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    (Wikipedia) - Dresden This article is about the city in Germany. For other places named Dresden, and other uses of the word, see Dresden (disambiguation). Dresden Country State District Founded Government  • Lord Mayor Area  • City Elevation Population (2013-12-31)  • City  • Density  • Urban  • Metro Time zone Website
    Clockwise:Dresden at night, Dresden Frauenkirche, Schloss Pillnitz, Dresden Castle and Zwinger.
    Coat of arms
    Coordinates: 51°2′N 13°44′E / 51.033°N 13.733°E / 51.033; 13.733Coordinates: 51°2′N 13°44′E / 51.033°N 13.733°E / 51.033; 13.733
    Urban district
    Helma Orosz (CDU)
    328.8 km2 (127.0 sq mi)
    113 m (371 ft)
    1,600/km2 (4,200/sq mi)
    CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
    Historic city center with main sights

    Dresden (German pronunciation: ; Upper Sorbian: Drježdźany) is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area with 2.4 million inhabitants.

    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. The city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque and rococo city center. The controversial British and American bombing of Dresden in World War II towards the end of the war killed approximately 25,000, many of whom were civilians, and destroyed the entire city center. The bombing gutted the city, as it did for other major German cities. After the war restoration work has helped to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the Katholische Hofkirche, the Semper Oper and the Dresdner Frauenkirche as well as the suburbs.

    Before and since German reunification in 1990, Dresden was and is a cultural, educational, political and economic center of Germany and Europe. The Dresden University of Technology is one of the 10 largest universities in Germany and part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative.

    • 1 History
      • 1.1 Early history
      • 1.2 Modern age
        • 1.2.1 Military history
      • 1.3 Second World War
      • 1.4 Post-war period
      • 1.5 Post-reunification
    • 2 Geography
      • 2.1 Location
      • 2.2 Nature
      • 2.3 Climate
      • 2.4 Flood protection
      • 2.5 City structuring
      • 2.6 Demographics
    • 3 Governance
      • 3.1 Municipality and city council
      • 3.2 Local affairs
    • 4 International relations
      • 4.1 Twin towns – sister cities
    • 5 Culture and architecture
      • 5.1 Entertainment
      • 5.2 Museums, presentations and collections
      • 5.3 Architecture
        • 5.3.1 Royal household
        • 5.3.2 Sacred buildings
        • 5.3.3 Contemporary architecture
        • 5.3.4 Other buildings
        • 5.3.5 Dresden-Hellerau—Germany''s first garden city
        • 5.3.6 Living quarters
      • 5.4 Cinemas and cinematics
      • 5.5 Sport
      • 5.6 Main sights
    • 6 Infrastructure
      • 6.1 Transport
      • 6.2 Public utilities
    • 7 Economy
      • 7.1 Enterprises
    • 8 Media
    • 9 Education and science
      • 9.1 Universities
      • 9.2 Research institutes
      • 9.3 Higher secondary education
    • 10 Notes
    • 11 References
    • 12 External links

    History See also: Timeline of Dresden

    Although Dresden is a relatively recent city of Slavic origin, the area had been settled in the Neolithic era by Linear Pottery culture tribes ca. 7500 BC. Dresden''s founding and early growth is associated with the eastward expansion of Germanic peoples, mining in the nearby Ore Mountains, and the establishment of the Margraviate of Meissen. Its name etymologically derives from Old Sorbian Drežďany, meaning people of the forest. Dresden later evolved into the capital of Saxony.

    Early historyThe Fürstenzug—the Saxon sovereigns depicted in Meissen porcelain

    Around the late 12th century, a Slavic settlement called Drežďany had developed on the southern bank. Another settlement existed on the northern bank, but its Slavic name is unclear. It was known as Antiqua Dresdin, verifiable since 1350, and later as Altendresden, both literally "old Dresden". Dietrich, Margrave of Meissen, chose Dresden as his interim residence in 1206, as documented in a record calling the place "Civitas Dresdene".

    After 1270, Dresden became the capital of the margraviate. It was restored to the Wettin dynasty in about 1319. From 1485, it was the seat of the dukes of Saxony, and from 1547 the electors as well.

    Modern ageDresden in 1521

    The Elector and ruler of Saxony Frederick Augustus I became King August the Strong of Poland in personal union. He gathered many of the best musicians, architects and painters from all over Europe to Dresden. His reign marked the beginning of Dresden''s emergence as a leading European city for technology and art. Dresden suffered heavy destruction in the Seven Years'' War (1756–1763), following its capture by Prussian forces, its subsequent re-capture, and a failed Prussian siege in 1760. Friedrich Schiller wrote his Ode to Joy (the literary base of the European anthem) for the Dresden Masonic Lodge in 1785.

