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Photographer's Note

Dresden is located at 51°02′N 13°44′E, in the southeastern corner of eastern Germany; about two hours south of Germany's capital, Berlin, and about two hours north of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. About an hour northwest of Dresden is Leipzig, another big city in Saxony.
Unlike many large cities in Germany, which feature a clearly defined inner city, Dresden has several important centers of social and economic activity spread throughout the city's area. As an important culture center, it is often called the "Florence of the Elbe" (Elbflorenz in German).
Dresden is also an important center of the sciences and is home to many researchers. The city is often called the "Silicon Valley of Germany" because numerous computer hardware and hi-tech development firms have opened offices and research facilities in the region. The Dresden University of Technology is one of the world's oldest technical universities.
Because of its location in a relatively narrow river valley, Dresden's climate is much more characteristic of southern Germany and is considerably warmer than most other places in eastern Germany. In 2002 Dresden was listed as one of Europe's greenest (large) cities: a third of its area is covered by the forested areas called Dresdner Heide. The Großer Garten ("Large Garden") is the largest urban park in the city.
Before the bombing raid of World War II, Dresden with its unmatched collection of baroque architecture was famous as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The style of architecture that predominated under August I of Saxony is known as Dresden Baroque. The city area also reportedly had in some quarters the highest living costs in Europe before World War II. Many of the city's greatest monuments were rebuilt in the decades following the war; this process was given new impetus and funding after the reunification of Germany in 1990. The city now once again features a wealth of tourist attractions. The major sights of Dresden include:
• Saxon Switzerland near Dresden
• Semper Opera House
• Zwinger Baroque buildings enclosing a picturesque garden courtyard including the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister ("old masters' picture gallery")
• Dresden Frauenkirche Protestant Baroque church
• Katholische Hofkirche Roman Catholic Church
• Dresden castle, including the Grünes Gewölbe, the "Green Vault" where the Saxon Crown Jewels are displayed
• The Albertinum museum, including the Galerie Neue Meister ("new masters' gallery") and the sculpture collection (closed due to reconstruction).
• Broad River Meadows
• Brühl's Terrace — nicknamed "The Balcony of Europe" — a terrace overlooking the Elbe river.
• world's biggest and oldest paddle steamer fleet, the White Fleet
• The Fürstenzug (procession of princes) fresco showing the Wettin dynasty
• Large castles:
o Fortress Festung Königstein
o Moritzburg hunting lodge
o Pillnitz Palace, Schloß Eckberg, Albrechtsberg (castles)
o Meissen
• villa quarters like Blasewitz, Klotzsche, Preußisches Viertel, Wachwitz, Kleinzschachwitz, Weißer Hirsch, Südvorstadt, Wiener Viertel, Strehlen, Waldschlößchenviertel, Großer Garten, Laubegast, Bühlaupark, Bürgerwiese, Striesen, Plauen, Bühlau, Hellerau, Johannstadt, Tolkewitz, Neugruna, Pillnitz and Radebeul.
• Europe's largest Dixieland music festival (taking place in May each year)
• The oldest German Christmas fair, the Striezelmarkt (only around Christmas, Dresdner Christstollen, Christmas pyramid toys e.g.)
• Large number of technical and art museums, including the famous Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister. Many of these hold world records in collection sizes: as an example, the biggest porcelain collection in the world can be found in the Zwinger.
o The German military history museum (with exhibits dating back to the Stone Age)
• Blue Wonder historic bridge considered a "wonder" of 19th century engineering
• Schwebebahn Dresden an aerial cable car similar to the Schwebebahn Wuppertal
• Standseilbahn Dresden — the funicular cable railway in Dresden.
• Fernsehturm Dresden-Wachwitz — TV Tower of Dresden. Unfortunately the observation deck is closed.
• The Transparent Factory, Volkswagen's luxury car assembly plant with a glass exterior opened in 2002
• Yenidze, a former cigarette factory which looks like a mosque
Nearby, at a higher elevation, are the villages Bannewitz and Rundteil at the foot of the Erzgebirge mountains. In the northeast is the Bühlau quarter; in the east Kleinzschachwitz, another villa quarter. Further east is Saxon Switzerland, a large prime climbing destination. Meißen is situated to the west of Dresden, most famous for the invention as well as the production of European porcelain.

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Additional Photos by Rita Cruz (Kititit) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 125 W: 25 N: 153] (813)
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