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Dresden evolved into one of Germany's most beautiful cities after it became the residence of the Wettins, rulers of Saxony for over 800 years. In the 18th century the city was one of Europe's most important cultural centers with grandiose buildings like the Semper Opera House and Zwinger.
After allied fire bombings obliterated the historical center reconstruction of Dresden's magnificent landmarks would drag on for more than sixty years.
Random Dresden Highlights
The Old Masters Gallery has an excellent collection of 15th to 18th century paintings. Its most famous artwork is the Sistine Madonna by Raphael, best known for its two little cherubs.
Zwinger is a magnificent palace complex with beautifully sculpted pavilions connected by long galleries. In the 18th century it was used for court festivities. Today it is home to several museums.
The Goldener Reiter is a rather spectacular gilded equestrian statue of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. The statue was commissioned by his son who inaugurated it in 1734.