Zwinger (Palatial Complex), Dresden

Zwinger (Palatial Complex), Dresden (must see)

The Zwinger is one of Germany's most impressive Baroque buildings. August the Strong commissioned the complex after visiting Louis XIV's Versailles Palace. The palace was designed as an orangery, garden, and festival area. Architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann designed the palace, which was built between 1710 and 1728.

The Zwinger name refers to an area between defensive walls. In the 15th century, Dresden had a Zwinger garden in between the city walls that supplied the royal court with fresh produce. The present-day Zwinger is in a different location, but the new palace kept the old garden's name.

The Zwinger was primarily a royal entertainment venue and features ornate portals and extravagant fountains. Sculptor Balthasar Permoser’s Nymph's Bath is one fine example of the Zwinger's fabulous Baroque fountains.

Other attractions include an Atlas sculpture on top of the western pavilion. In addition, a carillon with 40 porcelain bells plays every 15 minutes. The chimes change every season and feature melodies by Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach, Wagner, and Weber.

The Zwinger hosted a royal wedding in 1719 when Augustus the Strong’s son Frederick August married Maria Josepha, the daughter of Habsburg emperor Joseph I.

The courtyard garden and pond were added in the 1820s. The gallery wing that now houses the Old Masters Gallery was built in 1855.

The Zwinger was heavily damaged during World War II bombs. It was reconstructed during the 1950s. The Zwinger houses three museums, including the Old Masters Gallery, the Porcelain Collection, and the Mathematical and Physical Instruments collection. The Zwinger and its gardens are open to the public.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Dresden. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Zwinger (Palatial Complex) on Map

Sight Name: Zwinger (Palatial Complex)
Sight Location: Dresden, Germany (See walking tours in Dresden)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Dresden, Germany

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Create Your Own Walk in Dresden

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