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Saxony – the number one cultural destination

Gemäldegalerie „Alte Meister“ im Dresdner Zwinger, © H.C. Krass

 Saxony boasts outstanding art and cultural attractions, has a rich and lively history of artisan manufacturing, is full of mythical castles and palaces and has fascinating natural beauty. Saxony draws visitors from around the world and  impresses with its many standout attractions. Thus, Saxony is the only place where one can visit the Sistine Madonna, the famous painting by Raphael, and the Bastei, a unique bridge-like rock formation. Moritzburg Castle is where the cult film Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel has its origins in Germany. Saxony was the first place in Europe to manufacture porcelain, coffee filters, teabags, chocolate bars and even bras. Incidentally, Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2025 is Chemnitz, also in Saxony.


There are good reasons why Saxony is the official cultural destination partner of ITB NOW 2021. The Free State boasts a wide range of cultural attractions that are unmatched in Germany. Being able to enjoy a sophisticated art and cultural experience is what visitors from around the world especially appreciate. Be it the Semper Opera in Dresden, the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, the Chemnitz Opera House, castles, palaces and historical gardens or other places, Saxony’s cultural landscape features world-famous music and theatre productions, outstanding festivals as well as museums and exhibitions of international repute. Internationally famous music festivals are linked with the names of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Robert Schumann, Johann Sebastian Bach and Richard Wagner. Many hundred museums are testimony to Saxony’s cultural heritage that spans over 1,000 years. Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites underline Saxony’s reputation as Germany’s number one cultural destination: the Ore Mountain Mining Region/Krušnohoří and  Muskau Park/Park Mużakowski in Bad Muskau.


Saxony’s smaller towns boast outstanding architectural and cultural features. In 1710, the Albrechtsburg in Meißen was first to manufacture the city’s famous porcelain. The terra mineralia exhibition in Freiberg is unique the world over. Visitors to Görlitz can explore around 4,000 historical monuments from every era. Pirna, Radebeul, Torgau, Grimma, Annaberg-Buchholz, Plauen, Zwickau, Kamenz, Bautzen and Zittau also feature historical cultural treasures on narrow streets and in lovingly restored theatres and museums. The trove of cultural heritage includes many castles, palaces, gardens and stately homes. Quite often they are the backdrop to music and theatre productions, festivals and exhibitions, and as such make history come life.

Natural wonders and rural areas

Saxony’s combination of culture and natural beauty makes it unique. Just a few examples: Dresden lies in a valley between the picturesque rock formations of the Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz and the steep slopes of Saxonian vineyards in the Elbe Valley. Visitors can take a canoe directly from Leipzig city centre to one of the most beautiful beaches of the Leipziger Neuseenland, the local lake district. The hiking trails across the slopes of the Vogtland are dotted with places to visit such as the Museum of Music Instruments in Markneukirchen and the German Lace Museum in Plauen. The Ore Mountains feature treasures both on the surface and underground. And looking from the towers of the cities in the Oberlausitz region one can see the Zittau Mountains close by. In fact, altogether there are four highland regions – a paradise for hikers, cyclists and mountain bikers.

Incidentally, enjoying art and culture in Saxony can be combined with a family holiday. Many lodgings and recreational facilities are officially designated as “family-friendly“. Disabled visitors can enjoy barrier-free facilities in Saxony.

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