    The city of Dresden had a distinctive silhouette, captured in famous paintings by Bernardo Bellotto and by Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl.

    Between 1806 and 1918 the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Saxony (which was a part of the German Empire from 1871). During the Napoleonic Wars the French emperor made it a base of operations, winning there the famous Battle of Dresden on 27 August 1813. Dresden was a center of the German Revolutions in 1848 with the May Uprising, which cost human lives and damaged the historic town of Dresden.

    During the 19th century the city became a major center of economy, including motor car production, food processing, banking and the manufacture of medical equipment.

    In the early 20th century Dresden was particularly well known for its camera works and its cigarette factories. Between 1918 and 1934 Dresden was capital of the first Free State of Saxony. Dresden was a center of European modern art until 1933.

    Military historyImage of Dresden during the 1890s, before extensive World War II destruction. Landmarks include Dresden Frauenkirche, Augustus Bridge, and Katholische Hofkirche.

    During the foundation of the German Empire in 1871, a large military facility called Albertstadt was built. It had a capacity of up to 20,000 military personnel at the beginning of the First World War. The garrison saw only limited use between 1918 and 1934, but was then reactivated in preparation for the Second World War.

    Its usefulness was limited by attacks on 17 April 1945 on the railway network (especially towards Bohemia). Soldiers had been deployed as late as March 1945 in the Albertstadt garrison.

    The Albertstadt garrison became the headquarters of the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany after the war. Apart from the German army officers'' school (Offizierschule des Heeres), there have been no more military units in Dresden since the army merger during German reunification, and the withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1992. Nowadays, the Bundeswehr operates the Military History Museum of the Federal Republic of Germany in the former Albertstadt garrison.

    German Federal Minister of Defense Thomas de Maizière has his place of residence and political basis in Dresden.

    Second World WarDresden, 1945, view from the city hall (Rathaus) over the destroyed city (the allegory of goodness in the foreground)Main article: Bombing of Dresden in World War IIDresden, 1945—over ninety percent of the city center was destroyed.

    Dresden in the 20th century was a major communications hub and manufacturing center, as well as a leading European center of art, classical music, culture and science until its complete destruction on 13 February 1945. Being the capital of the German state of Saxony, Dresden had not only garrisons but a whole military borough, the Albertstadt. This military complex, named after Saxon King Albert, was not specifically targeted in the bombing of Dresden though it was within the expected area of destruction.

    During the final months of World War II, Dresden became a haven to some 600,000 refugees, with a total population of 1.2 million. Dresden was attacked seven times between 1944 and 1945, and was occupied by the Red Army after German capitulation.

    The bombing of Dresden by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) between 13 and 15 February 1945 remains a controversial Allied action of the Western European theatre of war.

    The inner city of Dresden was largely destroyed by 722 RAF and 527 USAAF bombers that dropped 2431 tons of high explosive bombs, and 1475.9 tons of incendiaries. The high explosive bombs damaged buildings and exposed their wooden structures, while the incendiaries ignited them, severely reducing the number of shelters available to the retreating German troops and refugees. The bombing raid on Dresden destroyed almost all of the ancient center of the city in three waves of attacks. Widely quoted Nazi propaganda reports claimed 200,000 deaths. The German Dresden Historians'' Commission, in an official 2010 report published after five years of research concluded that casualties numbered up to 25,000, while right-wing groups continue to claim that up to 500,000 people died. The inhabited city center was almost wiped out, while larger residential, industrial and military sites on the outskirts were relatively unscathed. The Allies described the operation as the legitimate bombing of a military and industrial target. A report from the British Bomber Command stated the military target was the railway marshaling yard Dresden-Friedrichstadt. Prime Minister Winston Churchill later distanced himself from the attack, even though he was heavily involved with the planning of the raid. Several researchers have argued that the February attacks were disproportionate. Mostly women and children died.

    American author Kurt Vonnegut''s novel Slaughterhouse Five is based on his first-hand experience of the raid as a POW. In remembrance of the victims, the anniversaries of the bombing of Dresden are marked with peace demonstrations, devotions and marches.

    Post-war period

    After the Second World War, Dresden became a major industrial center in the German Democratic Republic (former East Germany) with a great deal of research infrastructure. Many important historic buildings were rebuilt, including the Semper Opera House, the Zwinger Palace and a great many other historic buildings, although the city leaders chose to reconstruct large areas of the city in a "socialist modern" style, partly for economic reasons, but also to break away from the city''s past as the royal capital of Saxony and a stronghold of the German bourgeoisie. However, some of the bombed-out ruins of churches, royal buildings and palaces, such as the Gothic Sophienkirche, the Alberttheater and the Wackerbarth-Palais were razed by the Soviet and East German authorities in the 1950s and 1960s instead of being repaired. Compared to West Germany, the majority of historic buildings were saved.

