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.
If you need to book a room, or just want more information about Saxony, turn to www.visitsaxony.com.
Saxony destination guides
Dresden Day Trip from Berlin
Explore the city of Dresden, one of the cultural centers of Germany, on a day trip from Berlin. Take a guided walking tour of Dresden and hear interesting stories about the city’s vibrant history from your expert guide. Discover the city’s main sights, including the Semperoper (Semper Opera), the Zwinger and the Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady).
Four Day Christmas Delight - Leipzig, Dresden and Plauen
Experience Germany's traditional Christmas festivities on this 4-day tour from Frankfurt to Leipzig, Dresden and Plauen.