghold of the German bourgeoisie. However, some of the bombed-out ruins of churches, royal buildings and palaces, such as the Gothic Sophienkirche
Sophienkirche
The Sophienkirche , Dresden stood on the northeast corner of the Postplatz, in Dresden's old town, before its destruction in 1962 on resolution of the party and government of the GDR...

, the Alberttheater and the Wackerbarth-Palais
Wackerbarth-Palais
The Wackerbarth Palace, also known as the Ritterakadamie , was a palace in Dresden, eastern Germany, built between 1723 and 1729, under the supervision of architect J. C. Knöffel. It was one of the several Baroque palaces in Dresden which were destroyed during the allied bombing raids on February...

 were razed by the Soviet and East German authorities in the 1950s and 1960s instead of being repaired. Compared to West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

, the majority of historic buildings were saved.

From 1985 to 1990, the KGB stationed Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

, the future President of Russia
President of the Russian Federation
The President of the Russian Federation is the head of state, supreme commander-in-chief and holder of the highest office within the Russian Federation...

, in Dresden. On 3 October 1989 (the so-called "battle of Dresden"), a convoy of trains carrying East German refugees from Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 passed through Dresden on its way to the Federal Republic of Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

. Local activists and residents joined in the growing civil disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

 movement spreading across the German Democratic Republic by staging demonstrations and demanding the removal of the nondemocratic government.

Post-reunification

Dresden has experienced dramatic changes since the reunification of Germany in the early 1990s
1990s
File:1990s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: The Hubble Space Telescope floats in space after it was taken up in 1990; American F-16s and F-15s fly over burning oil fields and the USA Lexie in Operation Desert Storm, also known as the 1991 Gulf War; The signing of the Oslo Accords on...

. The city still bears many wounds from the bombing raids
Strategic bombing
Strategic bombing is a military strategy used in a total war with the goal of defeating an enemy nation-state by destroying its economic ability and public will to wage war rather than destroying its land or naval forces...

 of 1945, but it has undergone significant reconstruction in recent decades. Restoration of the Dresden Frauenkirche
Dresden Frauenkirche
The Dresden Frauenkirche is a Lutheran church in Dresden, eastern Germany.Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed in the firebombing of Dresden during World War II. It has been reconstructed as a landmark symbol of reconciliation between former warring enemies...

 was completed in 2005, a year before Dresden's 800th anniversary, notably by privately raised funds. The gold cross on the top of the church was paid for and donated by the City of Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 as a mark of the bond between the two cities. The urban renewal
Urban renewal
Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment in areas of moderate to high density urban land use. Renewal has had both successes and failures. Its modern incarnation began in the late 19th century in developed nations and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s – under the rubric of...

 process, which includes the reconstruction of the area around the Neumarkt square
Neumarkt (Dresden)
The Neumarkt in Dresden is a central and culturally significant section of the Dresden inner city. The historic area was almost completely wiped out during the Allied bomb attack during the Second World War...

 on which the Frauenkirche is situated, will continue for many decades, but public and government interest remains high, and there are numerous large projects underway—both historic reconstructions and modern plans—that will continue the city's recent architectural renaissance.

Dresden remains a major cultural centre of historical memory, owing to the city's destruction in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Each year on 13 February, the anniversary of the British and American fire-bombing raid
Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force and as part of the Allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War...

 that destroyed most of the city, tens of thousands of demonstrators gather to commemorate the event. Since reunification, the ceremony has taken on a more neutral and pacifist tone (after being used more politically in Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 times). In recent years, however, white power skinheads have tried to use the event for their own political ends. In 2005, Dresden was host to the largest Neo-Nazi
Neo-Nazism
Neo-Nazism consists of post-World War II social or political movements seeking to revive Nazism or some variant thereof.The term neo-Nazism can also refer to the ideology of these movements....

 demonstration in the post-war history of Germany
History of Germany
The concept of Germany as a distinct region in central Europe can be traced to Roman commander Julius Caesar, who referred to the unconquered area east of the Rhine as Germania, thus distinguishing it from Gaul , which he had conquered. The victory of the Germanic tribes in the Battle of the...

. Between five and eight thousand Neo-Nazis took part, mourning what they call the "Allied bomb-holocaust".

In 2002, torrential rains caused the Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 to flood 9 metres (29.5 ft) above its normal height, i.e. even higher than the old record height from 1845, damaging many landmarks (See 2002 European flood). The destruction from this "millennium flood" is no longer visible, due to the speed of reconstruction.

The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

' cultural organization UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 declared the Dresden Elbe Valley
Dresden Elbe Valley
The Dresden Elbe Valley is a former World Heritage Site in Dresden, Germany. The valley, extending for some 20 kilometres and passingthrough the Dresden Basin and the city of Dresden, is one of two cultural landscapes along the Central European river Elbe...

 to be a World Heritage Site in 2004. After being placed on the list of endangered World Heritage Sites in 2006, the city lost the title in June 2009, due to the construction of the Waldschlößchenbrücke, making it only the second ever World Heritage Site to be removed from the register. UNESCO stated in 2006 that the bridge would destroy the cultural landscape. The city council's legal moves meant to prevent the bridge from being built failed.

Location

Dresden lies on both banks of the river Elbe, mostly in the Dresden Basin
Dresden Basin
The Dresden Basin is a roughly 45 km long and 10 km wide area of the Elbe Valley between the towns of Pirna and Meißen. The city of Dresden lies in the Dresden Basin.- Geography :...

, with the further reaches of the eastern Ore Mountains to the south, the steep slope of the Lusatia
Lusatia
Lusatia is a historical region in Central Europe. It stretches from the Bóbr and Kwisa rivers in the east to the Elbe valley in the west, today located within the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg as well as in the Lower Silesian and Lubusz voivodeships of western Poland...

n granitic crust to the north, and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Elbe Sandstone Mountains
The Elbe Sandstone Mountains, also called the Elbe sandstone highlands is a mountain range straddling the border between the state of Saxony in southeastern Germany and the North Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, with about three-quarters of the area lying on the German side...

 to the east at an altitude of about 113 metres. The highest point of Dresden is about 384 metres in altitude.

With a pleasant location and a mild climate on the Elbe, as well as Baroque-style architecture and numerous world-renowned museums and art collections, Dresden has been called "Elbflorenz" (Florence of the Elbe).
The incorporation of neighbouring rural communities
Types of rural communities
Sociologists have identified a number of different types of rural communities, which have arisen as a result of changing economic trends within rural regions of industrial nations....

 over the past 60 years has made Dresden the fourth largest urban district
Urban district
In the England, Wales and Ireland, an urban district was a type of local government district that covered an urbanised area. Urban districts had an elected Urban District Council , which shared local government responsibilities with a county council....

 by area in Germany after Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, and Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

.

The nearest German cities are Chemnitz
Chemnitz
Chemnitz is the third-largest city of the Free State of Saxony, Germany. Chemnitz is an independent city which is not part of any county and seat of the government region Direktionsbezirk Chemnitz. Located in the northern foothills of the Ore Mountains, it is a part of the Saxon triangle...

 (80 km/50 miles to the southwest), Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 (100 km/ 62 miles to the northwest) and Berlin (200 km/ 124 miles to the north). Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 is about 150 km/ 93 miles to the south; the Polish city of Wrocław is about 200 km/ 124 miles to the east.

Nature

Dresden is one of the greenest cities in all of Europe, with 63% of the city being green areas and forests. The Dresdner Heide
Dresdner Heide
The Dresdener Heide is a large forest in the city of Dresden. The Heide is the most important recreational area in the city and is also actively forested. Approximately 6.133 Hectare of the Dresdener Heide are designated as a nature preserve, making the Heide one of the largest city forests in...

 to the north is a forest 50 km2 in size. There are four nature reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

s. The additional Special Conservation Areas cover 18 km2. The protected gardens, parkways, parks and old graveyards host 110 natural monuments in the city. The Dresden Elbe Valley
Dresden Elbe Valley
The Dresden Elbe Valley is a former World Heritage Site in Dresden, Germany. The valley, extending for some 20 kilometres and passingthrough the Dresden Basin and the city of Dresden, is one of two cultural landscapes along the Central European river Elbe...

 is a former world heritage site which is focused on the conservation of the cultural landscape
Cultural landscape
Cultural Landscapes have been defined by the World Heritage Committee as distinct geographical areas or properties uniquely "..represent[ing] the combined work of nature and of man.."....

 in Dresden. One important part of that landscape is the Elbe meadows, which cross the city in a 20 kilometre swath. Saxon Switzerland
Saxon Switzerland
Saxon Switzerland is a hilly climbing area and national park around the Elbe valley south-east of Dresden in Saxony, Germany. Together with the Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic it forms the Elbe Sandstone Mountains....

 is an important nearby location.

