Or to give him his full Latin title: Augustus Secundus, Dei Gratia rex Poloniae, magnus dux Lithuaniae, Russie, Prussiae, Masoviae, Samogitiae, Livoniae, Kijoviae, Volhyniae, Podoliae, Smolensciae, Severiae, Czerniechoviaeque, necnon haereditarius dux Saxoniae et princeps elector etc. That's quite something to fit onto your driving licence.
Here he is, depicted as Goldner Reiter in a golden equestrian statue just north of Augustusbrücke on the Neustädter Mark in Dresden.
|Goldner Reiter, Dresden|
We have been to Dresden a few times since moving to Berlin, first of all back in 2009, and each time we return the City has built and renewed and renovated itself immensely. There is no need to point out that the centre of Dresden was totally, and shamefully, flattened by British and US bombing in February 1945 and the resultant fire-storms is there? Well, read about it on Wikipedia if you want to know more.
Our first tick on the must-see list was Pfunds Molkerei, 'the most beautiful dairy shop in the World'. Then we walked back across Augustusbrücke, passing the Goldener Reiter, and headed to the famous Semperoper, home of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (Saxony State Opera).
Standing in Theatreplatz in front of the opera house is another equestrian statue, this time showing King John of Saxony (Konig Johann I. von Sachsen).
|Statue of King John of Saxony|
|Statues on the skyline of the Katholische Hofkirche, Dresden|
|Französischer Pavillion at the Zwinger, Dresden|
|Sempergalerie, the Zwinger, Dresden|
|Französische Pavillion again|
|entrance to the Nymphenbad from above the Bogengalerien|
|Kronentor, the Zwinger, Dresden|
|The Wall Pavillion.|
And there in the background are the towers of the Dresdner Schloss (Dresden Castle).
|Dresdner Schloss, behind the Deutscher Pavillion|
From up here there are great views back into the Zwinger ...
|The oldest Zwinger in town|
There, I've said it.
|Dresdner Schloß from the Zwinger|
|Part of the Dresdner Schloß|
|Inside the Dresdner Schloß, near where you buy tickets for the exhibitions.|
One piece of mural art to check out is the Fürstenzug, or 'procession of princes', showing a horse-mounted procession of all the rulers of Saxony back through time. Originally commissioned in 1871 to mark the 800th anniversary of the Wettin dynasty, it depicts the ancestral portraits of the 35 margraves, electors, dukes and kings of the House of Wettin between 1127 and 1904, all hand-painted onto 23,000 Meissen porcelain tiles. It is considered the largest porcelain artwork in the World.
|Pheme/Fama on the dome of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts (HfBK)|
Standing outside this protestant church is a statue of Martin Luther. I am reminded that August II The Strong converted rather cynically from Protestantism to Catholicism in order to be eligible to become King of Poland.
|Statue of Martin Luther in front of the Frauenkirche in Dresden|
Brühl's terrace gives a lovely view across the Elbe to the Saxony Finance Ministry (left) and the Staatskanzlei (right of the bridge):
And here's another view of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts:
From a photographer's point of view, Brühl's terrace could have done with facing South instead of North, as the buildings are always in shadow and a bit chilly from the river. Anyway, it was a nice stroll and back again to the Frauenkirche.
This is the Transport Museum:
And then we are back again at the Frauenkirche, just in time to catch the light of the setting sun.
We finished our visit off with a horse-drawn double-decker carriage tour of the inner city. Sitting on the top, our other travellers were a family of Chinese. The German (only) speaking guide joined us on the top deck and began giving us the tour 'spiel', only to find none of his customers were fluent in German. He was very sweet about it though, and we had an enjoyable but strange tour of the Innerstadt where we translated his German description of the sights into English for my Mother- and Sister-in-law, whilst the Chinese mother translated into Mandarin for her family.
One last photo before we leave back to Berlin. I have concentrated on the Baroque part of Dresden that was built (and then recently rebuilt) to the vision of August II The Strong, but the legacy of the DDR years has not been wiped away. For example, here is a Soviet Era mural, preserved on the side of the Dresdner Philharmonie 'Kulturpalast', a protected building from those times. I believe that it is important to preserve not just the architectural fantasies of a 17th century Saxony noble, but also the socialist idealism of Dresdners who contributed just as much to the spirit of a city that rebuilt itself from the horrors of the Second World War.