Summary. Dresden, Germany, is a great day trip from Prague, Czech Republic, as it is just 2-hours by train. This formerly East Germany city, was nearly totally destroyed during World War II. Several destroyed buildings like Katholische Hofkirche, a catholic church, chronical their reconstruction in exhibits. Since those years, and especially after the reunification of Germany in 1990, the City has rebuilt itself into a thriving economy. The main historic buildings, museums, and restaurants are all within walking distance of the train station. There are many things we did not get to during our day trip here. If you love museums and history, you can easily spend a couple more days here. With our limited time, listed below are the places we visited.
Train from Prague to Dresden. We left Prague bright and early for our day trip to Dresden via train. The countryside between the two cities is beautiful and we found ourselves enjoying the quiet early morning ride.
Dresden by Foot. Next we head out towards the City center, but not before stopping for pastries on the man avenue just outside the train station (yum!). This is a great City to see by foot. The architecture varies from beautiful Baroque, to Soviet-inspired post-World War II efficiency, to modern architecture.
Rebuilding after Devastation. Dresden's ability to rebound after such devastation is quite remarkable. The City is quite proud of it's efforts, as it should be, and often displays "before" and "after" photos. Dresden City Museum has a detailed history of what the City went through during the War, for example.
Frauenkirche "Our Lady's Church": On our walk towards Zwinger (see other Dresden post), we walked through Neumarkt Square, where Our Lady's Church sits. In ruins for nearly 50 years after Dresden came under attack in 1945, reconstruction was finally completed in 2005. Photos of the rubble are often used to exemplify the extent of damage suffered by this City during the war. Neumarkt Square is a bustling square with restaurants and stores.
Dresden Kreuzkirche "Holy Cross Church": This Late Baroque style Lutheran Church has a great viewing platform for a panoramic view of the City. This Church has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times over the centuries since it was first built in 12th Century, including a fire that gutted it in the late 19th Century. The Church's remarkable history is symbolic of Dresden's resilience through the Centuries.
Katholische Hofkirche "Dresden Cathedral": This Baroque style cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dresden-Meissen was originally built between 1738 and 1755. It was badly damaged during air raids of Dresden in February of 1945. Reconstruction occurred in phases with final completion in 1987. Free admission.
After walking the central Dresden area, exploring the Dresden City Museum, and the Zwinger palace complex (see other blog post), we enjoy a lovely dinner in the City before heading back on the train to Prague.