Category Archives: Germany

Germany – a week in Frankfurt and Heidelberg

I braved the rather chilly climate of Germany in December. I have really enjoyed seeing more of Germany over the past two years and it’s a great opportunity to practice the language too. I like the variety of the places you can visit, the culture and love of art, the food (I grew up eating a lot of it) and the fact that everything and everywhere you stay is spotlessly clean and everything works!

First a visit to Frankfurt which I have to say is not the most exciting city to visit in Germany. It is very much a trade fair and convention town and lacks much in the way of personality.

However this was all made a lot better by two things – firstly, the Staedel Museum which unexpectedly had a fabulous exhibit of Van Gogh with a focus on how his works were bought up early in Germany (before he became a desirable artist) and also how he influenced subsequent German artist. I loved it.

Van Gogh portraits

One is a famous fake and one is the even more famous real thing – any guesses?

“Floating” (no shadows so distorted perspective) Books first by Van Gogh and then by Scharl

I also liked the Staedel as it has a Vermeer I haven’t seen before – the Geographer who is apparently staring out of the window imagining the places he is mapping out.

Vermeer’s The Geographer

Tischbein’s portrait of Goethe – there are very few of him so this is popular but not as popular as wondering why he has two left feet – it remains a mystery to this day?

The other plus was that I decided to stay about 20 minutes outside of Frankfurt in a place called Kronberg in a grand hotel that was formerly the home of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter (also Victoria) who built it after her German husband Wilhelm died. It was a lovely spot to be located and very different from Frankfurt.

Living in a grand royal house is good!

My second location was the charming town of Heidelberg – about an hour’s drive from Frankfurt. This town is often called the most beautiful in Germany and I can see why. It has everything you want from an old medieval town and is especially cute during this time of the year. As it is primarily a university town (oldest university in Germany) it is also lively with a strong international student body having a good old time as the semester was ending.

Heidelberg has an eclectic style castle (which was really a fortress) in the hills looking down on the town. It was started and added to at various time between the 1200s and the 1600s – thereafter it was captured in a battle and was no longer used and is therefore lacking things like roofs and windows but it is still very cool and beautifully lit at night. The wiggly path below leads up to another well known place – the Philosopher’s Walk. By the time I had staggered up the slope to follow the walk apparently completed by many famous writers (Mark Twain is said to have finished the Huck Finn book here) and philosophers I was thinking more about my pounding heart than things of great meaning. Then I read that these slopes used to terraces for growing grapes for making local wine so now I understand why everyone felt so philosophical! It is a wonderful walk though and gives a lovely perspective of the town.

Heidelberg Castle and the road up to Philosopher’s Walk plus this year’s Heidelberg Gluhwein mug

The castle up close and personal and views down to the river

The castle hosts the Pharmacy Museum – which i thought was great – love those bottles and jars – beautiful enough to cure you of anything without even sampling the contents!

A wooden cable car takes you to the top of the mountain you see behind the castle – it’s a long way up and I was wearing everything I had with me- nippy up there

Oh yes, and that Xmas thing was in full swing too – markets all along the Main Street of the old town with the flood lit castle in the background. Very authentic.

Germany, Bremen and cruising the Kiel Canal

After leaving the Shetlands we had a sea day and then popped up in a very rainy Bremen. A medieval (although much rebuilt since WW2 bombings including the very and rather out of place state parliament – apparently it is once again a symbol of glass reflecting transparency of government as well as the images of the old buildings in the square – hmmmm) Hanseatic town famous for its craft guilds (I remember learning about those in history at school).

Bremen is also as the setting for the Brothers Grimm story – the four musicians of Bremen. A rather bizarre story about an old donkey, dog, cat and rooster who head for Bremen to earn some money as musicians. They stop at a house that is being robbed and not realising this (they are not very bright!) they start singing for food creating an awful cacophony that frightens off the robbers who think there is a ghost in the house. The animals end up living there permanently!

It was a very rainy day so not at its best but still nice to walk around and I would like to revisit at some point for a longer look.

The main square in Bremen including Roland the Soldier and the modern parliament building looking a bit out of place

The unusual church below that has a Star of David in the tower caught my eye too. No-one seems to know why as there is no known Jewish connection. Some say it was done as a symbol of the old and New Testament.

The four animal musicians of Bremen and the church with a Star of David in it. Plus lovely flower market.

