Flying under the radar compared to other large German city voyages, a Dresden river cruise is one of those hidden gems you come across, and then keep coming back for time and time again. This lovely city is the capital of the German state of Saxony and the 12th most populous city in the country. It's a sprawling metroplex that spans both sides of the Elbe River, making it a frequent port of call for both tourism and trade.
Cruise to Find Dresden Architecture
Popular among German river cruises, Dresden is full of incredible architecture. Upon visiting, architecture enthusiasts will be in awe of the sheer number of examples of Baroque architecture. The city initially rose to prominence in the 1600s, when Saxony's King Augustus II the Strong of Poland sought out Europe's greatest architects, artists, and musicians and brought them to live in Dresden. Under Augustus II's rule and with all of the incredible talent at his disposal, Dresden rose to the forefront of innovation in Europe. Many of the Baroque-style buildings now populating the city were built during his and his successor, Augustus III's, time.
While Baroque makes up the majority of the city's outstanding architecture, you'll be able to find plenty more. Dresden's other popular styles can range from Italian Renaissance to Modern to purely whimsical. Here, we've listed a few of our favorite architectural masterpieces in the German city of Dresden.
- Frauenkirche Dresden. Located at the center of Dresden in the Neumarkt District, Frauenkirche stands out from its surroundings as a peerless example of religious Baroque architecture. The building is a work of pure love for history too -- it was destroyed during World War II, but the rubble and stones that made it were saved and put into storage. Over the course of 11 years, the church was rebuilt stone by stone, finished in 2005.
- Semperoper Opera House. A much later addition to Dresden's Baroque line-up, the Semperoper Opera House was originally built in 1841 and designed by Gottfried Semper. It later caught fire, and was remodeled back in the 1980s. This decorative masterpiece is considered Neo-Baroque by most professionals, and is a masterful example of the city's architecture scene.
- Zwinger Palace. The list would be incomplete without mentioning a work commissioned by the man who started it all, King Augustus II. While Zwinger Palace wasn't finished in his lifetime, it's a fine example of all that he brought to Dresden. Considered one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in the world, the Zwinger Palace is filled with art and statues made by Dresden's artists. Courtyards and beautiful gardens were designed for festivities, giving the musicians who came to Dresden a place to play, exemplifying Augustus the Strong's dream.
Dresden Cruise Ships
As the capital of Saxony and one of Germany's larger cities, Dresden is popular with Elbe River cruises. All of our top cruise lines -- Scenic River Cruises, Viking River Cruises, and Uniworld River Cruises -- feature Dresden on their itineraries. Their luxury ships bring in thousands of passengers each year. Guided excursions take these visitors all over the city to see its best sights, complete with English-speaking guides to make learning about the city and its residents a breeze.
Aboard the magnificent ships making these European river cruises, you'll find amenities and comforts that make the vessels feel more like a floating five-star hotel. Making each trip to Dresden only more memorable, these luxury cruises are certain to please.
Top Attractions for Dresden River Cruises
While Baroque architecture -- among other styles -- is undoubtedly Dresden's biggest attraction, there's much more to do in this great city. Whether you prefer examining art, exploring unique districts, or shopping, Dresden has it all. Here, we've listed a few of the essential attractions to see on your Dresden river cruise.
Sailing from Dresden, Germany
Though they can be forgotten next to places like Berlin and Munich, each Dresden Elbe cruise is a unique opportunity to find a historic city known for architecture but also home to countless artists and musicians, much like King Augustus intended so long ago. Setting sail from Dresden, you'll travel the Elbe River to a number of other incredible destinations, such as Hamburg. You can learn more about the great destinations Elbe cruises visit with the link below.