Climate

Dresden has a cold-moderate to continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

, with hotter summers and colder winters than the German average. The average temperature in February is -1.7 °C and in July 18.1 °C (64.6 °F). The inner city temperature is 10.2 °C (50.4 °F) averaged over the year. The driest months are February and March, with precipitation of 40 mm (1.6 in). The wettest months are July and August, with 61 mm (2.4 in) per month.

The microclimate in the Elbe valley
Elbe valley
The Elbe Valley is most often used as a term for that section of the river valley in which most of the quarters of Dresden are located. The Dresden Elbe Valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and has lost the title June 25, 2009 due to a dispute between UNESCO and the City of...

 differs from that on the slopes and in the higher areas. Klotzsche, at 227 metres above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

, hosts the Dresden weather station
Weather station
A weather station is a facility, either on land or sea, with instruments and equipment for observing atmospheric conditions to provide information for weather forecasts and to study the weather and climate. The measurements taken include temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed, wind...

. The weather in Klotzsche is 1 to 1 C-change colder than in the inner city
Inner city
The inner city is the central area of a major city or metropolis. In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland, the term is often applied to the lower-income residential districts in the city centre and nearby areas...

.

Flood protection

Because of its location on the banks of the Elbe, into which some water sources from the Ore Mountains flow, flood protection is important. Large areas are kept free of buildings to provide a flood plain. Two additional trenches, about 50 metres wide, have been built to keep the inner city free of water from the Elbe, by dissipating the water downstream through the inner city's gorge portion. Flood regulation systems like detention basin
Detention basin
A detention basin is a stormwater management facility installed on, or adjacent to, tributaries of rivers, streams, lakes or bays that is designed to protect against flooding and, in some cases, downstream erosion by storing water for a limited period of a time. These basins are also called "dry...

s and water reservoir
Water reservoir
A reservoir , artificial lake or dam is used to store water.Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such as brickwork or cast concrete.The term reservoir may also be used to...

s are almost all outside the city area
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

.

The Weißeritz
Weißeritz
The Weißeritz is a river in Saxony. The 12 km short left tributary of the Elbe runs through Freital and Dresden. Its name is derived from west Slavic bystrica . The official name of the river used in documents and hydrographic maps is Vereinigte Weißeritz...

, normally a rather small river, suddenly ran directly into the main station of Dresden during the 2002 European floods
2002 European floods
In August 2002 a 100-year flood caused by over a week of continuous heavy rains ravaged Europe, killing dozens, dispossessing thousands, and causing damage of billions of euros in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Croatia....

. This was largely because the river returned to its former route; it had been diverted so that a railway could run along the river bed.

Many locations and areas need to be protected by walls and sheet pilings during floods. A number of districts become waterlogged if the Elbe overflows across some of its former floodplains.

City structuring

Dresden is a spacious city. Its districts differ in their structure and appearance. Many parts still contain an old village core, while some quarters are almost completely preserved as rural settings. Other characteristic kinds of urban areas are the historic outskirts of the city, and the former suburbs with scattered housing. During the German Democratic Republic, many apartment blocks were built. The original parts of the city are almost all in the districts of Altstadt (Old town) and Neustadt (New town). Growing outside the city walls
Defensive wall
A defensive wall is a fortification used to protect a city or settlement from potential aggressors. In ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements...

, the historic outskirts were built in the 18th century. They were planned and constructed on the orders of the Saxon monarchs, which is why the outskirts are often named after sovereigns. From the 19th century the city grew by incorporating other districts. Dresden has been divided into ten districts called "Ortsamtsbereich" and nine former boroughs ("Ortschaften") which have been incorporated.

Demography

The population of Dresden reached 100,000 inhabitants in 1852, making it the third German city to reach that number. The population peaked at 649,252 in 1933, but dropped to 450,000 in 1946 as the result of World War II, during which large residential areas of the city were destroyed. After large incorporations and city restoration, the population grew to 522,532 again between 1950 and 1983.

Since German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

, demographic development has been very unsteady. The city has had to struggle with migration and suburbanization
Suburbanization
Suburbanization a term used to describe the growth of areas on the fringes of major cities. It is one of the many causes of the increase in urban sprawl. Many residents of metropolitan regions work within the central urban area, choosing instead to live in satellite communities called suburbs...

. The population increased to 480,000 as a consequence of several incorporations during the 1990s, but it fell to 452,827 in 1998. Between 2000 and 2010, the population grew quickly by more than 45,000 inhabitants (about 9.5%) due to a stabilized economy and reurbanization. Along with Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 and Potsdam
Potsdam
Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel, southwest of Berlin city centre....

, Dresden is one of the ten fastest-growing cities in Germany, while the population of the surrounding new federal states
New federal states
The new federal states of Germany are the five re-established states in the former German Democratic Republic that acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany with its 10 states upon German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 is still shrinking. The population of the city of Dresden is 523,058 (2010), the population of the Dresden agglomeration is 780,561 (2008), and the population of Region Dresden (which includes the neighbouring districts of Meißen, Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge
Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge
Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge is a district in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is named after the mountain ranges Saxon Switzerland and Erzgebirge.- History :...

 and the western part of the district of Bautzen
Bautzen (district)
Bautzen is a district in the Free State of Saxony in Germany including the former districts of Bischofswerda and Kamenz. It is bounded by the Czech Republic, the district of Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge, the district-free city Dresden and the districts of Meißen and Görlitz...

) is 1,143,197 (2007). Today Dresden is one of the few German Cities which have more inhabitants than ever since World War II.

In Dresden, about 51.3% of the population is female. Foreigners account for about 4%. The mean age of the population is 43 years, which is the lowest among the urban districts in Saxony.

Governance

Dresden is one of Germany's 16 political centres and the capital of Saxony. It has institutions of democratic local self-administration that are independent from the capital functions. Some local affairs of Dresden receive national attention.

Dresden hosted some international summits such as the Petersburg Dialogue between Russia and Germany, the European Union's Minister of the Interior
Interior minister
An interior ministry is a government ministry typically responsible for policing, national security, and immigration matters. The ministry is often headed by a minister of the interior or minister of home affairs...

 conference and the G8
G8
The Group of Eight is a forum, created by France in 1975, for the governments of seven major economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, the group added Russia, thus becoming the G8...

 labor ministers conference in recent years.

Municipality and city council

The City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 defines the basic principles of the municipality by decrees and statutes. The council gives orders to the "Bürgermeister" ("Burgomaster" or Mayor) by voting for resolutions and thus has some executive power.

Currently, there is no stable governing majority on Dresden city council.

The Supreme Burgomaster
Burgomaster
Burgomaster is the English form of various terms in or derived from Germanic languages for the chief magistrate or chairman of the executive council of a sub-national level of administration...

 is directly elected by the citizens for a term of seven years. Executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 functions are normally elected indirectly in Germany. However, the Supreme Burgomaster shares numerous executive rights with the city council. He/She is the executive head of the municipality, and also the ceremonial representative of the city. The main departments of the municipality are managed by seven burgomasters.

Local affairs

Local affairs in Dresden often centre around the urban development
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 of the city and its spaces. Architecture and the design of public places
Public space
A public space is a social space such as a town square that is open and accessible to all, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age or socio-economic level. One of the earliest examples of public spaces are commons. For example, no fees or paid tickets are required for entry, nor are the entrants...

 is a controversial subject. Discussions about the Waldschlößchenbrücke, a bridge under construction across the Elbe, received international attention because of its position across the Dresden Elbe Valley
Dresden Elbe Valley
The Dresden Elbe Valley is a former World Heritage Site in Dresden, Germany. The valley, extending for some 20 kilometres and passingthrough the Dresden Basin and the city of Dresden, is one of two cultural landscapes along the Central European river Elbe...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. Its construction caused the loss of World Heritage site status in 2009. The city held a public referendum in 2005 on whether to build the bridge, prior to UNESCO expressing doubts about the compatibility between bridge and heritage.

