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Saxony

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165

Saxony
Saxony has everything you could want in a German state: storybook castles peering down
from craggy mountaintops, cobbled marketplaces serenaded by Gothic churches, exuberantly
baroque palaces, nostalgic steam trains, indigenous Sorb folk traditions, great wine and food,
and friendly locals who are justifiably proud of their riches. And through it all zigzags the
broad-shouldered Elbe River, in a steady eternal flow, its banks lined by a gently dramatic
landscape of neatly arrayed vineyards, sun-dappled parks, villa-studded hillsides, precipitous
sandstone cliffs sculpted by time and the elements, and shaggy meadows where sheep graze
amid sprouting wildflowers.
It’s a natural mosaic that for centuries has tugged mightily at the hearts of visionaries,
artists and wanderers. Canaletto and Caspar David Friedrich captured the baroque brilliance
of Dresden and the mystical beauty of Saxon Switzerland on canvas; JS Bach penned some
of his most famous works in Leipzig; and the 19th-century ‘musical poet’ Robert Schumann
grew up in Zwickau. Saxony’s musical legacy is kept alive everywhere, but nowhere more
so than at Dresden’s Semperoper and the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, two of the world’s most
famous halls.

Reunification has brought enormous change to Saxony, which was heavily industrialised.
Cities that once crouched under the weight of neglect and pollution are again sparkling and
proud, their centres alive with cafés and shops, and people walking with a spring in their step.
Now is a good time to immerse yourself in this multifaceted and endlessly fascinating state.

HIGHLIGHTS
„ Time-Warp Gain an insight into the bizarre world of the GDR at museums in Leipzig (p185)

and Radebeul (p179)R0)FA
„ Fine Wining Savour sparkling wine at Rade-

beul’s Schloss Wackerbarth winery (p179)
„ Views Stand atop the Bastei (p180) for

breathtaking panoramas of Saxon Switzerland and the Elbe

Leipzig
Radebeul

„ Castles Ramble around the massive Festung

Königstein (p181) with its glorious views
„ Treasure Trove Be dazzled by the artistry of

objects at Dresden’s Grünes Gewölbe (p170)
„ POPULATION: 2.58 MILLION

Dresden

Königstein

„ AREA: 18,413 SQ KM

Bastei

Zittau

SAXONY

Dresden and Leipzig are the most high-profile cities, and each has its own personality. While
the capital is playful, pretty and historic, bustling Leipzig has a more progressive, contemporary
spirit. The latter sparked the ‘peaceful revolution’ of 1989, bringing do...
SAXONY
Saxony has everything you could want in a German state: storybook castles peering down
from craggy mountaintops, cobbled marketplaces serenaded by Gothic churches, exuberantly
baroque palaces, nostalgic steam trains, indigenous Sorb folk traditions, great wine and food,
and friendly locals who are justifiably proud of their riches. And through it all zigzags the
broad-shouldered Elbe River, in a steady eternal flow, its banks lined by a gently dramatic
landscape of neatly arrayed vineyards, sun-dappled parks, villa-studded hillsides, precipitous
sandstone cliffs sculpted by time and the elements, and shaggy meadows where sheep graze
amid sprouting wildflowers.
It’s a natural mosaic that for centuries has tugged mightily at the hearts of visionaries,
artists and wanderers. Canaletto and Caspar David Friedrich captured the baroque brilliance
of Dresden and the mystical beauty of Saxon Switzerland on canvas; JS Bach penned some
of his most famous works in Leipzig; and the 19th-century ‘musical poet’ Robert Schumann
grew up in Zwickau. Saxony’s musical legacy is kept alive everywhere, but nowhere more
so than at Dresden’s Semperoper and the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, two of the world’s most
famous halls.
Dresden and Leipzig are the most high-profile cities, and each has its own personality. While
the capital is playful, pretty and historic, bustling Leipzig has a more progressive, contemporary
spirit. The latter sparked the ‘peaceful revolution’ of 1989, bringing down the Berlin Wall.
Reunification has brought enormous change to Saxony, which was heavily industrialised.
Cities that once crouched under the weight of neglect and pollution are again sparkling and
proud, their centres alive with cafés and shops, and people walking with a spring in their step.
Now is a good time to immerse yourself in this multifaceted and endlessly fascinating state.
S a x o n y
HIGHLIGHTS
Time-Warp Gain an insight into the bizarre world of the GDR at museums in Leipzig (p185)
and Radebeul (p179)
R00)FA
Fine Wining Savour sparkling wine at Rade-
beul’s Schloss Wackerbarth winery ( p179 )
Views Stand atop the Bastei ( p180 ) for
breathtaking panoramas of Saxon Switzer-
land and the Elbe
Castles Ramble around the massive Festung
Königstein ( p181 ) with its glorious views
Treasure Trove Be dazzled by the artistry of
objects at Dresden’s Grünes Gewölbe ( p170 )
Königstein
Radebeul
Bastei
Zittau
Leipzig
Dresden
POPULATION: 2.58 MILLION AREA: 18,413 SQ KM
165
© Lonely Planet Publications
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