I decided for my enjoyment to do a dawn tour of Dresden and get some photos and see the sights at my own pace. I enjoyed the quiet version of Dresden on a Sunday morning at the sun was rising between 7:30 am and 11 am.
I like to get up early in new cities and scout the place out and get a few photos before any potential crowds congregate, Dresden was no different. These early missions are useful to me for getting my bearings and its nice to get lost in myself in a new city while seeing and experiencing new things.
Getting To The City
I potty walked the puppy and got dressed in warm clothes as it was a cold and frosty winter morning and headed out the door. At the tram stop, I purchased a day pass for Dresden as it seemed good value for me. The tram stop was not far and hopped on what I thought was the right one for my little plan, anyway it wasn’t but realised in time to jump off at a stop just across The River Elbe.
Palaisgarten & Japanisches Palais
The closest sight I had bookmarked on my Google Maps from my pre-arrival research was Palaisgarten. this was a nice park I had earmarked for the dog to have a run but I was here and had a wander through.
The neighbouring architecture of the Japanisches Palais caught my eye so had a mooch around. The Japanisches Palais is an 18th-century mansion building, constructed with Japanese details, this mansion is currently used as the Dresden museum of natural history & ethnology.
To the rear of this building was a riverside footpath on the opposite bank to the main city. This was complemented with some grass and river shale that I walked along while enjoying the cities riverscape. This footpath led me towards The Augustus Bridge, a footbridge across the river into Dresden Propper.
I persevered along the riverbank and under the bridge, the footpath had disappeared into a building site but wandered through another arch towards the river to enable me to admire the full Dresden riverside views. This was fantastic and was really excited to get a real browse around this architecture.
On the banks were many river cruise ships, the thought of a river cruise in the area really appealed and on further research realised Prague was accessible sometimes by boat, maybe one for the future.
After my eyes were satisfied with the river views, I navigated the building work for the bridge with the intent on walking over. But in the corner of my eye, I spotted a stunning gold horse statue, I needed to have a closer look at this so legs into gear and crossed the road. What was before my eyes were
The Golden Rider or Goldener Reiter, a statue of King August II or Aucust The Stong. Augustus II the Strong, known in the Saxony region of Germany as Frederick Augustus I, was Elector of Saxony from 1697. The horse statue is gold-leafed and shows the famous ruler in Roman armour heading east towards his Kingdom of Poland.
Back on track, it was time for me to cross the Augustus Bridge, locally known as Augustusbrücke. The Augustus Bridge is a bridge that crosses the river Elbe, the bridge connects the Innere Neustadt area with the historic city centre. historically there has been a bridge at this point of the river since the 12th century.
It was a shame the ongoing building work had taken over most of the bridge but from halfway towards the historic centre the views opened up. Out came the hipflask for a warmer in the form of the Tuica we had been gifted back in Brasov.
As I got closer to crossing the river I realised what a special place I was entering.
Dresden Cathedral – Katholische Hofkirche
The first architectural marvel I was drawn to after crossing the bridge was The Katholische Hofkirche. This is an 18th Century building designed by Gaetano Chiaveri, this building needed to be restored after being damaged during World War II.
Dresden Cathedral was previously called the Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony or in German Katholische Hofkirche. This church has historically been the most important Catholic church in the city, in 1964 this church was promoted to being classed as a cathedral.
This was one fantastic building to walk around and admire the dark and stone structure and all of the great buildings in close proximity. Although early there were some worshippers entering a side entrance.
Behind the theatre was Theaterplatz a square with a black horse statue of King Johann in the centre and an array of buildings at the edges. Dawn was a great time of day to have a look, this place was empty just as the sun was coming out to play. König-Johann-Denkmal is a black horse statue made from bronze and 13.5 metres in height from the ground.
King Johann was a Saxon king, the statue was created in 1882 and finally unveiled in 1889. In true baroque tradition, the statue stands as a point de vue at the intersection of the central axes of the Semperoper and Sempergalerie buildings.
Behind The Statue in Theartreplatz is The Semperoper, the cities opera house and also home to the Semperoper Ballett, one of the best performing arts venues in the city. The Semperoper was originally built in 1841 then again after a fire in 1869.
The Semperoper opera house has a history of premiering some great musicians, this includes popular music by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Both of these composers have a place in my musical heart, my favourite pieces being Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner and The Blue Danube by Straus. this building was impressive on its own but combined with its neighbours made it a special place.
Across the square was the rear entrance to the Zwinger, I explored this mainly on my Daytime Tour as my research had not highlighted what a grand palatial complex this was.
Next on my early morning architecture admiration expedition was to view the Hausmannsturm which was up close to the cathedral. The Hausmannsturm is the oldest still existing part of Dresden Castle. The Hausmannsturm is located on the north side of the castle complex.
The tower has an eight-sided octagonal structure which is topped by a copper-covered Welschen hood and an open lantern with a tip. The striking tower has a height of over 100 metres, historically it was used as a vantage point.
Next building was called the Oberlandesgericht which houses the regional court of the city. This was an imposing building with a dark tower on the edge closest to the river.
The Georgentor also is known as the Georgenbau is the original city exit from Dresden to the Elbe Bridge. This gate is located in the Old Town on Schloßplatz between the Residenzschloss and the Stallhof near to the cathedral and Fürstenzug. The Georgentor was the first Renaissance building in the city, the building is very an impressive example of neo-Renaissance architecture.
The Fürstenzug is a magnificent piece of artwork, this is a long and dramatic mural made of porcelain tiles that depicted Saxon rulers throughout the ages. This was a fascinating find in the city, The Fürstenzug translates to The Procession of Princes. This mural was created between 1871 and 1876 to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Wettin Dynasty, Saxony’s ruling family.