In 2006 Dresden sold its publicly subsidized housing organization, WOBA Dresden GmbH, to the US-based private investment company
Investment company
An investment company is a company whose main business is holding securities of other companies purely for investment purposes. The investment company invests money on behalf of its shareholders who in turn share in the profits and losses....

 Fortress Investment Group
Fortress Investment Group
Fortress Investment Group LLC is an investment management firm based in New York, New York. The company went public on February 9, 2007.-History:...

. The city received euro and paid off its remaining loans, making it the first large city in Germany to become debt-free. Opponents of the sale were concerned about Dresden's loss of control over the subsidized housing market.

The construction of a new football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 stadium has been in planning for several years. The start date for upgrading the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion into a single use football stadium with a capacity of 32,770 was November 2007.

Removal of UNESCO World Heritage status

The Dresden Elbe Valley
Dresden Elbe Valley
The Dresden Elbe Valley is a former World Heritage Site in Dresden, Germany. The valley, extending for some 20 kilometres and passingthrough the Dresden Basin and the city of Dresden, is one of two cultural landscapes along the Central European river Elbe...

 was an internationally recognised site of cultural significance by the UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Committee
World Heritage Committee
The World Heritage Committee establishes the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties...

 for five years. After being placed on the list of endangered World Heritage Sites in 2006, the city had its status as world heritage site formally removed in June 2009, for the wilful breach of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, due to the construction of a highway bridge across the valley within 2 km of the historic centre. It thereby became the first location ever in Europe to lose this status, and the second ever in the world.

Twin towns – sister cities

Along with its twin city
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 Coventry
Coventry
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

, Dresden was one of the first two cities to twin with a foreign city. Similar symbolism occurred in 1988, when Dresden twinned with the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 city of Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

. The cities became twins after World War II in an act of reconciliation, as they had suffered incisive destructions from bombings. The Coventry Blitz
Coventry Blitz
The Coventry blitz was a series of bombing raids that took place in the English city of Coventry. The city was bombed many times during the Second World War by the German Air Force...

 and Rotterdam Blitz
Rotterdam Blitz
The Rotterdam Blitz refers to the aerial bombardment of Rotterdam by the German Air Force on 14 May 1940, during the German invasion of the Netherlands in World War II. The objective was to support the German troops fighting in the city, break Dutch resistance and force the Dutch to surrender...

 bombardments of the German Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 are also considered to be disproportional. Dresden has had a triangular partnership with Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 and Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 since 1987. Dresden has twelve twin cities
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

.
Coventry
Coventry
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, since 1959 Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, since 1961 Wrocław, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, since 1963 Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, since 1967 Ostrava
Ostrava
Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and the second largest urban agglomeration after Prague. Located close to the Polish border, it is also the administrative center of the Moravian-Silesian Region and of the Municipality with Extended Competence. Ostrava was candidate for the...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, since 1971 Brazzaville
Brazzaville
-Transport:The city is home to Maya-Maya Airport and a railway station on the Congo-Ocean Railway. It is also an important river port, with ferries sailing to Kinshasa and to Bangui via Impfondo...

, Congo
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo , sometimes known locally as Congo-Brazzaville, is a state in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , the Angolan exclave province of Cabinda, and the Gulf of Guinea.The region was dominated by...

, since 1975 Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, since 1978 Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, since 1987 Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, since 1988 Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, since 1990 Salzburg
Salzburg
-Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, since 1991 Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, since 1992 Hangzhou
Hangzhou
Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, since 2009

Culture and architecture

Dresden is seeking to regain the kind of cultural importance it held from the 19th century until the 1920s, when it was a centre of art, architecture and music. Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

 had a number of his works performed for the first time in Dresden. During that period, other famous artists, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a German expressionist painter and printmaker and one of the founders of the artists group Die Brücke or "The Bridge", a key group leading to the foundation of Expressionism in 20th century art. He volunteered for army service in the First World War, but soon suffered a...

, Otto Dix
Otto Dix
Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix was a German painter and printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and the brutality of war. Along with George Grosz, he is widely considered one of the most important artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit.-Early life and...

, Oskar Kokoschka
Oskar Kokoschka
Oskar Kokoschka was an Austrian artist, poet and playwright best known for his intense expressionistic portraits and landscapes.-Biography:...

, Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

, Gottfried Semper
Gottfried Semper
Gottfried Semper was a German architect, art critic, and professor of architecture, who designed and built the Semper Opera House in Dresden between 1838 and 1841. In 1849 he took part in the May Uprising in Dresden and was put on the government's wanted list. Semper fled first to Zürich and later...

 and Gret Palucca
Gret Palucca
Gret Palucca was a German dancer and teacher.Shortly after birth, her family moved to San Francisco, returning with her mother to Dresden in 1909. There she received ballet lessons with Heinrich Kröller from 1914 to 1916...

, were active in the city. Dresden is also home to several important art collections, world-famous musical ensembles, and significant buildings from various architectural periods
Architectural History
Architectural History is the main journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain .The journal is published each autumn. The architecture of the British Isles is a major theme of the journal, although it includes more general papers on the history of architecture. Member of...

, many of which were rebuilt after the destruction of the Second World War.

Entertainment

The Saxon State Opera descends from the opera company of the former electors and Kings of Saxony in the Semperoper
Semperoper
The Semperoper is the opera house of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden and the concert hall of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden . It is located near the Elbe River in the historic center of Dresden, Germany.The opera house was originally built by the architect Gottfried Semper in 1841...

. After being completely destroyed during the bombing of Dresden during the WWII, it was rebuilt by the German Democratic Republic. Its musical ensemble
Musical ensemble
A musical ensemble is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles...

 is the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden
Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden
The Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden is an orchestra based in Dresden, Germany founded in 1548 by Kurfürst Moritz of Saxony. It is one of the world's oldest orchestras...

, founded in 1548. The Dresden State Theatre
Staatsschauspiel Dresden
The Staatsschauspiel Dresden is a theatre on Theaterstraße in Dresden. It is maintained by the Free State of Saxony, hence its name. It is made up of a main auditorium and a studio theatre...

 runs a number of smaller theatres. The Dresden State Operetta is the only independent operetta
Operetta
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre.-Origins:...

 in Germany. The Herkuleskeule (Hercules
Hercules
Hercules is the Roman name for Greek demigod Heracles, son of Zeus , and the mortal Alcmene...

 club
Club (weapon)
A club is among the simplest of all weapons. A club is essentially a short staff, or stick, usually made of wood, and wielded as a weapon since prehistoric times....

) is an important site in German-speaking political cabaret
Kabarett
Kabarett is a form of cabaret which developed in Germany from 1901, with the creation of the Überbrettl venue, and that by the Weimar era in the mid 1920s was characterized by political satire and gallows humor...

.

There are several choirs in Dresden, the best-known of which is the Dresdner Kreuzchor
Dresdner Kreuzchor
The Dresdner Kreuzchor is the boys' choir of the Kreuzkirche in Dresden. It has a seven century history. Today the choir has about 150 members from the age of 9-19 from Dresden and the surrounding region. Most of the boys live in a boarding school. The Choir Boys are also called "Kruzianer". The...

 (Choir of The Holy Cross
Christian cross
The Christian cross, seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is the best-known religious symbol of Christianity...

). It is a boys' choir drawn from pupils of the Kreuzschule, and was founded in the 13th century. The Dresdner Kapellknaben are not related to the Staatskapelle, but to the former Hofkapelle, the Catholic cathedral, since 1980. The Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
The Dresdner Philharmoniker is a symphony orchestra based in Dresden, Germany. The orchestra was founded in 1870 and gave its first concert in the Gewerbehaussaal on 29 November 1870, under the name Gewerbehausorchester. The orchestra acquired its current name in 1915...

 is the orchestra of the city of Dresden.

Throughout the summer, the outdoor concert series "Zwingerkonzerte und Mehr" is held in the Zwingerhof. Performances include dance and music. http://www.dresden-theater.de

In summer 2006, as part of Dresden's 800th anniversary celebrations, the Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards....

 performed with the Dresdner Sinfoniker (symphony orchestra) on the pedestrian mall at Prager Straße. The backdrop for the performance was a GDR-era concrete apartment block
Tower block
A tower block, high-rise, apartment tower, office tower, apartment block, or block of flats, is a tall building or structure used as a residential and/or office building...

 upon which a light show
Laser lighting display
A laser lighting display or laser light show involves the use of laser light to entertain an audience. A laser light show may consist only of projected laser beams set to music, or may accompany another form of entertainment, typically a dance concert or other musical performance.Laser light is...

 was displayed.

