Zwinger Palace in Dresden - an unmissable landmark

The Zwinger Palace is a must-see landmark located right in the historic center of Dresden. It partially rests on Teatarplatz and is surrounded by other landmarks of the city, such as Dresden Castle and the Samper Opera…

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany

 

About the palace

When August II the Strong returned from a tour of Italy and France, where he visited Versailles in 1687, he wanted to create something similar in his city. The palace architect, Mateus Daniel Pepelmann, was chosen and the construction of the Zwinger began. It was named after the medieval palace, on the foundations of which a new luxurious complex was built. Construction lasted intermittently from 1710 to 1728.

 

Augusto’s vision is that the courtyard is surrounded by six pavilions connected by galleries.

 

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The pavilions were supposed to house numerous works of art, which August collected around the world. He considered the courtyard a large space for holding festivals, tournaments and other court activities.

The construction of the complex was interrupted after the death of Augustus in 1733 and continued again in 1847 together with the opera building, which is located behind the complex.

Today, there are three exceptional museums here, which you can visit. The Old Masters Gallery has some impressive examples.

 

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany


Then the Porcelain Museum, which stores over 20,000 specimens of Asian and Meissen porcelain from the 16th to the 19th century. Only 10% of this collection is on display and the display is constantly changing.

 

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany


There is also a Gallery of Mathematical and Physical Instruments. They were used by scientists from the 16th century onwards. Telescopes, pocket watches of Augustus the Strong, as well as globes were very important at that time.

During the bombing during World War II, this complex was very badly damaged, like most of Dresden.

 

An unforgettable wedding

When he started building the Zwinger Palace, August the Strong had ambitions to become an important member of the political map of Europe.

In order to express his political pretensions, the marriage of his only heir, Prince Frederik August II with Archduchess Maria Josefa, daughter of Habsburg Emperor Joseph I, was arranged.

At the time of her marriage, she was the heir to the Austrian throne.

 

 

The modest wedding took place in Vienna because in the meantime, after a short war, the most important throne of Europe was occupied by Maria Theresa. However, August the Strong did not surrender so easily. Although he lost most of the wars, he wanted to win this marketing one at any cost.

That’s why he made the biggest and most lavish wedding the world had ever seen in Dresden. August’s intention was that the whole of Europe would talk about that event, which was remembered as 40 legendary days in 1719.

 

The banquet hall was decorated as a silver mine as 1,500 miners paraded through town to highlight where the country’s wealth came from. 500 deer from nearby forests were served. No expense was spared on splendor and opulence, and the entire event cost an incredible 4 million thalers.

Everything that was fashionable was organized: masked balls, parades, banquets, concerts, French and Italian comedies, hunting, opera, even a reenactment of the Battle of Moriz Castle.

The climax of the wedding was a series of seven festivals, named after the planets known at the time.

One of the most important tournaments during the Jupiter festival was organized precisely in the Zwinger Palace. That event is considered the day of the official opening of this building, although it was not yet finished.

As for the newlyweds, they were lucky enough to have 15 children, 11 of whom survived. Despite the great efforts of Augustus, this wedding had no political significance.

 

Is there an entrance fee?

When I visited the Zwinger Palace, everything conspired to make my visit difficult. It started to rain, which is not exactly the best circumstance for visiting this baroque garden. Then, half of the courtyard was partitioned off and under renovation, so I couldn’t experience the palace in its full glory. I managed to guess some of the most important details.

 

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany


The Crown Gate is one of the main attractions in Dresden. It is full of baroque reliefs, which tell their own story and testify that entertainment was very important here.

 

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany


The Glockenspiel Pavilion is another important detail, whose beauty I could only glimpse as it was obscured by scaffolding.

 

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany


A collection of Meissen porcelain bells is housed there. Every 15 minutes they play a melody by masters such as: Vivaldi, Mozart or Bach. There are also stairs that you can use to climb up to the terrace and have an even better view, but everything was closed.

 

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany


In order to walk around the garden and tour the complex from the outside, entrance is free. But in order to see some of the museums located here, you have to buy a ticket.
Zwinger Palace is wheelchair accessible. The entrance to the central courtyard can be done through the Crown Gate or through the Carillon Pavilion.

 

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany

 

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany


 

Conclusion

Augustus the Strong, King of Saxony, Poland and Lithuania was a very interesting phenomenon.

 

 

He loved beautiful things and art, went to wars that he mostly lost, was a big womanizer. He also had strange hobbies such as throwing animals into the air. On the other hand, unlike his contemporaries, he wanted to create a place where ordinary people could enjoy themselves. He succeeded in this because, among other things, thanks to the Zwinger complex, Dresden is the only baroque metropolis on the map of Europe, which I enjoyed visiting very much.

Everything beautiful must end beautifully. You must try the famous Thuringer sausages, which go wonderfully with mustard and my appetite.

 

Dresden Zwinger Travel Blog Germany

 

Have you been to Zwinger Palace?

Did I miss something?

 

Traveled and enjoyed,

Marko Velickovic

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