Dresden is the capital of the Free State of Saxony. The image of Dresden's old town is shaped by its role as the residence of the Saxon dukes and kings. With some pride the people of Dresden still speak of their "Florence on the Elbe". The restored and reconstructed monuments between the Semper Opera House and the Frauenkirche as well as important art collections attract numerous tourists.
Numerous buildings of this time were built after Italian models, which created the nickname "Elbflorenz" for Dresden. The probably most important building of this epoch is the Dresden Zwinger, a artwork of architecture, sculpture and painting. The architecturally most beautiful part of the banks of the Elbe are the Brühl Terraces. They offer a beautiful view of the Elbe meadows. From there is access to the art academy, the fortress and the Albertinum with the Galerie Neue Meister.
Dresden's tourist centre is the Old Town. The dome of the Frauenkirche is the old and new landmark of the city. The church, which was destroyed in the Second World War, was rebuilt in the 1990s and consecrated in 2005. In the course of the reconstruction, the surrounding Neumarkt was also reconstructed, and the new baroque buildings grew in size. On the way to the Schlossplatz is the princely procession of the House of Wettin, a 101 meter long mural made of Meissen porcelain tiles. The rebuilt city palace, court church, Zwinger and Semper Opera complete the historic building ensemble.
The Zwinger, which is modelled on Versailles Palace, houses several museums, including the Old Masters Picture Gallery with famous works of art such as Raphael's Sistine Madonna. Worth seeing are also the palace with the Museums Historical and the New Green Vault, the Kupferstich-Kabinett, the armoury with the Turkish Chamber and the Münzkabinett.
Dresden is the political centre of Saxony as the seat of the Saxon state government and the Saxon state parliament. From an economic point of view, Dresden is characterised by information technology and microelectronics. The region also generates high added value through pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, mechanical engineering, vehicle construction and plant engineering, as well as the optical industry.
One of the most famous monuments of the city is certainly the Golden Rider at the Neustadt market. The equestrian statue present the Saxon elector and Polish king Friedrich August I, better known as August the Strong. The gilded monument shows the famous ruler in antique Roman armour riding east. During the reign of him and his son Friedrich August II, the baroque magnificent buildings and unique art collections were built in Dresden.