The Zwinger is a palace in the Dresden, that was built in Baroque style and designed by court architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann. It functioned as the orangery, exhibition gallery and festival arena of the Dresden Court. The location today was formerly part of the Dresden fortress of which the outer wall is conserved. The name Zwinger derives from the German word that means an enclosed killing ground in front of a castle or city gate; it used to be for the cannons that were placed between the outer wall and the major wall. The Zwinger was not enclosed until the Neoclassical building, that was built by Gottfried Semper, called the Semper Gallery was built on its northern side. Today, the Zwinger is a museum complex that consists of the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Dresden Porcelain Collection and the Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments.
The Zwinger, House of Museum and Galleries
1. The Crown Gate
The most well-known entrance to the Zwinger is the Crown Gate. In terms of architecture, it adopts the style of Italian High Baroque. At the top, there are four Polish eagles carry the replica of the Polish royal crown that Augustus the Strong was wearing from 1697 to 1704.
2. The Nymphs Bath
The Nymphs' Bath lies hidden in the fortification wall behind the French Pavilion. Sculptor Balthasar Permoser had a substantial share in the design of this piece of trick fountain. It is regarded to be one of Europe's most beautiful Baroque water features.
3. The Semper Wing
Die Elbe River side of the Zwinger remained open and undeveloped for long. Augustus the Strong planned to extend the estate down to the Elbe River bank ‒ which, however, remained his idea due to his financial situation. It was only in 1855 that this part for the picture gallery was closed by a building designed by Gottfried Semper. His two-floor building in the style of Italian High Renaissance with plastic decorations made by several sculptors matches the architectural rhythm of the court-side Zwinger façade. Up to our day, the Semper Wing has been home of the Old Masters Picture Gallery.
4. The Old Masters Picture Gallery
Suitable for visitors of old pictures admires. There are 49 pictures, the collection consists of: 20 Renaissance pictures, 20 oil paints pictures, 16 Rococo pictures, 12 Rosalba Carriera pictures, and 10 Italian Renaissance pictures.
5. The Dresden Porcelain Collection
The collection consists of 22 items, such as: 16 clays, 16 ceramics, 16 rocks, 16 porcelains, 4 vases.
6. The Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments
The collection is divided into five sections such as: The Cosmos of the Prince– mechanical marvels and mathematical instruments from around 1600. Instruments of the Enlightenment– this part of the exhibition is dedicated to the history of the museum.The Universe of Globes– an array of terrestrial and celestial globes from the cabinet 's world-famous collection is on display. The March of Time – the history of clocks, watches and automata since the Renaissance. The Salon in the Salon – this part of the exhibition is where experiments from the past are recreated using historical equipment.
How to Get Tickets?
Admission entrance can be purchased directly at the site
How To Get Around?
To access attractions around the Zwinger area, visitors can go by various public transports.
What Should I Wear?
Best Time to Visit
During the peak season of May to October, the city comes alive, while prices are soaring as well. For the lovers of the quiet, a visit in December could also be wonderful.
Will I Need a Guide?
Both independent tour and guided tour are available for visitors. Guided tour are provided by local tour agent.
How To Get There?
The Zwinger can be accessed by car, by rail or by public transport as follow: By car via A4/A17 Dresden, all exits towards Dresden city center (Dresden Zentrum). By various trains (ICE/IC/EC/RE/RB) to Dresden Main Station (Dresden Hauptbahnhof): by city rail to Dresden Mitte Station, then further by bus or tram or on foot (10 to 15-min walk through Dresden City/Prager Strasse). By public transport various trams and buses (DVB AG), closest stops: Postplatz and Theaterplatz.
The chinaware is truly made of white gold!