A big event each year in June is the Bunte Republik Neustadt
Bunte Republik Neustadt
The Bunte Republik Neustadt was a micronation in Dresden in Germany, in parts of the city's district Dresden-Neustadt, from 1990 to 1993; nowadays every year in June a 3-day cultural festival is celebrated there under the same name.-History:The name Bunte Republik is a play on words on the term...

.

Museums, presentations and collections

Balthasar Permoser
Balthasar Permoser
Balthasar Permoser was among the leading sculptors of his generation, whose evolving working styles spanned the late Baroque and early Rococo....

 in the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) which is the former royal Schatzkammer
Schatzkammer
Schatzkammer is a German word which translates as Treasure Room, and is a term also used in English for the collection of treasures, especially those in precious metals and jewels, of a ruler or other collector, kept in a secure room, often in the basement of a palace or castle...

or treasury
Treasury
A treasury is either*A government department related to finance and taxation.*A place where currency or precious items is/are kept....


Dresden hosts the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden is a cultural institution in Dresden, Germany, owned by the State of Saxony. It belongs to the most renowned and oldest museum institutions in the world, originating from the collections of the Saxon electors in the 16th century .Today, the Dresden State Art...

 (Dresden State Art Collections) which, according to the institution's own statements, place it among the most important museums presently in existence. The art collections consist of eleven museums, of which the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden features major works of art. It is located in the gallery wing of the Zwinger....

and the Grünes Gewölbe
Grünes Gewölbe
The Grünes Gewölbe in Dresden is a unique historic museum that contains the largest collection of treasures in Europe. Founded by Augustus the Strong in 1723, it features a rich variety of exhibits from the Baroque to Classicism...

are the best known.

Other museums and collections owned by the Free State of Saxony in Dresden are:
  • The Deutsche Hygiene-Museum
    German Hygiene Museum
    The German Hygiene Museum is a museum in Dresden, Germany. It conceives itself today as a "forum for science, culture and society". It is a popular venue for events and exhibitions, and is among the most visited museums in Dresden, with around 300,000 visitors per year.-History:The museum was...

    , founded for mass education
    Mass education
    Mass education refers to a massive educational system funded and run by the state to educate people on the state's interest....

     in hygiene, health, human biology
    Human biology
    Human Biology is an interdisciplinary area of study that examines humans through the influences and interplay of many diverse fields such as genetics, evolution, physiology, epidemiology, ecology, nutrition, population genetics and sociocultural influences. It is closely related to...

     and medicine
  • The Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte (State Museum of Prehistory)
  • The Staatliche Naturhistorische Sammlungen Dresden (State Collection of Natural History)
  • The Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden (Museum of Ethnology)
  • The Universitätssammlung Kunst + Technik (Collection of Art and Technology of the Dresden University of Technology)
  • Verkehrsmuseum Dresden (Transport Museum)


The Dresden City Museum
Dresden City Museum
Dresden City Museum is the central city museum for the German city of Dresden. Its displays tell the 800-year story of the city and is the largest and most important of the Dresden State Museums...

 is run by the city of Dresden and focused on the city's history. The Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr
Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr Military History Museum is the military museum of the German Armed Forces, the Bundeswehr, and one of the major military history museums in Germany. The museum is under the technical and administrative chain of command of the German Armed Forces Military History Research Office. It...

is in the former garrison in the Albertstadt.

The Botanischer Garten Dresden
Botanischer Garten der Technischen Universität Dresden
The Botanischer Garten der Technischen Universität Dresden , also known as the Botanischer Garten Dresden or Dresden Botanical Garden, is a botanical garden maintained by the Dresden University of Technology. It is located in the north-west section of the Großer Garten at Stübelallee 2, Dresden,...

 is a botanical garden
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

 in the Großer Garten
Großer Garten
The Großer Garten is a baroque style park in Dresden. It is oblong in shape and covers an area of about 2 km² in a central location of the city. Established in 1676, it has been a public garden since 1814. Pathways and avenues are arranged symmetrically throughout its area...

that is maintained by the Dresden University of Technology
Dresden University of Technology
The Technische Universität Dresden is the largest institute of higher education in the city of Dresden, the largest university in Saxony and one of the 10 largest universities in Germany with 36,066 students...

. Also in the Großer Garten is the Dresden Zoo
Dresden Zoo
Dresden Zoo, or Zoo Dresden, is a zoo situated in the city of Dresden in Germany. It was opened in 1861, making it Germany's fourth oldest zoo. It was originally designed by Peter Joseph Lenné....

.

Architecture

Although Dresden is often said to be a Baroque city, its architecture is influenced by more than one style. Other eras of importance are the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and Historism
Historism
Historism is a philosophical and historiographical theory, founded in 19th-century Germany and especially influential in 19th- and 20th-century Europe...

, as well as the contemporary styles of Modernism
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 and Postmodernism
Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

.

Dresden has some 13 000 listed cultural monuments and eight districts under general preservation orders.

Royal household

The royal buildings are among the most impressive buildings in Dresden. The Dresden Castle
Dresden castle
Dresden Castle is one of the oldest buildings in Dresden. For almost 400 years, it has been the residence of the electors and kings of Saxony...

 was the seat of the royal household
Royal Household
A Royal Household in ancient and medieval monarchies formed the basis for the general government of the country as well as providing for the needs of the sovereign and his relations....

 from 1485. The wings of the building have been renewed, built upon and restored many times. Due to this integration of styles, the castle is made up of elements of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 and Classicist
Classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

 styles.

The Zwinger
Zwinger
The Zwinger is a palace in Dresden, eastern Germany, built in Baroque style. It served as the orangery, exhibition gallery and festival arena of the Dresden Court....

 Palace is across the road from the castle. It was built on the old stronghold of the city and was converted to a centre for the royal art collections and a place to hold festivals. Its gate by the moat, surmounted by a golden crown, is famous.

Other royal buildings and ensembles:
  • Brühl's Terrace
    Brühl's Terrace
    Brühl's Terrace is a historic architectural ensemble in Dresden, Germany. Nicknamed "The Balcony of Europe", the terrace stretches high above the shore of the river Elbe in a city which is quite large as measured by area relative to its half a million inhabitants...

     was a gift to Heinrich, count von Brühl
    Heinrich, count von Brühl
    Heinrich, count von Brühl , was a German statesman at the court of Saxony and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth...

    , and became an ensemble of buildings above the river Elbe.
  • Dresden Elbe Valley
    Dresden Elbe Valley
    The Dresden Elbe Valley is a former World Heritage Site in Dresden, Germany. The valley, extending for some 20 kilometres and passingthrough the Dresden Basin and the city of Dresden, is one of two cultural landscapes along the Central European river Elbe...

     with the Pillnitz Castle
    Pillnitz Castle
    Pillnitz Castle is a restored Baroque castle at the eastern end of the city of Dresden in the German state of Saxony. It is located on the bank of the River Elbe in the former village of Pillnitz...

     and other castles

Sacred buildings

The Hofkirche was the church of the royal household. Augustus the Strong, who desired to be King of Poland, converted to Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

, as Polish kings had to be Catholic. At that time Dresden was strictly Protestant. Augustus the Strong ordered the building of the Hofkirche, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, to establish a sign of Roman Catholic religious importance in Dresden. The church is the cathedral "Sanctissimae Trinitatis" since 1980. The crypt of the Wettin Dynasty
Wettin (dynasty)
The House of Wettin is a dynasty of German counts, dukes, prince-electors and kings that once ruled the area of today's German states of Saxony, the Saxon part of Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia for more than 800 years...

 is located within the church.

In contrast to the Hofkirche, the Lutheran Frauenkirche
Dresden Frauenkirche
The Dresden Frauenkirche is a Lutheran church in Dresden, eastern Germany.Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed in the firebombing of Dresden during World War II. It has been reconstructed as a landmark symbol of reconciliation between former warring enemies...

 was built almost contemporaneously by the citizens of Dresden. It is said to be the greatest cupola building in Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

. The city's historic Kreuzkirche was reconsecrated in 1388.