My favourite part of the city was The Schnoor – a warren of narrow streets and cobblestones.

The Schnoor area of Bremen

And to end the cruise we had a full day cruising the 61 mile Kiel Canal. And I hadn’t even heard of it before although it is one of the longest and connects the Baltic with the North Sea. It was built originally as a means of enabling ships to defend both seas at short notice during the war time. It has been widened twice to cater for larger – mostly freight – ships.

So not only is this quite a feat of building it is also extremely scenic (much more so than the Panama Canal and used for recreation by the locals – we saw lots of small sailing boats, cyclists and walkers – everyone waved too – probably as it was a sunny day at last! We (well the captain) negotiated two locks at the start and finish – we all definitely breathed in as it was a tight fit.

Entering the Kiel Canal and the scenery along the way

More views along the Kiel Canal and getting ready to exit the final lock

And so this Seabourn Ovation cruise has ended and had a lovely last night reflecting on our 14 days of fun with Uschi, Tim and Jonathan.

My last cosmo for a while

The gang say farewell

Germany, Berlin – (final post from Berlin) – Street Art and cruising around the city – my personal potpourri

For my last Berlin post I am offering up a collection of visuals including street art, parks, statuary and stuff that took my eye. I am definitely coming back soon…..this is a super cool place. Grungy and elegant all at once.

Street art is to be found all around the city so I took a specific tour to see the things I would not have stumbled on myself in some of the grungier parts of the city.

The building below is in the City Centre and you have to admire the colorful effect on three sides of this wall – including the TV Tower and Einstein of course – how Berlin can you get?

Ackerstrasse, Berlin

The works below are in the Hackesche Hofe – now a very gentrified part of town but this alleyway which reminded me of Hosier Lane in Melbourne is the bit that is kept for the artists. The man on the left is not Barack but Otto Weidt who lived here and employed mostly blind and deaf Jews. After the war started he helped to falsify their documents and hid a whole family behind a cupboard in his shop. I didn’t have time to go inside to check out the museum – next time. The Anne Frank is by Jimmy C (English born but Australian) who was commissioned to do it.

Hackesche Hofe and other spots displaying street art

The street art pieces below were my favourites in Hackesche Hofe

Another spot for commissioned street art (if that expression isn’t an oxymoron) is the East Side Gallery – a portion of the Berlin Wall that was deliberately left up so that invited artists could do their thing. I think it has become a bit too touristy and permanent – on the whole, my preference is for transient street art.

Examples from the East Side Gallery including the well known kiss between Brezhnev and Honecker

On the right, more from the East Side Gallery and on the left a very effective piece of art at Oberbaumbrucke

Finally we went to the very grungy parts of Kreuzberg and also the Gurleiter Park – usually in the news for drug busts and suchlike but in the afternoon it was indeed grungy and one nutter did come up to us and tell us what he’d like to do to our mothers but other than it was fine – so glad I grew up in Central London sometimes! here the art tends to be more political and very anti gentrification – in Kreuzberg they are very proud that over 200,000 people signed a petition not to allow another MacDonalds in the area (and sadly they are everywhere else in Berlin). It has a large Turkish population and as a result it is a great place to eat excellent Turkish food.

Some clear messages in Kreuzberg

Talking of food – as I usually am. My contributions for this blog will be “cake and chocolate as art” as seen in the food department of the biggest department store – KadeWe – jaw dropping.

My idea of ‘cake art’

How does anyone ever choose out of these?

The nice thing about a long stay is you can really get to understand the public transport and use it effortlessly (well after a few days!). I loved gadding about on the Ubahn and Sbahn – especially as they never seem to get ridiculously crowded even in the rush hour.

Trains at Ostbahnhof

As my hotel was very close to the Tiergarten – which is really like a forest in the middle of the city, I took the opportunity on many occasions to just stroll around listening to an Audible book on my ipods. Exercise, beautiful visuals and reading – great multi-tasking.

Walking in the Tiergarten

More scenes in the Tiergarten

The memorial to the persecuted LGBTI community with lots of flowers as I was there during Christopher St Parade. Also rock sculpture in the Tier Garden – a global art project but entertaining to me is that one of them was a joint US, German and Venezuelan project – probably wouldn’t happen today!

And I didn’t only go to museums – I also appreciated learning about the city, it’s history, the damage during the War, the Wall and the eventual rebuilding of the City of 1990 onwards – and to be honest it is still a work in progress with a lot of construction (or rather re-construction) to be seen at every corner.