    From 1985 to 1990, the KGB stationed Vladimir Putin, the future President of Russia, in Dresden. On 3 October 1989 (the so-called "battle of Dresden"), a convoy of trains carrying East German refugees from Prague passed through Dresden on its way to the Federal Republic of Germany. Local activists and residents joined in the growing civil disobedience movement spreading across the German Democratic Republic by staging demonstrations and demanding the removal of the nondemocratic government.

    Post-reunificationThe Dresden Frauenkirche, a few years after its reconsecration

    Dresden has experienced dramatic changes since the reunification of Germany in the early 1990s. The city still bears many wounds from the bombing raids of 1945, but it has undergone significant reconstruction in recent decades. Restoration of the Dresden Frauenkirche was completed in 2005, a year before Dresden''s 800th anniversary, notably by privately raised funds. The gold cross on the top of the church was paid for and donated by the City of Edinburgh as a mark of the bond between the two cities. The urban renewal process, which includes the reconstruction of the area around the Neumarkt square on which the Frauenkirche is situated, will continue for many decades, but public and government interest remains high, and there are numerous large projects underway—both historic reconstructions and modern plans—that will continue the city''s recent architectural renaissance.

    Dresden remains a major cultural center of historical memory, owing to the city''s destruction in World War II. Each year on 13 February, the anniversary of the British and American fire-bombing raid that destroyed most of the city, tens of thousands of demonstrators gather to commemorate the event. Since reunification, the ceremony has taken on a more neutral and pacifist tone (after being used more politically during the Cold War). Beginning in 1999, white nationalists have organized Neo-Nazi demonstrations in Dresden that have been among the largest in the post-war history of Germany. Each year around the anniversary of the city''s destruction, members of the far-right convened in the memory of those who died in the fire-bombing. In 2010, anti-fascists protesters clashed with police in an attempt to prevent the march from taking place. These efforts have been successful in marginalizing the far-right''s demonstrations, and have been repeated each year since.

    The completion of the reconstructed Dresden Frauenkirche in 2005 marked the first step in rebuilding the Neumarkt area. The areas around the square have been divided into 8 "Quarters", with each being rebuilt as a separate project, the majority of buildings to be rebuilt either to the original structure or at least with a façade similar to the original. Quarter I and the front section of Quarters II, III, IV and V(II) have since been completed, with Quarter VIII currently under construction.

    In 2002, torrential rains caused the Elbe to flood 9 metres (30 ft) above its normal height, i.e., even higher than the old record height from 1845, damaging many landmarks (See 2002 European flood). The destruction from this "millennium flood" is no longer visible, due to the speed of reconstruction.

    The United Nations'' cultural organization UNESCO declared the Dresden Elbe Valley to be a World Heritage Site in 2004. After being placed on the list of endangered World Heritage Sites in 2006, the city lost the title in June 2009, due to the construction of the Waldschlößchenbrücke, making it only the second ever World Heritage Site to be removed from the register. UNESCO stated in 2006 that the bridge would destroy the cultural landscape. The city council''s legal moves meant to prevent the bridge from being built failed.

    The Dresden Elbe Valley was an internationally recognized site of cultural significance by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for five years. After being placed on the list of endangered World Heritage Sites in 2006, the city had its status as world heritage site formally removed in June 2009, for the willful breach of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, due to the construction of a highway bridge across the valley within 2 km (1 mi) of the historic center. It thereby became the first location ever in Europe to lose this status, and the second ever in the world.

    View over modern Dresden by nightDresden by day (Brühl''s Terrace)Geography Main article: Geography and urban development of Dresden LocationSaxon Switzerland a few kilometers outside of DresdenView over Dresden Basin

    Dresden lies on both banks of the Elbe River, mostly in the Dresden Basin, with the further reaches of the eastern Ore Mountains to the south, the steep slope of the Lusatian granitic crust to the north, and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains to the east at an altitude of about 113 metres (371 feet). Triebenberg is the highest point in Dresden at 384 metres (1,260 feet).

    With a pleasant location and a mild climate on the Elbe, as well as Baroque-style architecture and numerous world-renowned museums and art collections, Dresden has been called "Elbflorenz" (Florence of the Elbe). The incorporation of neighbouring rural communities over the past 60 years has made Dresden the fourth largest urban district by area in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne.