There are also other churches in Dresden, for example a Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 in the Südvorstadt district.

Contemporary architecture

Dresden has been an important site for the development of contemporary architecture
Contemporary architecture
Contemporary architecture is generally speaking the architecture of the present time.The term contemporary architecture is also applied to a range of styles of recently built structures and space which are optimized for current use....

 for centuries, and this trend has continued into the 20th and 21st centuries.

Historicist
Historicism (art)
Historicism refers to artistic styles that draw their inspiration from copying historic styles or artisans. After neo-classicism, which could itself be considered a historicist movement, the 19th century saw a new historicist phase marked by a return to a more ancient classicism, in particular in...

 buildings made their presence felt on the cityscape until the 1920s sampled by public buildings such as the Staatskanzlei
Sächsische Staatskanzlei
The Sächsische Staatskanzlei is the office of the Minister-President of Saxony. It is located in Dresden on the northern Elbe river banks and was established in 1995. The Staatskanzlei is managed by the State Minister and Head of the Staatskanzlei.The Free State of Saxony also established a...

 or the City Hall. One of the youngest buildings of that era is the Hygiene Museum, which is designed in an impressively monumental style, but employs plain façades and simple structures. It is often attributed, wrongly, to the Bauhaus
Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

 school.

Most of the present cityscape of Dresden was built after 1945, a mix of reconstructed or repaired old buildings and new buildings in the modern and postmodern styles. Important buildings erected between 1945 and 1990 are the Centrum-Warenhaus (a large department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

) representing the international style
International style (architecture)
The International style is a major architectural style that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s, the formative decades of Modern architecture. The term originated from the name of a book by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, The International Style...

, the Kulturpalast, and several smaller and two bigger complexes of Plattenbau
Plattenbau
Plattenbau is the German word for a building whose structure is constructed of large, prefabricated concrete slabs. The word is a compound of Platte and Bau...

 housing, while there is also housing dating from the era of Stalinist architecture
Stalinist architecture
Stalinist architecture , also referred to as Stalinist Gothic, or Socialist Classicism, is a term given to architecture of the Soviet Union between 1933, when Boris Iofan's draft for Palace of the Soviets was officially approved, and 1955, when Nikita Khrushchev condemned "excesses" of the past...

.
After 1990 and German reunification, new styles emerged. Important contemporary buildings include the New Synagogue
New Synagogue (Dresden)
The New Synagogue in Dresden was completed in 2001 and designed by architects Rena Wandel-Hoefer and Wolfgang Lorch. It was built on the same location as the Semper Synagogue designed by Gottfried Semper, which was destroyed in 1938, during the Kristallnacht.The boundary wall of the New Synagogue...

, a postmodern
Postmodern architecture
Postmodern architecture began as an international style the first examples of which are generally cited as being from the 1950s, but did not become a movement until the late 1970s and continues to influence present-day architecture...

 building with few windows, the Transparent Factory
Transparent Factory
Transparent Factory is the English name of an automobile production plant owned by German carmaker Volkswagen, designed by architect Gunter Henn, and opened in 2002. The original German name is Gläserne Manufaktur...

, the Saxon State Parliament and the New Terrace, the UFA-Kristallpalast cinema by Coop Himmelb(l)au
Coop Himmelb(l)au
Coop Himmelbau is a cooperative architectural design firm primarily located in Vienna, Austria and which now also maintains offices in Los Angeles, United States and Guadalajara, Mexico...

 (one of the biggest buildings of Deconstructivism
Deconstructivism
Deconstructivism is a development of postmodern architecture that began in the late 1980s. It is characterized by ideas of fragmentation, an interest in manipulating ideas of a structure's surface or skin, non-rectilinear shapes which serve to distort and dislocate some of the elements of...

 in Germany), and the Saxon State Library
Saxon State Library
The Saxon State Library in Dresden is the Staatsbibliothek of Saxony and the academic library of the Technische Universität Dresden. It is one of the main public archival centers of Germany. Its treasures, collected over four centuries, were located in the Japanisches Palais and in temporary...

. Daniel Libeskind
Daniel Libeskind
Daniel Libeskind, is an American architect, artist, and set designer of Polish-Jewish descent. Libeskind founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989 with his wife, Nina, and is its principal design architect...

 and Norman Foster
Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank
Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, OM is a British architect whose company maintains an international design practice, Foster + Partners....

 both modified existing buildings. Foster roofed the main railway station with translucent Teflon-coated synthetics. Libeskind changed the whole structure of the Military History
Military history
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, their cultures, economies and changing intra and international relationships....

 Museum by placing a wedge through the historicist arsenal building.

Other buildings

Other buildings include important bridges crossing the Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 river, the Blaues Wunder bridge and the Augustusbrücke
Augustusbrücke
The Augustus Bridge is the oldest bridge in the city of Dresden, in the state Saxony in Germany. It was built between 1907 and 1910. Crossing the river Elbe, the road bridge connects the Innere Neustadt in the north with the historic area of the city in the south . There has been a bridge at the...

, which is on the site of the oldest bridge in Dresden.

There are about 300 fountains and springs, many of them in parks or squares. The wells serve only a decorative function, since there is a fresh water
Fresh Water
Fresh Water is the debut album by Australian rock and blues singer Alison McCallum, released in 1972. Rare for an Australian artist at the time, it came in a gatefold sleeve...

 system in Dresden. Springs and fountains are also elements in contemporary cityspaces.

The most famous sculpture in Dresden is Jean-Joseph Vinache
Jean-Joseph Vinache
Jean-Joseph Vinache was a French sculptor who served as court sculptor to Kurfürst Frederick Augustus I, Elector of Saxony, whose equestrian monument, the Goldener Reiter, the "gilded Horseman", is one of the most familiar sights of Dresden, Germany, though its sculptor is rarely noted.Vinache was...

's golden equestrian sculpture
Equestrian sculpture
An equestrian statue is a statue of a rider mounted on a horse, from the Latin "eques", meaning "knight", deriving from "equus", meaning "horse". A statue of a riderless horse is strictly an "equine statue"...

 of August the Strong called the Goldener Reiter (Golden Cavalier) on the Neustädter Markt square. It shows August at the beginning of the Hauptstraße (Main street) on his way to Warsaw, where he was King of Poland in personal union. Another sculpture is the memorial of Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 in front of the Frauenkirche.

Dresden-Hellerau—Germany's first garden city

The Garden City
Garden city movement
The garden city movement is a method of urban planning that was initiated in 1898 by Sir Ebenezer Howard in the United Kingdom. Garden cities were intended to be planned, self-contained communities surrounded by "greenbelts" , containing proportionate areas of residences, industry and...

 of Hellerau
Hellerau
Hellerau is a quarter in the City of Dresden, Germany. It was the first garden city in Germany.Based on the ideas of Ebenezer Howard, businessman Karl Schmidt-Hellerau founded Hellerau near Dresden in 1909. The idea was to create an organic, planned community...

, at that time a suburb of Dresden, was founded in 1909. In 1911 Heinrich Tessenow
Heinrich Tessenow
Heinrich Tessenow was a German architect, professor, and urban planner active in the Weimar era.-Biography:...

 built the Hellerau Festspielhaus
Festspielhaus Hellerau
Festspielhaus Hellerau is a theatre/studio building/classroom building located in Hellerau, the famous garden city district of Dresden, Germany...

 (festival theatre) and Hellerau became a centre of modernism with international standing until the outbreak of World War I.

In 1950, Hellerau was incorporated into the city of Dresden. Today the Hellerau reform architecture is recognised as exemplary. In the 1990s, the garden city of Hellerau became a conservation area
Conservation area
A conservation areas is a tract of land that has been awarded protected status in order to ensure that natural features, cultural heritage or biota are safeguarded...

.

Living quarters

Dresden's urban parts are subdivided in rather a lot of city quarters, up to around 100, among them relatively many larger villa quarters dominated by historic multiple dwelling units, especially, but not only along the river, most known are Blasewitz
Blasewitz
Besides being an urban and often preferred multiple dwelling villa quarter with appealing architecture situated on the Elbe river Blasewitz is also a larger borough of Dresden, Germany in the eastern centre of the city...

