If you scrolled through the “Epic Summer Adventure” album on my computer you would see travel, Dresden, more Dresden, Meissen, Schloss Pillniz, Museums, Leipzig, and then about 500 baby photos featuring our new grandson, Mr. T. Eventually, when baby was four days old, you would come across a new section titled “Neustadt.”
Neustadt is actually the oldest part of Dresden but was mostly destroyed in a 1685 fire. The sector was rebuilt in baroque architecture as the “New Town near Dresden” – or the Neustadt quarter. This attractive conglomeration of streets and alleyways/passages can still be experienced in the bohemian area around Königstrasse.
Take the Tram:
For once we took a different tram (I think it was the 41). It took us across the Elbe then along the river as far as the Japanese Palace. We walked through some interesting urban landscape before intersecting with the tree-lined Hauptstraße, the most beautiful pedestrian shopping street imaginable.
Hauptstraße runs from The Golden Horsman (at the end of the Augustus Bridge) all the way to Albert Platz in the center of Neustadt. The Golden Horseman – commissioned by Augustus the Strong as a monument to himself in 1736 and covered in golf leaf – shows Augustus projecting his power toward the Kingdom of Poland to the east.
Andrew then walked us through to the bohemian section of Neustadt, where graffiti is a colorful and artful fixture, and alternative culture and expression have proliferated since well before 1989 and the fall of the communist state.
That was where he left us, in one of the extended maze of passages that meander behind the main buildings. Every couple of blocks an entrance will appear, a tunnel through some business or apartment building, an invitation to explore the boutiques, art studios, cafes and coffee shops that flourish behind the scenes.
Neustadt was another perfect vacation experience, allowing us the time to wander at our own pace and soak in the atmosphere of this unique destination.
Again, I have been pleased with how much walking Rebekah has been able to pull off this time around. Maybe it was the reduction in stress due to being away from work, maybe it was the interesting surroundings, or her determination not to let pain stand in the way of adventure, maybe it was those hot pink shoes she picked up; Pumas, a German brand no less!
After finding out way back to the Golden Horseman we poked around the front doors of the Blockhaus – empty and under reconstruction. Constructed in the 18th century as a customs house, it later served as a branch of Saxon Academy of Arts.
Rebekah was trying the door (rattling the handles) to see if we could slip in and explore when someone opened the building from the inside. He was a metalsmith (Dresden native artisan) working on the stairwell. “We are restoring this as an Art Museum,” he said. “Can I give you a tour?”
He – Heinrich – took us everywhere, including the roof, so Rebekah and I became the only tourists to get some spectacular views unavailable anywhere else.
Here are just a few photos from the day, to give you a glimpse of Neustadt.
Peace and blessings, in all of your travels – DEREK