Information and Tourism
The landlocked German Free State of Saxony looks back on a history that spans several centuries. Over the years, it has seen many masters, including the Holy Roman Empire. After World War Two, part of Saxony came under the German Democratic Republic and the state was disbanded, reunited once more in 1990. Today, the state has been brought bang up to date, even managing to acquire its own high tech-related nicknames, including 'Silicon Saxony'.
For many overseas visitors to Germany, Saxony sits off the main tourist trail. In fact, this semi-forgotten state offers a great deal, both in terms of natural beauty and cultural heritage. There are magnificent fairytale castles, too, along with historic steam engines, baroque palaces and well-preserved historic towns, such as Meissen, known as the 'cradle of Saxony', Freiberg and Görlitz. Running slowly through the heart of the state is the River Elbe, watched over by row after row of riverbank vineyards.
The two main cities of Dresden and Leipzig give a very different view of the Saxon way of life. Dresden, known as the 'Florence of the north', was once the haunt of many an artist, including the likes of Canaletto. In its heyday, some very fine palaces and churches were built here, and at its centre was the monumental Frauenkirche. This iconic building still lies at the heart of Dresden today, which is something of a miracle considering that the city was razed to the ground during World War Two.
If Dresden is the home of artists, Leipzig dances to the tune of its own band of famous musicians. Bach worked here in the 18th century, Wagner was born here, and Mendelssohn set up his own Leipzig musical conservatoire. Leipzig's gutsy spirit was clear to see in 1989, when it played a major part in European history, placing itself at the vanguard of anti-Communist protests.
Saxony Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Germany
- Main city or administrative centre: Dresden
- Population: approximately 4.2 million
- Language: German
- Area: 7,110 square miles / 18,415 square kilometres
WORLD GUIDES TO SAXONY
World Guide to Dresden, Germany
The capital of the Saxony state, Dresden city has some very attractive scenery and has grown up around the meandering River Elbe. Dresden has endless Baroque architecture, with the Altstadt district being where the main sights reside.
World Guide to Leipzig, Germany
A dynamic city with leading trade fairs and a number of traditional German restaurants, Leipzig also boasts some outstanding opera houses and concert venues. Leipzig is a cultural university city with a network of winding rivers.