, Loschwitz
Loschwitz
Loschwitz is a borough of Dresden, Germany, incorporated in 1921. It consists of ten quarters :Loschwitz is a villa quarter located at the slopes north of the Elbe river...

 and Pillnitz
Pillnitz
Pillnitz is a city quarter in the east of Dresden, Germany. The quarter is situated in the east of Dresden. It can be reached by bus, ship, walking along the river or by bicycle...

. Also some Art Nouveau living quarters and two bigger quarters typical for communist architecture – but much renovated – can be found. The villa town of Radebeul
Radebeul
Radebeul is a town in the Elbe valley in the district of Meißen in Saxony, Germany, a suburb of Dresden. It is well-known for its viticulture, a museum dedicated to writer Karl May and a narrow gauge railway connecting Radebeul with the castle of Moritzburg and the town of Radeburg...

 joins the Dresden city tram system, which is expansive due to the lack of an underground system.

Cinemas and cinematics

There are several small cinemas presenting cult film
Cult film
A cult film, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans. Often, cult movies have failed to achieve fame outside the small fanbases; however, there have been exceptions that have managed to gain fame among mainstream audiences...

s and low-budget or low-profile films chosen for their cultural value. Dresden also has a few multiplex cinemas, of which the Rundkino is the oldest.

Dresden has been a centre for the production of animated films
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

 and optical cinematic techniques
Cinematic techniques
- Basic Definitions of Terms :Aerial Shot:A shot taken from a crane, plane, or helicopter. Not necessarily a moving shot.Backlighting:The main source of light is behind the subject, silhouetting it, and directed toward the camera....

.

Sport

Dresden is home to Dynamo Dresden
Dynamo Dresden
SG Dynamo Dresden are a German association football club, based in Dresden, Saxony. They were founded in 1950, as a club affiliated with the East German police, and became one of the most popular and successful clubs in East German football, winning eight league titles...

, which had a tradition in UEFA club competitions
European Cup and Champions League history
The history of the European Cup and Champions League is long and remarkable, with fifty years of competition finding winners and losers from all parts of the continent....

 up to the early 1990s. Dynamo Dresden won eight titles in the DDR-Oberliga
DDR-Oberliga
The DDR-Oberliga was, prior to German reunification in 1990, the elite level of football competition in the DDR , being roughly equivalent to the Oberliga or Bundesliga in West Germany.-Overview:Following World...

. Currently, the club is a founding member of the 3rd Liga
3rd Liga 2008-09
3rd Liga 2008–09 was the inaugural season for the newly formed tier III of the German football league system. The inaugural game was played on 25 July 2008 between Rot-Weiß Erfurt and Dynamo Dresden, ending with a 1–0 win for Dresden. The last games were played on 23 May 2009. 1. FC Union Berlin...

 after some seasons in the Fußball-Bundesliga
Fußball-Bundesliga
The Fußball-Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany. At the top of Germany's football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. It is contested by 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga...

 and 2. Fußball-Bundesliga
2. Fußball-Bundesliga
- Changes in division set-up :* Number of clubs: currently 18. From 1974 to 1981 there were two conferences, each of 20 teams. In 1981–91 it had 20...

.

In the early 20th century, the city was represented by Dresdner SC
Dresdner SC
Dresdner SC is a German multisport club playing in Dresden, Saxony. Founded on 30 April 1898, the club was a founding member of the German Football Association in 1900...

, who were one of Germany's most successful clubs in football. Their best days were during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, when they were twice German Champions
German football champions
The German football champions are the annual winners of the highest association football competition in Germany. The history of the German football championship is complex and reflects the turbulent history of the country through the course of the 20th century.Brought to the country by English...

, and twice Cup winners. Dresdner SC is a multisport club. While its football team
Football team
A football team is the collective name given to a group of players selected together in the various team sports known as football.Such teams could be selected to play in an against an opposing team, to represent a football club, group, state or nation, an All-star team or even selected as a...

 plays in the sixth-tier Landesliga Sachsen
Landesliga Sachsen
The Sachsenliga, formerly referred to as Landesliga Sachsen, is the sixth tier of the German football league system and the highest league in the German state of Saxony,...

, its volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 section has a team in the women's Bundesliga. Dresden has a third football team
Team
A team comprises a group of people or animals linked in a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.A group in itself does not necessarily constitute a team...

 SC Borea Dresden
SC Borea Dresden
SC Borea Dresden are a German association football club from the city of Dresden, Saxony. The club dropped the name FV Dresden-Nord on 1 July 2007 and adopted its current name to help encourage new sponsorship support...

.
ESC Dresdner Eislöwen is an ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 club playing in the 2nd Bundesliga
2nd Bundesliga (ice hockey)
The 2nd Eishockey-Bundesliga is the second tier of Ice hockey in Germany. It is organised by the DEB, the German Ice Hockey Federation. In the 2007-08 season, it features 14 teams.- History of the 2nd Ice Hockey Bundesliga :...

 again. Dresden Monarchs
Dresden Monarchs
The Dresden Monarchs are an American football team from Dresden, Germany.As its greatest success, the club has finished in third place in the northern division of the German Football League on five occasions, and reached the semi finals of the national championship in 2004 and 2010.-History:The...

 are an American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 team in the German Football League
German Football League
The German Football League is the elite league for American football in Germany. Playing rules are based on those of the American NCAA....

.

Major sport facilities in Dresden are the Glücksgas Stadium
Glücksgas Stadium
Glücksgas Stadium is a football stadium in Dresden, Saxony. It is the current home of Dynamo Dresden. The facility had previously been known as the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion, but in December 2010, the naming rights were sold to Glücksgas, a Bavarian energy company...

, the Heinz-Steyer-Stadion
Heinz-Steyer-Stadion
The Heinz-Steyer-Stadion is a Football and athletics stadium in Dresden, which is currently used by the Dresdner SC. It has a capacity of about 30.000, but is currently restricted to about 5.000 for soccer matches . It was also the first stadium of Dynamo Dresden...

 and the EnergieVerbund Arena (ice hockey).

Transport

The Bundesautobahn 4 (European route E40
European route E40
European route E 40 is the longest European route, more than long, connecting Calais in France via Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan, with Ridder in Kazakhstan near the border to China....

) crosses Dresden in the northwest from west to east. The Bundesautobahn 17
Bundesautobahn 17
is an autobahn in Saxony, south-eastern Germany. It links Dresden to the Czech border where the D8 continues to Prague. The road is a fairly new contribution to the German autobahn-system, with its first stretch opened in 2001 and the last in 2006.- Location :...

 leaves the A4 in a south-eastern direction. In Dresden it begins to cross the Ore Mountains towards Prague. The Bundesautobahn 13 leaves from the three-point interchange "Dresden-Nord" and goes to Berlin. The A13 and the A17 are on the European route E55
European route E55
European route E 55 is a E-route. It passes through the following cities:Helsingborg … Helsingør – Copenhagen – Køge – Vordingborg – Nykøbing Falster – Gedser … Rostock – Berlin – Lübbenau – Dresden – Teplice – Prague – Tábor – Linz – Salzburg – Villach – Tarvisio – Udine – Palmanova – Mestre...

. Several Bundesstraße
Bundesstraße
Bundesstraße , abbreviated B, is the denotation for German and Austrian national highways.-Germany:...

 roads crossing or running through Dresden.

There are two main inter-city transit hubs in the railway network in Dresden: Dresden Hauptbahnhof
Dresden Hauptbahnhof
is one of two main inter-city transit hubs in the German city of Dresden. Designed by Ernst Giese and Paul Weidner, it was built between 1892 and 1897 at the southern border of the inner city and was important in the growth and development of the city....

 and Dresden-Neustadt railway station
Dresden-Neustadt railway station
Dresden-Neustadt station is the second largest railway station in Dresden, as well as one of the largest stations in Saxony.-Construction:...

. The most important railway lines run to Berlin, Prague, Leipzig and Chemnitz. A commuter train
Regional rail
Commuter rail, also called suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates between a city center, and the middle to outer suburbs beyond 15km and commuter towns or other locations that draw large numbers of commuters—people who travel on a daily basis...

 system (Dresden S-Bahn
Dresden S-Bahn
The Dresden S-Bahn provides commuter train services in Dresden and the surrounding area. It was established in 1973 and comprises three lines...

) operates on three lines alongside the long-distance routes.