I hadn’t really understood the way in which both Germany and Berlin were divided up after the WW2. First Germany was divided into four occupied parts – Soviet, French, US and British and the same was done to Berlin but this put the city into the strange position of being totally surrounded by Soviet occupied Germany even though three portions of if were Western controlled. When the Cold War took off a few years later and Stalin reneged on the deals with the Allies he really wanted all of Berlin and because he was in charge of all of Germany surrounding it he sieged the city and wouldn’t allow food into it in an attempt to cause those in the Western parts to surrender to his power. But luckily the Brits, US and French weren’t having any of that and for the 11 months of the siege those countries used the area around the now defunct Templehof airport and dropped food and supplies out of the sky (apparently every 90 seconds and known as the Berlin Airlift) to the people of West Berlin so they did not starve and in the end Stalin realised it was not going to be so easy to get his hands on all of Berlin after all.

Another good outcome of getting up early is to see the Brandenburg Gate before the crowds arrive – although the cleaners were hard at it as it was the morning after the Christopher Parade so a lot of beer bottles around – all gone by 10am. It has been recently cleaned up so looks great and it is worth remembering that this famous monument was located in the Death Strip (or No Man’s land) when the Wall was put up so no-one on either side saw it at all for 30 years!

Brandenburg Tor

Always something different to see – the Red Rathaus O(old) and the new (ish) TV Tower, the Gendarmenmarkt and the famous border crossing Checkpoint Charlie.

The varying sites in the centre of Berlin

The construction below is of the massive Humboldt Palace and an example of how much is going on in the city of this kind of thing. It should be completed later this year and I am sure will be another fantastic place to visit. It’s always nice to catch a glimpse of the Victory statue on the main road that separates on the two parts of the Tiergarten

The places you see wandering around Berlin

Old and new mingle well in Berlin

Just as I was leaving the Adlon Hotel my eye was caught by a Bank (yes really!). It is a big building sandwiched between the Adlon and the Brandenburg Tor and I am so glad I wandered to the entrance to take a look. It is the HQ of the DZ Bank and the interior was designed by Frank Gerry (never saw any mention of that in my guide books). I’ve seen a lot of atriums in my time (usually just four sides and a square hole in the middle) but this has Gehry’s usual flare and creativity. What a great place to work. Apparently the area at the bottom can be used as a large auditorium. Nice surprise.

The DZ Bank Corporate Centre

Goodbye to Berlin – it’s been a blast – and I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed a live performance of Cabaret in German in a tented theatre with seats in cabaret style in one of the many central parks. A musical I love and great to see it where it was set. Life is a Cabaret old Chum…..

Cabaret Live in Berlin

Germany, Berlin – a visit to Spandau Citadel and Schloss Charlottenberg

Just a short u-bahn ride from central Berlin takes you to Spandau home of an original fortress since the 1500s. Apparently people in Spandau have not got used to the idea that they are part of Berlin (this happened in 1920) and often say “they are going to Berlin” when they head to the centre of town. Nowadays the citadel is used more for events such as weddings or concerts (they were setting up for a rock festival when I was there). It is very picturesque.

And yes that is a Jewish headstone – it and some others were found when ecavations were taking place – and they date back to the mid 1200s suggesting there was a developed Jewish community here at that time – they were subsequently expelled from Brandendburg in the mid 1500s. At that time it is believed that their gravestones were removed from the grounds and re-purposed as building materials for this castle! They were discovered in the 1950s and 1970s. The place where the Nazi war crimininals were held pending trial was not here but in Spandau prison close by.

I always liked the band Spandau Ballet but now I am not so sure – I checked on where they got the name from – apparently one of the band saw it scrawled on a Berlin nightclub toilet. So far so ok BUT it refers to the way the bodies of many of the hung war criminals twitch and jump on the end of a rope as if dancing. Macabre. Don’t think I will ever listen to them with the same fondness as I used to.

Spandau Zitadelle and Jewish gravestone used as building material

In the Zitadelle’s Unveiled exhibition in the former Provisions Depot you get to wander around massive political monuments which were once located in Berlin but have since been taken down. They cover Prussian Rulers to communist leaders and include the head of Stalin. Actually really very cool as they are all about 20 to 30 feet high – and you can touch them.

