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The city of Dresden is known as “Florence on the Elbe”, due to its outstanding baroque architecture and impressive collection of art galleries and museums. Architectural and artistic treasures within Dresden include the Palace and the Zwinger, the Semper Opera House, the Cathedral, the Japanese Palace, the Royal Treasury, and the Old Masters Picture Gallery, as well as nearly 100 more museums. The palaces of Pillnitz, Meiβen and Moritzburg, the Porcelain Manufactory at Meiβen, and the fortifications at Königstein are all nearby. Many attractions in the environs of Dresden can be reached by a leisurely steamboat ride down the Elbe, which is an attraction in itself.
There is also a wide range of theatres and venues, offering a diverse and vibrant musical and theatrical scene, from the majestic State Theatre to the Theatre Barge, moored on the Elbe. Restaurants and bars are also not in short supply; both in the Old Town, and across the river in the bohemian New Town, every taste will be catered for.
For the outdoor lover Dresden is perfectly placed. The flood plains of the river Elbe provide an escape to the countryside, right in the center of the city, and Saxony Switzerland is a short train or bus ride away, offering awe-inspiring landscapes and a range of outdoor activities, from hiking to climbing.
Dresden is also remarkable for its number of scientific institutions and businesses. “Silicon Saxony” is a highly successful network of companies and research and education institutions working in fields from nanotechnology to software development. Dresden of course also boasts three Max Planck Institutes, in addition to the Technical University, and five Fraunhofer Institutes.
Dresden is located at the border between eastern and western Europe, making it easy to reach for visitors from Eastern Europe.