Dresden Airport is the international airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

 of Dresden, located at the north-western outskirts of the town. Its infrastructure has been improved with new terminals and a motorway access route.

Dresden has a large tramway network operated by Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe, the municipal transport company. Because the geological bedrock does not allow the building of underground railways
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

, the tramway is an important form of public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

. The Transport Authority operates twelve lines on a 200 km network. Many of the new low-floor vehicles are up to 45 metres long and produced by Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier Transportation is the rail equipment division of the Canadian firm, Bombardier Inc. Bombardier Transportation is one of the world's largest companies in the rail-equipment manufacturing and servicing industry. Its headquarters are in Berlin, Germany....

 in Bautzen
Bautzen
Bautzen is a hill-top town in eastern Saxony, Germany, and administrative centre of the eponymous district. It is located on the Spree River. As of 2008, its population is 41,161...

. While many of the system's lines are on reserved track
Reserved track
In tram transport terminology reserved track is track on ground exclusively for trams. Unlike track on streets and roads, reserved track does not need to take into account the transit of other wheeled vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists or horses...

 (often sown with grass to avoid noise), many tracks still run on the streets, especially in the inner city.

The CarGoTram
CarGoTram
The CarGoTram is a freight tram in Dresden. It supplies Volkswagen's "Transparent Factory" with parts for their automobile production.- History :The idea of building a "transparent factory" for Volkswagen automobile production in Dresden arose in 1997...

 is a tram that supplies Volkswagen's Transparent Factory
Transparent Factory
Transparent Factory is the English name of an automobile production plant owned by German carmaker Volkswagen, designed by architect Gunter Henn, and opened in 2002. The original German name is Gläserne Manufaktur...

, crossing the city. The transparent factory is located not far from the city centre next to the city's largest park.

The districts of Loschwitz and Weisser Hirsch are connected by the Dresden Funicular Railway, which was opened on October 26, 1895.

Public utilities

Dresden is the capital of a German Land
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

(federal state). It is home to the Landtag of Saxony
Landtag of Saxony
The Landtag of Saxony, also referred to as the Parliament of Saxony or the Saxon Parliament, is the German state of Saxony's legislature...

 and the ministries of the Saxon Government. The controlling Constitutional Court of Saxony is in Leipzig. The highest Saxon court in civil and criminal law
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

, the Higher Regional Court of Saxony, has its home in Dresden.

Most of the Saxon state authorities are located in Dresden. Dresden is home to the Regional Commission of the Dresden Regierungsbezirk
Dresden (region)
Dresden is one of the three Direktionsbezirke of the Free State of Saxony, Germany, located in the east of the state. It coincides with the Planungsregionen Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien and Oberes Elbtal/Osterzgebirge.-History:...

, which is a controlling authority for the Saxon Government. It has jurisdiction over eight rural districts, two urban districts
Urban districts of Germany
This is a list of urban districts in Germany. Germany's sixteen states are further subdivided into 402 districts of which 107 are urban districts – cities which constitute a district in their own right. A similar concept is the Statutarstadt in Austria...

 and the city of Dresden.

Like many cities in Germany, Dresden is also home to a local court, has a trade corporation and a Chamber of Industry and Trade and many subsidiaries of federal agencies (such as the Federal Labour Office or the Federal Agency for Technical Relief
Technisches Hilfswerk
The Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk is a civil protection organisation controlled by the German federal government...

). It also hosts some subdepartments of the German Customs and the eastern Federal Waterways Directorate.

Dresden is also home to a military subdistrict command but no longer has large military units as it did in the past. Dresden is the traditional location for army officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 schooling in Germany, today carried out in the Offizierschule des Heeres.

Economy

In 1990 Dresden—an important industrial centre of the German Democratic Republic—had to struggle with the economic collapse
Economic collapse
There is no precise definition of an economic collapse. While some might consider a a severe, prolonged depression with high bankruptcy rates and high unemployment an economic collapse, others would additionally look for a breakdown in normal commerce, such as hyperinfalation, or even a sharp...

 of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and the other export markets in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. The German Democratic Republic had been the richest eastern bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 country but was faced with competition from the Federal Republic of Germany after reunification. After 1990 a completely new law and currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 system was introduced in the wake of the collapse of the German Democratic Republic and eastern Germany's infrastructure was largely rebuilt with funds from the Federal Republic of Germany. Dresden as a major urban centre has developed much faster and more consistently than most other regions in the former German Democratic Republic, but the city still faces many social and economic problems stemming from the collapse of the former system, including high unemployment levels.

Until famous enterprises like Dresdner Bank
Dresdner Bank
Dresdner Bank AG was one of Germany's largest banking corporations and was based in Frankfurt. It was acquired by competitor Commerzbank in December 2009.- 19th century :...

 left Dresden in the communist era to avoid nationalisation, Dresden was one of the most important German cities. The period of the GDR
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

 until 1990 was characterised by low economic growth
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

 in comparison to western German cities. The enterprises and production sites broke down almost completely as they entered the social market economy
Social market economy
The social market economy is the main economic model used in West Germany after World War II. It is based on the economic philosophy of Ordoliberalism from the Freiburg School...

. Since then the economy of Dresden has been recovering.

The unemployment rate
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 fluctuates between 13% and 15% and is still relatively high. Nevertheless, Dresden has developed faster than the average for Eastern Germany and has raised its GDP per capita
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 to 31,100 euro, equal to the GDP per capita of some poor West German communities (the average of the 50 biggest cities is around 35,000 euro).

The economy of Dresden involves extensive public funding. Thanks to extensive public funding of technology, the proportion of highly qualified workers is around 20%. Dresden is ranked among the best ten cities in Germany to live in.

Enterprises

Three major sectors dominate Dresden's economy:

The semiconductor industry
Silicon Saxony
Silicon Saxony is a registered industry association of nearly 300 companies in the microelectronics and related sectors in Saxony, Germany, with around 40,000 employees...

 was built up in 1969. Major enterprises today are AMD
Advanced Micro Devices
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. or AMD is an American multinational semiconductor company based in Sunnyvale, California, that develops computer processors and related technologies for commercial and consumer markets...

's spin-off GLOBALFOUNDRIES
GLOBALFOUNDRIES
GlobalFoundries Inc. is the world's third largest independent semiconductor foundry, with its headquarters located in Milpitas, California. GlobalFoundries was created by the divestiture of the manufacturing side of AMD on March 2, 2009, and was expanded through its merger with Chartered...

, Infineon Technologies
Infineon Technologies
Infineon Technologies AG is a German semiconductor manufacturer and was founded on April 1, 1999, when the semiconductor operations of the parent company Siemens AG were spun off to form a separate legal entity. , Infineon has 25,149 employees worldwide...

, ZMD
ZMD
Zentrum Mikroelektronik Dresden AG is a fabless semiconductor manufacturer based in Dresden. In the 1980s, ZMD was regarded as the heart of the GDR-microelectronics research. ZMD was founded in 1961. In 1969 the company operated under the name Arbeitsstelle für Molekularelektronik Dresden...

 and Toppan Photomasks. Their factories attract many suppliers of material and cleanroom technology enterprises to Dresden.

The pharmaceutical sector came up at the end of the 19th century. The Sächsisches Serumwerk Dresden (Saxon Serum Plant, Dresden), owned by GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline plc is a global pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company headquartered in London, United Kingdom...

, is a world leader in vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

 production. Another traditional pharmaceuticals producer is Arzneimittelwerke Dresden (Pharmaceutical Works, Dresden).

A third (traditional) branch is that of mechanical and electrical engineering
Electrical engineering
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

. Major employers are the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

 Transparent Factory
Transparent Factory
Transparent Factory is the English name of an automobile production plant owned by German carmaker Volkswagen, designed by architect Gunter Henn, and opened in 2002. The original German name is Gläserne Manufaktur...

, EADS
EADS
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

 Elbe Flugzeugwerke
EADS EFW
EADS EFW is a subsidiary and business unit of EADS in Dresden. It is located at the Dresden Airport and became the centre of freighter aircraft conversion in the EADS group.- History :...

 (Elbe Aircraft Works), Siemens
Siemens AG
Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company....

 and Linde-KCA-Dresden
The Linde Group
The Linde Group, registered as Linde AG is an international industrial gases and engineering company founded in Germany in 1879. Linde shares are traded on all the German stock exchanges and also in Zürich, and the Linde share price is included in the DAX 30 index...

