Dresden is the capital city of the German state of Saxony. The Dresden metropolitan area has approximately 1.34 million inhabitants. Dresden is the second largest city on the river Elbe after Hamburg.
Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor, and was once by personal union the family seat of Polish monarchs. The city was known as the Jewel Box because of its baroque and rococo city centre.
Its most prominent building is the Frauenkirche located in Neumarkt, the central “New Marketplace”. Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed during World War II. The ruins were left untouched for 50 years as a war memorial before the church was rebuilt between 1994 and 2005. Other famous landmarks include the Zwinger Palace, the famous “Semperoper” opera house and Dresden Castle. Not to mention the renowned Dresden State Art Collections, a total of 12 museums exhibiting collections which date back to the Saxon electors of the 16th century.
Nearby sights include the National Park of Saxon Switzerland, the Ore Mountains and the countryside around Elbe Valley and Moritzburg Castle.
Since German reunification in 1990, Dresden has again become a significant cultural, educational, and political hub in Germany. The Dresden University of Technology is one of the 10 largest universities in Germany and part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative. The economy of Dresden and its agglomeration is one of the most dynamic in Germany and ranks first in Saxony.