Alanguie on the banks of the Elbe, Dresden seems frozen in time. Its eternal silhouette evokes the baroque hours of an enlightened 18th century, where all is harmony and sweetness of life. Behind the walls the castle of Augustus the Strong radiates with a thousand treasures; steamboats glide on the calm wave of the Elbe and lead into the heart of the vineyards; in the opera built by Semper, performances worthy of the greatest western metropolises are given. Nothing, at first glance, can suggest that Dresden has suffered so much. Burned in 1685, reduced to ashes by Allied bombs in 1945, rebuilt stone by stone and then enclosed east of the Iron Curtain, Dresden bears the marks of a tormented German history. The fall of the East German communist regime in 1989 threw the people of Dresden into a world where everything is consumed and transformed at lightning speed. The transition is painful for the Saxons, whose soul cherishes calm and continuity. But Dresden today is resolutely modern. With a renowned technological university and a world-class competitiveness cluster, Silicon Saxony, the city has been able to boost its industrial potential, which is the result of a long tradition. The city's countless museums will seduce aesthetes and science lovers alike. After the fall of the Wall, Dresden's alternative scene was finally able to give free rein to its creativity; the Neustadt on the north bank of the Elbe River bears witness to this dynamism with its decorated inner courtyards, craftsmanship, cafés and unbridled nightlife. In the heart of the Elbe Valley, a former UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dresden is also the starting point for trips into lush nature and surprising landscapes, just a stone's throw from the Czech border...

Manon HEUGEL

THANK YOU. Thanks to GiannaThiess, Jutta Rönsch, Kristof and Aileen for their countless tips, good tips and kindness. Thanks also to Christoph Münch from Dresden Marketing for his help and thanks to all the Dresden people who have revealed to me the secrets of their beautiful city.

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