Population: 4.3 million
The Free State of Saxony -(Freistaat Sachsen) is a state of Germany,
located in the southeastern part of present-day Germany. It is the
tenth-largest German state in area (18,413 km²) and the sixth
largest in population (4.3 million), of Germany's sixteen states.
Located in the historical heart of German-speaking Europe, the
history of the state of Saxony spans more than a millennium. It has
been a medieval duchy, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, a
kingdom and, since 1918, a republic.
The area of the modern state of Saxony should not be confused with
Old Saxony, the area inhabited by Saxons. Old Saxony corresponds
approximately to the modern German states of Lower Saxony,
Saxony-Anhalt and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Except for Dresden and perhaps Leipzig, Saxony is not known as a
primary destination for foreign tourists. Areas along the border
with the Czech Republic, such as the Lusatian Mountains, Ore
Mountains, Saxon Switzerland, and Vogtland, attract significant
visitors, largely Germans. Saxony has well preserved historic towns
such as Meissen, Freiberg, Pirna, Bautzen, and Görlitz.
World renown cultural locales as Dresden's Semper Opera, the
Gewandhaus in Leipzig and the outstanding Opera in Chemnitz are
great offerings of Saxony. This is also an area offering visitors
vast number of castles, palaces, museums, festivals and exhibitions.
The southern section of this federal state's reputation of
"Musicians Corner" boasts world wide virtuosos have played from
instruments created in this part of the world since 1677. The
specific area of Saxony's Vogland is homeland for artisans and
master craftsmen who have built string and wind instruments.
Microchip makers near Dresden have given the region a nickname of
"Silicon Saxony". The publishing and porcelain industries of the
region are well known, although their contributions to the regional
economy are not significant. The state government is attempting to
develop tourism, notably in the lake district of Lausitz.
Plauen, a city known for filigree-type beautiful lace, prides itself
for exceptional artists creating this world famous fabric. At the
Lake Museum one can attend embroidery workshops, witness lace making
and embroidery made on traditional looms and early machines.
The Soviet Union set up the communist government of the German
Democratic Republic in 1949, with Saxony a part of it, giving the
USSR a satellite in the heart of Europe. The communist government
officially dissolved the Free State in 1952, and divided it into the
three smaller Bezirke of Leipzig, Dresden, and Karl-Marx-Stadt. The
Free State was reconstituted with slightly altered borders in 1990
upon German reunification. Besides the formerly Silesian area of
Saxony, which was mostly included in the territory of the new Saxon
state, the free state gained further areas north of Leipzig, which
belonged to Saxony-Anhalt until 1952.
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in
Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the
Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle
Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for
the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the
city with cultural and artistic splendor. The city was completely
destroyed by the controversial Allied aerial bombing towards the end
of World War II. The impact of the bombing and 40 years of urban
development during the East German socialist era have considerably
changed the face of the city. Some restoration work has helped to
reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the
Katholische Hofkirche, the Semperoper and the Dresdner Frauenkirche.
Since the German reunification in 1990, Dresden has regained
importance as one of the cultural, educational, political and
economic centers of Germany.
The Elbe Valley of Dresden was an internationally recognized site of
cultural significance by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for
five years. After being placed on the list of endangered World
Heritage Sites in 2006, the city had its status as world heritage
site formally removed in June 2009, for the wilful breach of the
UNESCO World Heritage Convention, due to the construction of a
highway bridge across the valley within 2 km of the historic centre.
It thereby became the first location ever in Europe to lose this
status, and the second ever in the world.
During the final months of World War II, Dresden became a safe
haven to some 600,000 refugees, including women, children, and
wounded soldiers, with a total population of 1.2 million. Dresden
was attacked seven times between 1944 and 1945, and was occupied by
the Red Army after German capitulation.
