14 State Art Galleries in Dresden are symbolic of why and how art remained a passion for Saxon rulers! The State Art Collection consists of some of the best museums in the world. Most of them can be found in the Royal Palace, the Dresden Zwinger and the Albertinum. The outstanding ones are the Green Vault treasury museum, home of the “Court of Aurangzeb” and the “Dresden Green Diamond”, the Old Masters Picture Gallery, where Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna” with the famous little angels can be found, and the Porcelain Collection, the best of its kind in the world, with valuable Asian porcelain and masterpieces from Meissen. All of this is thanks to the wealth of the Saxon rulers and their good taste when it came to art.
Dresden owes the largest and highest quality special collection of ceramics in the world to the addiction of Augustus the Strong to porcelain. It was also him who promoted and enabled to invention of the European hard porcelain in Dresden in 1708, today known as Meissen Porcelain or Dresden China. An accidental discovery by alchemist Bottger who was on the death row, Meiseen turned out to be the “white gold” for Saxon royalty.
How does one prove that the first & the oldest Christmas Market in Germany began in Saxony? Well the fact that the ornaments used most commonly at Christmas are Saxon inventions proves the claim to fame. The famous handcrafted wood products from the Ore Mountains are inextricably linked with the mining history. When mining declined, people began to invent and make wooden products of which the Christmas items are the best known. The nutcrackers with their grim faces and uniforms stand for the authorities, which the miners had to work for. The smoking men represent is their counterparts, the amiable miners who will not let themselves be annoyed by them. The pyramid symbolizes the shaft tower of a mine, while the candle arch represents the entrance to the tunnel of a mine. But the most traditional figurines are the miner and the angel, standing for man and woman and for earth and heaven.
Dresden has recovered and reclaimed its place among the richest cultural and artistic cities of Europe. The unmistakable silhouette of Dresden from the other side of the Elbe River, keeps inspiring artists, visitors and Dresdeners. It includes fantastic buildings like the Church of Our Lady, the Royal Palace, the Zwinger and the Semper Opera House. While a lot of the city was shaped druing the baroque, unlike other cities, Dresden’s beauty does not only come from the old city center, but also from its long stretch along the Elbe River. The river has remained mostly untouched as it winds through stunningly beautiful scenery where nature and architecture live in perfect harmony. Castles and stately homes line up on the meadows and the hills, interspersed by gardens, forests and vineyards. A trip on a steamboat from Dresden to Pillnitz Castle, the former summer residence of the Saxon kings is a must for every Dresden visitor.
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