Giant political monuments formerly in the city of Berlin

At one point the plans for the 3rd Reich was to rename the new expanded Germany as “Germania” and before the war plans were in place for a new design for Berlin including a new Reichstag building. None of his ever happened due to the War BUT the scale model below shows the egregious over-size of the planned building relative to the current Brandenburg Gate. – which is pretty darned big anyway.

Plan for new Germania Reichstag

Not too far away is Schloss Charlottenburg which was the summer residence for Sophie Charlotte – the wife of Elector Frederick III. It dates back to the late 1600s with extensions in the 1700s. As with many museums in Berlin you go to visit one place and find, in this case, that it is actually made up of 5 places to visit – the Alte Schloss, the New Wing (1800s when Queen Louise lived there), the Mausoleum, the Belvedere and the Neuer Pavilion not to mention beautiful gardens. I managed four of the five – will have to do the Belvedere next time plus two very good museums right outside! The rulers during the period 1620 to 1941 were the Hohenzollern family. It is believed that Napoleon spent one night here – not by invitation!

The front and back of Schloss Charlottenburg

Spacious rooms in the Alte Schloss

The Golden Gallerie in the New Wing

A beautifully Shinkel designed bedroom for Queen Louise. Silk fabric walls.

Gorgeous room designs in the New Wing. Did Napoleon sleep in the bed behind the curtain?

Art and furniture in the New Wing

The Mausoleum in the grounds where the Hohenzollern are interned.

A bevy of swans including some teenage cygnets that I spotted in the gardens

Berlin – the Jewish Quarter (Scheunenviertel) and the Jewish Museum

You cannot go far in Germany without coming across aspects of Berlin’s long Jewish history. Whether it is the former Jewish Quarters – now trendy areas with shops and art galleries or museums about Jewish history or holocaust memorials. Certainly no-one here is trying to sweep anything under the carpet and I heard that Berlin has the fastest growing Jewish community in Europe.

Here are a few direct and indirect views of Jewish Berlin.

The Scheunenviertel (or barn quarter) was home to thousands of Jews and the area was neglected totally after WW2. Now it is a fashionable and trendy place which includes the Dorotheenstadtischer Cemetery which is a lovely peaceful place and the final resting place for many well known Berlin luminaries including Bertolt Brecht.

The Dorotheenstaddtischer Cemetery in the Scheunenviertel district

The Hackesche Hofe is an area of restored buildings including interconnecting courtyards (indeed courtyard are really lovely in this area so any time you see something that looks like access take a wander to check out what’s behind)

Courtyards near Hackesche Hofe with the Neue Synagogue in the background

The tiled courtyards in the Hackesche Hofe are really well done and restored to look like they did in former days. And of course there is always a line-up outside the currywurst shop. Curywurst – a bratwurst with bbq sauce and curry powder on top is a strange Berlin speciality and supposedly was developed when Berlin was split into four sectors after WW2 (British, American, French and Soviet). The addition of bbq sauce and curry powder was a kind of “thank you” the the Americans and the Brits who are very fond of these items respectively. Probably an apocryphal tale and good knows what the French made of this!??

Hackesche Hofe courtyards

The Neue Synagogue is spectacular on the outside. It dates to 1866 and was once the largest the Europe. As I think I mentioned before it survived Kristallnacht but was severely damaged during the WW2. As a result the interior is now a museum showing photos of how it once looked inside – sad loss,

Neues Synagogue

Germany’s Holocaust Memorial was just 5 minutes walk from my hotel so I hauled myself out of bed one Sunday morning and was there to walk around at 7.30 – just me at that time of day and it gave me a very different perspective. This was opened in 2005 and consists of 2711 concrete steels of various heights and dimensions slap bang in the middle of the City. It is controversial on many counts – the perceived lack of artistic creativity (many say it is boring); the sign which says that it commemorates murdered Jews but not which ones or why etc etc.

I found walking around on my own gave a very different feel to the space than when it is overrun with selfie sticks and picknickers – some people have no respect – and maybe that is the biggest indictment. By enabling people to wander all around it 24/7 it may be easy to forget why it was put there in the first place. Everyone has different views – here are mine – from a photographic perspective at least….

Holocaust Memorial – Denkmal

Holocaust Memorial – early on a Sunday morning

The Jewish museum is partly under restoration at the moment but it is an interesting half old and half very modern design. It deliberately has a lot of “voids” created in its design to represent the places where Jews are not

Germany, Berlin – more fab museums and art – Part 2

Even though I am here for two weeks I am not going to get through all the places I want to see – especially the museums. But I am giving it my best shot knowing I will be back.

