We didn’t stay in Dresden long though, as our destination was the small town of Freiberg, 30km away.
This pretty town made its fortune from its silver mines which had been in operation since the Middle Ages. The town’s university still has a school of mining operating.
Given its wealth, there was a lot of intricate decoration. The East Germans loved the town so much that they even restored the town to its full glory in the 1980s, when much of the country was neglected.
It was our first taste of Germany. More to come.
From Prague, we made our way along the Elbe River valley to the city of Dresden. Although the trip was less than 3 hours long, it was a very scenic ride as we passed a narrow river valley with interesting sandstone formations and cute villages. It’s so pretty there that the locals call the area Saxon Switzerland.
Dresden itself was a mix of modern…
And not so modern.
The modern bits were the parts that were destroyed during the bombings in WWII, and the older bits were the parts that were spared. As you can see by the number of post-war buildings, the destruction was extensive. The city was quickly rebuilt post-war, and then upgraded after the end of the Communism. The modern parts now look like any other growing modern city in Germany, perhaps more well-kempt than most.
What we did not know at the time was that half of Dresden would be under water a mere 2 months later. The long winter caused the biggest floods in a long time and flooded both Prague and Dresden, as well as other places downstream to the North Sea. We were lucky to see both at its best.