Day 8 – Dresden (2/5/23)

Our day started with about an hour’s coach drive around the city of Dresden, with over half a million population.

We were then dropped off right in the middle of the city (Theatre Square), whence we were led by Andrea.

Cathedral. This changed from Lutheran to Catholic and back again
Art gallery ahead
Bridge between Palace and Cathedral so the royals had a minimal distance to walk to church
Wall frieze telling the story of the rulers of Dresden. Unique. The wall somehow survived the Allied bombing of Dresden in February 1945.
The one facing us is Augustus the Strong (early 18th century). To his immediate right is his son, Augustus III.
Palace/Cathedral bridge
And again
Palace extension
View back across Theatre Square

Picture alert! Lots about the Zwinger Palace, commissioned by Augustus the Strong. This a huge site, being reconstructed, which is why it looks so dreadful.

There is an archaeological dig going on in the middle of the Palace, uncovering 17th and 18th century foundations.
This is the Polish Gate. Augustus the Strong blagged his way into being King of Poland by secretly changing his religion from Lutheran to Catholic
The clock has porcelain bells either side of it
Art gallery from the other side
Nymphs bath

Absolutely incredible place.

Bear in mind that the Allies had bombed this area to smithereens. Totally destroyed.  The reconstruction effort has been nothing short of miraculous.

We next visited the the art gallery, which has one of the greatest collections of Renaissance art in the world. I’ll fess up here and say this sort of thing bores the pants off me – I’m a Philistine when it comes to art – but Andrea did a great job of explaining the significance of some of these paintings.

Augustus the Strong
An important Raphael, apparently – the Sistine Madonna
An even more important Titian – can’t remember what it was called

After lunch, we went for a short walk along the river bank.

Dresden skyline
Traditional paddle steamer
Old bridge

The next excursion was to the local Volkswagen research facility. It has a mini assembly line which produces around 35 cars a day. For those who care, it’s the all electric ID.3 model.

A young lad called Vincent led us around the facility, fielding all sorts of questions with humour and knowledge. It seems they have similar problems with the charging infrastructure in Germany to those in the U.K., but maybe not so bad.

For perhaps understandable reasons, we couldn’t take pictures of the assembly line, but it was all hi-tech, automated and jolly clever.

No free samples, regrettably….. But we did get a chance to sit in some of the cars. You can actually order a car here, but its main purpose is research and development.

After dinner, some of us were taken back to the Zwinger Palace to attend a private concert by a specialist youth chamber music group. This lasted about an hour, and was superbly executed by six musicians. The leader, who was a real showman, originally from Russia, on violin, with another young lady from Hong Kong on second violin, a Ukrainian on piano, a female flautist from Japan and a young male cellist also from Russia. I was a little disappointed to hear a slight “boo” from behind when his nationality was announced. The music was short pieces, including Strauss waltzes, Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Tchaikovsky’s Waltz from Swan Lake and other popular classics. The acoustics were superb and the quality amazing. Truly enjoyable. There was even a bar at the interval!

Back to the ship for a final nightcap and bed.

Tomorrow is our final full day on the ship 😪. We should see some different scenery, which will be nice. See the next exciting instalment for details.

2 responses to “Day 8 – Dresden (2/5/23)”

  1. Steve Walker avatar
    Steve Walker

    I like the sound of the chamber concert.

    1. You would have enjoyed it. Probably a bit humdrum for a man of your tastes – all popular classics, no Brahms 😉 , but technically excellent. I’d have preferred to see them enjoy their playing rather more, apart from the lead. All a bit too serious.

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