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Dresden is the capital of the German federal-state of Saxony . It's often called Elbflorenz, or "Florence on the Elbe", reflecting its riverine location and its role as a centre for arts and beautiful architecture much like Florence in Italy. Dresden is a very beautiful, light-spirited city, especially in summer, when you can appreciate the serene setting of the historic centre. Although Dresden is larger than Munich when measured by area, the historic centre is quite compact and walkable.

The Zwinger Palace features a nympheum, many sculptures of Permoser, a bell pavilion and famous art collections. Do not miss the "Alte Meister" - you'll find the famous Madonna Sistina of Rafael there including the well known angels. There is also a very nice museum on the arms of Saxon kings, the "Rüstkammer".

The Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) is Europe's most splendid treasure chamber museum. You can see the biggest green diamond and the court of Aurengzeb and its precious crown jewels. The New Green Vault (Historisches Grünes Gewölbe) is famous for the splendours of the historic treasure chamber as it existed in 1733, while the New Green Vault (Neues Grünes Gewölbe) focuses attention on each individual object in neutral rooms.

The main shopping district in Dresden extends along the pedestrianized Prager Strasse, which runs from the Wiener Strasse at the feet of the Hauptbahnhof to Dr.-Külz-Ring, and its extension Seestrasse, which culminates in the Altmarkt, where the historic core of the city starts. Those streets are mostly filled with modern shopping centres, department stores and street-level retail, as well as a range of standardized gastronomy.

Within the historic center and especially around the Frauenkirche are a number of restaurants, serving many different tastes. You may want to choose one of the various restaurants on the Brühlsche Terrasse adjacent to the river Elbe - especially in summer time this a wonderful place to be. The view and the drinks are very pleasant. Alternatively, you may choose to go to Münzgasse, lying directly beside the Frauenkirche. The little street is full of restaurants, from glamorous and expensive to the cheaper ones.


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