The Gemaldegalerie (or Old Master Paintings) has a great collection of European art from the 1300s to 1800. When you buy a three day museum pass you can go into a choice of 30+ museums over 3 consecutive days for free and you get audio guides for free too. It is the latter that is my nemesis as once I start listening I have to keep listening and next thing I know four hours have gone by. This certainly happened to me in the Gemaldergalerie located in the futuristic Kulturforum which also houses the concert hall for the Berlin Philharmonic and many embassies.

The modern environs of the Kulturforum and the genuinely old St Matthäuskirche

One of the nice things about visiting German museums and art galleries is getting more of an appreciation for the art from this country where of course the collections are extensive.

Below are examples of Holbein, Dürer and Cranach

German artists knew their stuff!

Of course the Gemaldergalerie also has artists from other parts of Europe – some of my faves below – Therbusch self portrait (the monocle is so well done I thought if was hanging from the painting at first not part of it), De La Tour, Rembrandt (feisty youthful self portrait) and Botticelli.

Selection from the Gemaldergalerie

More Botticelli and Cranach – I think my friend Sylvie would comment that while these are magnificent paintings they also an excuse for male titillation pre-porn mags. She may be right?!

Selection from the Gemaldegalerie

And some more I liked (sorry Rembrandt crept in again!). The strong and intelligent looking lady at the bottom is by Velazquez.

I am always thrilled to see a Caravaggio and this one was great – Love Conquers All – a look at sacred and profane love where profane, in the form of Cupid, is clearly winning out and having a grand old time. Given this was painted in the early 1600s it was very cheeky even then but also the start of the naturalist rather than idealized style that so many copied afterwards. Possibly the figure was modeled by one of his apprentices.

Caravaggio – Love conquers All

His arch enemy the painter Baglione had done something similar earlier but in the traditional stylised format but he felt that Caravaggio had stolen his idea so he reworked his painting to give the Devil in his painting the face of Caravaggio! The first version with the devil turning away is right next to the Caravaggio in this museum. The one with the devil’s face in full is in Rome

Baglione’s first version

And if I’m not falling for Caravaggio’s then it has to be Vermeer – there are two here but this is my favourite – The Glass of Wine. As usual with his paintings you have to wander what is going here. Why is she drinking but he is not? Is she being seduced? He doesn’t seem that interested to me? I wander if it is a draught she is drinking to miscarry a pregnancy? That is just my theory though!!

Also in the Kulturforum is the Kunstgewerbe Museum – which houses craft objects and fashion and much more from the Middle Ages to today. Loved it here.

Tiffany glass, Art Deco and writing and jewellery boxes

Gorgeous dresses from a while back and the necessary undergarments – no worse than Spanx?

Can you ever have too many lbds? Dior and YSL do their thing.

Another museum I visited on Museum Island was the Neues Museum which now houses the Egyptian collection and the especially famous Bust of Nefertiti. The latter was in a room on its own but no pics allowed. Suffice to say that I was in the room with it alone most of the time – so much space so few people in Berlin – love that. I am showing two shots from the web as she is stunningly beautiful but even better to see it for real. A Must. And of course lots of controversy about whether it should be returned to Egypt!

Bust of Nefertiti, Neues Museum

I have a real love of Egyptian culture because they wanted to create beauty from such an early period of history and they did an excellent job too. The figure below is carved from wood – about 2300 BC!! So much movement.

The figures below are all from tombs of kings or wealthy nobles. The top left is an offerer bearer or handmaiden and the top right is a cloaked figure. The ones below are especially lovely. On the left the man’s wife and daughter have their arms around him and on the right, unusually, the man and the woman have their arms around each other (usually just the women who have their arms around the men). Touching.

Below top right is an engraving of Nefertiti and Akhenaten and their three daughters basking in the rays of the sun – this was the first time a religion had been monotheistic in that only the Sun (actually the light that the Sun generated) was venerated above all others.

From a different era the Golden Hat is one of just four found from Bronze Age Europe. It has very detailed carvings particularly believed to be about astrology and the calendar and lunar changes. It appears they were worn for certain religious ceremonies and were so tall so that they could be seen from far away. Fascinating.