    The nearest German cities are Chemnitz 80 kilometres (50 miles) to the southwest, Leipzig 100 kilometres (62 miles) to the northwest and Berlin 200 kilometres (120 miles) to the north. Prague, Czech Republic is about 150 kilometres (93 miles) to the south and to the east 200 kilometres (120 miles) is the Polish city of Breslau/ Wrocław.


    Dresden is one of the greenest cities in all of Europe, with 63% of the city being green areas and forests. The Dresden Heath (Dresdner Heide) to the north is a forest 50 km2 in size. There are four nature reserves. The additional Special Conservation Areas cover 18 km2. The protected gardens, parkways, parks and old graveyards host 110 natural monuments in the city. The Dresden Elbe Valley is a former world heritage site which is focused on the conservation of the cultural landscape in Dresden. One important part of that landscape is the Elbe meadows, which cross the city in a 20 kilometre swath. Saxon Switzerland is an important nearby location.


    Dresden has an oceanic climate (Cfb), influenced by its inland location, with average summers and slightly colder winters compared to the German average. The average temperature in January is 0.1 °C (32.18 °F) and in July 19.0 °C (66.2 °F). The driest months are February, March and April, with precipitation of around 40 mm (1.6 in). The wettest months are July and August, with more than 80 mm (3.1 in) per month.

    The microclimate in the Elbe valley differs from that on the slopes and in the higher areas. Klotzsche, at 227 metres above sea level, hosts the Dresden weather station. The weather in Klotzsche is 1 to 1 to 3 °C (1.8 to 5.4 °F) colder than in the inner city.

    Climate data for Dresden, Germany for 1981–2010, record temperatures for 1967-2013 (Source: DWD) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) Average high °C (°F) Daily mean °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Record low °C (°F) Precipitation mm (inches) Mean monthly sunshine hours
    16.2 (61.2) 19.7 (67.5) 24.4 (75.9) 29.5 (85.1) 31.3 (88.3) 35.3 (95.5) 36.4 (97.5) 37.3 (99.1) 32.3 (90.1) 27.1 (80.8) 19.1 (66.4) 16.4 (61.5) 37.3 (99.1)
    2.7 (36.9) 3.9 (39) 8.3 (46.9) 13.7 (56.7) 18.9 (66) 21.5 (70.7) 24.2 (75.6) 23.8 (74.8) 18.9 (66) 13.6 (56.5) 7.2 (45) 3.5 (38.3) 13.34 (56.01)
    0.1 (32.2) 0.9 (33.6) 4.5 (40.1) 9.0 (48.2) 14.0 (57.2) 16.7 (62.1) 19.0 (66.2) 18.6 (65.5) 14.3 (57.7) 9.8 (49.6) 4.5 (40.1) 1.1 (34) 9.37 (48.87)
    −2.4 (27.7) −1.9 (28.6) 1.2 (34.2) 4.4 (39.9) 8.9 (48) 11.9 (53.4) 14.0 (57.2) 13.9 (57) 10.4 (50.7) 6.5 (43.7) 2.1 (35.8) −1.2 (29.8) 5.65 (42.17)
    −25.3 (−13.5) −23.0 (−9.4) −16.5 (2.3) −6.3 (20.7) −3.4 (25.9) 1.2 (34.2) 6.7 (44.1) 5.4 (41.7) 1.4 (34.5) −6.0 (21.2) −13.2 (8.2) −21.0 (−5.8) −25.3 (−13.5)
    46.5 (1.831) 34.6 (1.362) 43.2 (1.701) 41.2 (1.622) 64.8 (2.551) 64.6 (2.543) 87.4 (3.441) 83.0 (3.268) 50.2 (1.976) 42.5 (1.673) 53.9 (2.122) 52.1 (2.051) 664.03 (26.1429)
    62.1 77.8 118.2 170.7 218.7 202.3 222.6 212.9 152.0 122.4 64.5 55.1 1,679.37
    Source: Data derived from Deutscher Wetterdienst
    Flood protection

    Because of its location on the banks of the Elbe, into which some water sources from the Ore Mountains flow, flood protection is important. Large areas are kept free of buildings to provide a flood plain. Two additional trenches, about 50 metres wide, have been built to keep the inner city free of water from the Elbe, by dissipating the water downstream through the inner city''s gorge portion. Flood regulation systems like detention basins and water reservoirs are almost all outside the city area.

    The Weißeritz, normally a rather small river, suddenly ran directly into the main station of Dresden during the 2002 European floods. This was largely because the river returned to its former route; it had been diverted so that a railway could run along the river bed.