.

Tourism is another sector of the economy enjoying high revenue and many employees. There are 87 hotels in Dresden, a noted site for heritage tourism
Heritage tourism
Cultural heritage tourism is a branch of tourism oriented towards the cultural heritage of the location where tourism is occurring...

.

Media

The media in Dresden include two major newspapers: the Sächsische Zeitung
Sächsische Zeitung
Sächsische Zeitung is a German daily newspaper. Founded on 13 April 1946, the Sächsische Zeitung's main office is based in Dresden. It is the largest newspaper in Saxony, with 95 % of its copies distributed through subscriptions. Ownership stakes have it leaning slightly towards the centre-left...

(Saxonian Newspaper, circulation around 300,000) and the Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (Dresden's Latest News, circulation around 50,000). Dresden has a broadcasting centre belonging to the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk
Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk
Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk is the public broadcaster for the federal states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt...

. The Dresdner Druck- und Verlagshaus (Dresden printing plant and publishing house) produces part of Spiegel
Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel is a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. It is one of Europe's largest publications of its kind, with a weekly circulation of more than one million.-Overview:...

's print run, among other newspapers and magazines.

Universities

Dresden is home to a number of renowned universities, but among German cities it is a more recent location for academic education.
  • The Dresden University of Technology
    Dresden University of Technology
    The Technische Universität Dresden is the largest institute of higher education in the city of Dresden, the largest university in Saxony and one of the 10 largest universities in Germany with 36,066 students...

     (Technische Universität Dresden) with more than 36,000 students (2011) was founded in 1828 and is among the oldest and largest Universities of Technology in Germany. It is currently the university of technology in Germany with the largest number of students but also has many courses in social studies
    Social studies
    Social studies is the "integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence," as defined by the American National Council for the Social Studies...

    , economics and other non-technical sciences. It offers 126 courses. In 2006, the TU Dresden was successful in the German Universities Excellence Initiative
    German Universities Excellence Initiative
    The Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation aims to promote cutting-edge research and to create outstanding conditions for young scientists at universities, to deepen cooperation between disciplines and institutions, to...

     of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany).
  • The Dresden University of Technology founded a Kids-University in 2004.
  • The Dresden University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden) was founded in 1992 and had about 5,300 students in 2005.
  • The Dresden Academy of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden) was founded in 1764 and is known for its former professors and artists such as George Grosz
    George Grosz
    Georg Ehrenfried Groß was a German artist known especially for his savagely caricatural drawings of Berlin life in the 1920s...

    , Sascha Schneider
    Sascha Schneider
    Rudolph Karl Alexander Schneider, commonly known as Sascha Schneider , was a German painter and sculptor.-Biography :...

    , Otto Dix
    Otto Dix
    Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix was a German painter and printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and the brutality of war. Along with George Grosz, he is widely considered one of the most important artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit.-Early life and...

    , Oskar Kokoschka
    Oskar Kokoschka
    Oskar Kokoschka was an Austrian artist, poet and playwright best known for his intense expressionistic portraits and landscapes.-Biography:...

    , Bernardo Bellotto
    Bernardo Bellotto
    Bernardo Bellotto was a Venitian urban landscape painter or vedutista, and printmaker in etching famous for his vedutes of European cities . He was the pupil and nephew of Canaletto and sometimes used the latter's illustrious name, signing himself as Bernardo Canaletto...

    , Carl-Gustav Carus, Caspar David Friedrich
    Caspar David Friedrich
    Caspar David Friedrich was a 19th-century German Romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important German artist of his generation. He is best known for his mid-period allegorical landscapes which typically feature contemplative figures silhouetted against night skies, morning...

     and Gerhard Richter
    Gerhard Richter
    Gerhard Richter is a German visual artist. Richter has simultaneously produced abstract and photorealistic painted works, as well as photographs and glass pieces, thus undermining the concept of the artist’s obligation to maintain a single cohesive style.- Biography :Gerhard Richter was born in...

    .
  • The Palucca School of Dance was founded by Gret Palucca
    Gret Palucca
    Gret Palucca was a German dancer and teacher.Shortly after birth, her family moved to San Francisco, returning with her mother to Dresden in 1909. There she received ballet lessons with Heinrich Kröller from 1914 to 1916...

     in 1935 and is a major European school of free dance
    Free dance
    Free dance is a 20th century dance form that preceded modern dance. Rebelling against the rigid constraints of classical ballet, Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis developed their own styles of free dance and laid the foundations of American modern dance with their choreography and...

    .
  • The Carl Maria von Weber College of Music was founded in 1856.


Other universities include the "Hochschule für Kirchenmusik", a school specialising in church music
Christian music
Christian music is music that has been written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life and faith. Common themes of Christian music include praise, worship, penitence, and lament, and its forms vary widely across the world....

, the "Evangelische Hochschule für Sozialarbeit", an education institution for social work
Social work
Social Work is a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or...

. The "Dresden International University" is a private postgraduate university, founded a few years ago in cooperation with the Dresden University of Technology.

Research institutes

Dresden also hosts many research institute
Research institute
A research institute is an establishment endowed for doing research. Research institutes may specialize in basic research or may be oriented to applied research...

s, some of which have gained an international standing. The domains of most importance are micro- and nanoelectronics, transport and infrastructure systems, material and photonic technology, and bio-engineering. The institutes are well connected among one other as well as with the academic education institutions.

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf is the largest complex of research facilities in Dresden, a short distance outside the urban areas. It still focuses on nuclear medicine
Nuclear medicine
In nuclear medicine procedures, elemental radionuclides are combined with other elements to form chemical compounds, or else combined with existing pharmaceutical compounds, to form radiopharmaceuticals. These radiopharmaceuticals, once administered to the patient, can localize to specific organs...

 and physics. As part of the Helmholtz Association it is one of the German Big Science
Big Science
Big Science is a term used by scientists and historians of science to describe a series of changes in science which occurred in industrial nations during and after World War II, as scientific progress increasingly came to rely on large-scale projects usually funded by national governments or groups...

 Research Centres.

The Max Planck Society
Max Planck Society
The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes publicly funded by the federal and the 16 state governments of Germany....

 focuses on fundamental research
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

. In Dresden there are three Max Planck Institutes (MPI); the "MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics is a biology research institute located in Dresden, Germany. It was founded in 1998 and was fully operational in 2000...

", the "MPI for Chemical Physics
Chemical physics
Chemical physics is a subdiscipline of chemistry and physics that investigates physicochemical phenomena using techniques from atomic and molecular physics and condensed matter physics; it is the branch of physics that studies chemical processes from the point of view of physics...

 of Solids" and the "MPI for the Physics of Complex Systems"

The Fraunhofer Society
Fraunhofer Society
The Fraunhofer Society is a German research organization with 60 institutes spread throughout Germany, each focusing on different fields of applied science . It employs around 18,000, mainly scientists and engineers, with an annual research budget of about €1.65 billion...

 hosts institutes of applied research that also offer mission-oriented research to enterprises. With eleven institutions or parts of institutes, Dresden is the largest location of the Fraunhofer Society worldwide. The Fraunhofer Society has become an important factor in location decisions and is seen as a useful part of the "knowledge infrastructure".

The Leibniz Community is a union of institutes with science covering fundamental research and applied research. In Dresden there are three Leibniz Institutes. The "Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research" and the "Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research" are both in the material and high-technology
High tech
High tech is technology that is at the cutting edge: the most advanced technology currently available. It is often used in reference to micro-electronics, rather than other technologies. The adjective form is hyphenated: high-tech or high-technology...

 domain, while the "Leibniz Institute for Ecological and Regional Development" is focused on more fundamental research into urban planning. Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf was member of the Leibniz Community till end of 2010.

Higher secondary education

Dresden has 21 Gymnasien which prepare for a tertiary education
Tertiary education
Tertiary education, also referred to as third stage, third level, and post-secondary education, is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education, such as a high school, secondary school, university-preparatory school...

. Five are private. The "Sächsisches Landesgymnasium für Musik" with a focus on music is supported by the State of Saxony, rather than by the city. There are some Berufliche Gymnasien which combine vocational education
Vocational education
Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

 and secondary education
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

 and a Abendgymnasium which prepares higher education of adults avocational.

External links

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