The bombing of Dresden by the Royal Air Force and the United States
Army Air Force between 13 February and 15 February 1945 remains one
of the more controversial Allied actions of the Western European
theatre of war. The inner city of Dresden was largely destroyed by
800 RAF and USAAF bombers that dropped 650,000 incendiaries and
8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) of high explosives and hundreds of 4,000
pounds (1,800 kg) bombs in three waves of attacks
Dresden has experienced dramatic changes since the reunification of
Germany in the early 1990s. The city still bears many wounds from
the bombing raids of 1945, but it has undergone significant
reconstruction in recent decades. Restoration of the Dresden
Frauenkirche was completed in 2005, a year before Dresden's 800th
anniversary, notably by privately raised funds. The urban renewal
process, which includes the reconstruction of the area around the
Neumarkt square on which the Frauenkirche is situated, will continue
for many decades, but public and government interest remains high,
and there are numerous large projects underway—both historic
reconstructions and modern plans—that will continue the city's
recent architectural renaissance.
FOR A FURTHER LOOK AT DRESDEN & MY SLIDESHOW CLICK HERE
with a population of approx. 519,000, the largest city in the
federal state of Saxony, Germany and in the new states of Germany.
In the 17th century, Leipzig was one of the major European
city-centers of learning and culture in fields such as music,
astronomy and optics. After World War II, Leipzig became a major
urban centre within the Communist German Democratic Republic.
Leipzig later played a significant role in the fall of communism in
Eastern Germany, through events taken place in and around St.
Nikolai Church. Since the Reunification of Germany, Leipzig has
undergone significant change with the restoration of historical
buildings and the development of a modern transport infrastructure.
In 2006, Leipzig hosted key games in the World Cup.
In 2010, Leipzig was ranked 68th in the world as a livable city, by
consulting firm Mercer in their quality of life survey, scoring just
below Atlanta, Georgia. In 2009, Leipzig was ranked 35th in the
world out of 256 cities for cultural, economic and social
from 1953 to 1990 as Karl-Marx-Stadt is the third-largest city of
the Free State of Saxony, Germany. Chemnitz is an independent city
which is not part of any county and seat of the government region
Direktionsbezirk Chemnitz. Located in the northern foothills of the
Ore Mountains, it is a part of the Saxon triangle metropolitan area
comprising 3.5 million people. The city's economy is based on the
service sector and manufacturing industry. The Chemnitz University
of Technology has around 10,000 students and is the centre of
During World War II, Chemnitz included factories that produced
military goods and a Flossenbürg forced labor subcamp (500 female
inmates) for Astra-Werke AG. The oil refinery was a bombing
target. The WWII bombings left most of the city in ruins and
post-war, the East German reconstruction included large low rise
(and later high-rise plattenbau) housing. Some tourist sites were
reconstructed during the DDR era and after German reunification.
After the reunification of Germany Saxony faced a significant
population decrease. Since 1990 Chemnitz lost more than 20 percent
of the inhabitants. In 2006 the BBC reported the city of Chemnitz
had the lowest birth rate in the world.
is a Baroque castle in the municipality of Moritzburg in the
German state of Saxony, about 13 km (8 mi) northwest of the Saxon
The original castle was built from 1542–1546 as a hunting lodge for
Moritz of Wettin, then Duke of Saxony. Elector John George II of
Saxony had it extended and between 1661 and 1671 the chapel was
added after designs by his architect Wolf Caspar von Klengels, a
fine example of the early Baroque style. After in 1697 John George's
grandson Elector Frederick Augustus I had converted to Catholicism
in order to secure his election as King of Poland, the chapel was
consecrated in the Catholic rite. Between 1723 and 1733, Augustus
had the castle largely remodelled as a pleasure seat by the
architects Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann and Zacharias Longuelune,
including a formal park, several ponds and a game preserve. The last
resident from the House of Wettin was Prince Ernst Heinrich of
Saxony, dispossessed in 1945 by the Soviet Military Administration
In winter 1972/1973, the Baroque castle was the festive backdrop for
“Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella” – one of the most popular German