    Many locations and areas need to be protected by walls and sheet pilings during floods. A number of districts become waterlogged if the Elbe overflows across some of its former floodplains.

    • Flood in 2002

    • Semperoper during 2005 floods

    • Elbe Flood in April 2006

    • Dresden Skyline in 2006

    • Dresden under water in June 2013

    City structuringGroßer Garten in Dresden
    This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2011)

    Dresden is a spacious city. Its districts differ in their structure and appearance. Many parts still contain an old village core, while some quarters are almost completely preserved as rural settings. Other characteristic kinds of urban areas are the historic outskirts of the city, and the former suburbs with scattered housing. During the German Democratic Republic, many apartment blocks were built. The original parts of the city are almost all in the districts of Altstadt (Old town) and Neustadt (New town). Growing outside the city walls, the historic outskirts were built in the 18th century. They were planned and constructed on the orders of the Saxon monarchs, which is why the outskirts are often named after sovereigns. From the 19th century the city grew by incorporating other districts. Dresden has been divided into ten districts called "Ortsamtsbereich" and nine former boroughs ("Ortschaften") which have been incorporated.

    Demographics Country of Birth Population (2013)
    Significant foreign born populations
     Russia 2,112
     China 1,905
     Vietnam 1,659
     Ukraine 1,506
     Poland 1,414

    The population of Dresden reached 100,000 inhabitants in 1852, making it the third German city to reach that number. The population peaked at 649,252 in 1933, but dropped to 450,000 in 1946 as the result of World War II, during which large residential areas of the city were destroyed. After large incorporations and city restoration, the population grew to 522,532 again between 1950 and 1983.

    Since German reunification, demographic development has been very unsteady. The city has had to struggle with migration and suburbanization. The population increased to 480,000 as a consequence of several incorporations during the 1990s, but it fell to 452,827 in 1998. Between 2000 and 2010, the population grew quickly by more than 45,000 inhabitants (about 9.5%) due to a stabilized economy and reurbanization. Along with Munich and Potsdam, Dresden is one of the ten fastest-growing cities in Germany, while the population of the surrounding new federal states is still shrinking. The population of the city of Dresden is 523,058 (2010), the population of the Dresden agglomeration is 780,561 (2008), and the population of Region Dresden (which includes the neighbouring districts of Meißen, Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge and the western part of the district of Bautzen) is 1,143,197 (2007). Today Dresden is one of the few German Cities which have more inhabitants than ever since World War II.

    In Dresden, about 51.3% of the population is female. Foreigners account for about 4%. The mean age of the population is 43 years, which is the lowest among the urban districts in Saxony.

    Ancestry Number
    Germans 91%
    Other European 5%
    Turkish 0.2%
    Asians 1%
    Africans 0.7%
    Other/Mixed 2.1%
    Governance Main article: City Council of Dresden

    Dresden is one of Germany''s 16 political centers and the capital of Saxony. It has institutions of democratic local self-administration that are independent from the capital functions. Some local affairs of Dresden receive national attention.

    Dresden hosted some international summits such as the Petersburg Dialogue between Russia and Germany, the European Union''s Minister of the Interior conference and the G8 labor ministers conference in recent years.

    Municipality and city council

    The City Council defines the basic principles of the municipality by decrees and statutes. The council gives orders to the "Bürgermeister" ("Burgomaster" or Mayor) by voting for resolutions and thus has some executive power.

    Currently, there is no stable governing majority on Dresden city council.

    The Supreme Burgomaster is directly elected by the citizens for a term of seven years. Executive functions are normally elected indirectly in Germany. However, the Supreme Burgomaster shares numerous executive rights with the city council. He/She is the executive head of the municipality, and also the ceremonial representative of the city. The main departments of the municipality are managed by seven burgomasters.

    Local affairsThe Waldschlösschen Bridge is a subject of controversy in Dresden and other parts of Germany

    Local affairs in Dresden often center around the urban development of the city and its spaces. Architecture and the design of public places is a controversial subject. Discussions about the Waldschlößchenbrücke, a bridge under construction across the Elbe, received international attention because of its position across the Dresden Elbe Valley World Heritage Site. Its construction caused the loss of World Heritage site status in 2009. The city held a public referendum in 2005 on whether to build the bridge, prior to UNESCO expressing doubts about the compatibility between bridge and heritage.

    In 2006 Dresden sold its publicly subsidized housing organization, WOBA Dresden GmbH, to the US-based private investment company Fortress Investment Group. The city received 987.1 million euro and paid off its remaining loans, making it the first large city in Germany to become debt-free. Opponents of the sale were concerned about Dresden''s loss of control over the subsidized housing market.

    International relations

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