When I visited the Pergamon museum some of the items were still under renovation and in particular the thing everyone wants to see – the Pergamon Altar. However given it is likely to be 2025 before this has been restored enough for people to have access again this is an option I thought I would check out instead. It was actually surprisingly good. A digital artist has created a panoramic vision of not just the altar but all the surrounding areas of Pergamon as it would have been in the day and you can view it at ground level of any of four levels you can climb up in the center of the circular room – there is sound and light turning day to night and it is pretty darn fab. Some attempts to give a feel for the effect are below.

Roll on 2025.

And finally for this post a quick visit to the Nikolaikirche which was originally built in 1230 but has been restored a few times. It is super modern inside.

Strange hanging Jesus and St Nicholas piece – not sure why?

And then next door to the Knoblauchhaus – a joy for Biedermeier furniture lovers.

Germany, Dresden – an easy day trip from Berlin. An amazing example of reconstruction.

The story of the bombing of Dresden by the British and US allies is quite interesting and many myths about why it happened seem to abound. Until 1945 Dresden had not been bombed at all – it was a centre for precision work that had nothing to do with war machinery and also had a very large migrant population – mostly refugees from Berlin which was being severely bombed by that allies at that time.

But long before all that in the 17th century there was The “Elector” August II (August the Strong) who was a key player in establishing old Dresden as a cultural and arts Centre. He was quite the guy. 30 official mistresses and 300 unofficial; 3 official children and about 300 unofficial. He was the second son but although he was having fun with all these ladies he also wanted power. So the first thing he did was get rid of his brother – he did this my encouraging one of his mistresses to sleep with him -knowing she had syphilis! Both the brother and she were dead within two years. He then put himself up to be elected King of Poland (the people there elected their kings and although he was successful he had to convert to Catholicism – a big deal in a strongly Lutheran part of Germany. So when in Poland he was more catholic and when in Dresden more Protestant. It explains why the Frauenkirche was so ornate for a Protestant church and why his body is buried in Poland but his heart is buried in Dresden.

August the Strong and on the horse the hoof is seen crushing a rose as a reference to his amorous lifestyle!

Here is what Dresden looks like today as you drive into it (about 2.5 hour drive from central Berlin)

Looking across the River Elbe at the old town in Dresden

Back to the bombings. One theory is that Churchill wanted “revenge” on the bombing of Coventry which had decimated that city but equally there are theories that the British used Coventry as a scapegoat to be bombed by the Germans as they had cracked their code and didn’t want the Germans to know about it so the “sacrificed” Coventry rather than London. Some say that the Brits and US never trusted Stalin even after the Yalta conference so they bombed Dresden as a “warning” to him to show what they could do if he didn’t abide by the agreements made re the Berlin borders; and yet another suggests that Stalin encouraged the bombing of Dresden as he always had his eye on Berlin post war and Dresden was placed between the Eastern bloc and Berlin.

There is even debate about how many were killed. When it happened they thought about 20,000 civilians had been killed; Goebbels decided to use the occasion for propoganda at the time given the Germans were starting to be very tired of the war and so said it was 200,000 in order to urge them on to fight against this atrocity. The belief nowadays was it was around 50,000 due to the large number of refugees there from Berlin and the use of both fire bombs and sticky bombs which flattened and burned over 90% of the city.

Not much was done to the city by the occupying Russian communists after the War so all the reconstruction really dates back only from the early 90’s.

The first picture shows the post bombing of the cathedral and then how it looks now.

Frauenkirche after the bombing

Frauenkirche at the bottom and The Procession of Princes

The Procession of Princes at the top is close to the cathedral and made out of 20,000 porcelain Meissen tiles! It shows the image of every elector and is quite spectacular.

Then on to Zwinger Palace the home of the electors and also where a lot of the art is kept. Incredible to see how it is now compared to the pics below post the bombing and for a long time afterwards.

Zwinger Palace

Zwinger Palace post bombing

Zwinger Palace post bombing

The old town including an iron made bridge linking the palace to the church – for special people only!

Unfortunately the Old Masters’s Gallery in the Zwinger was closed for a couple more weeks for renovations so I went to the New Green Vault where a lot of incredible treasures are kept – jaw dropping.

The Ottoman Rooms and other interiors in the Zwinger New Green Vault

Gold, ivory and the Green Diamond at the New Green Vault

So much more to see and do in Dresden so I do hope to return. Definitely worth visiting.