Dresden is the capital of the German federal state of Saxony. Located on the Elbe River, it is an industrial, governmental and cultural center, known worldwide for Bruehl's Terrace and its historic landmarks in the old town.
Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor. The controversial bombing of Dresden in World War II, plus 40 years in the Soviet bloc state of East Germany, changed the face of the city dramatically.
Dresden attracts around ten million tourists a year, who come to see the Zwinger Palace, the Semperoper opera house and the Frauenkirche, a reconstructed church that is now the most famous landmark in Dresden. When asked what they like most about their city, Dresden citizens will reply Old Town (which is not very big, though it is home to many well-known attractions and world-class museums), Dresden-Neustadt (an alternative central quarter) and surrounding areas such as the wine town Radebeul or the mountain area Saxon Switzerland, great for outdoor pursuits and castle sight-seeing.