Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The Zwinger (Der Dresdner Zwinger) is a palace in Dresden and a major landmark of Germanbaroque architecture.

The original plans, as developed by his court architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann before 1711, covered the space of the present complex of palace and garden, and also included as gardens the space down to the Elbe River, upon which the Semper opera house and its square were built in the nineteenth century.
The Zwinger was designed by Pöppelmann and constructed in stages from 1710 to 1728. Sculpture was provided by Balthasar Permoser
The Zwinger was formally inaugurated in 1719, on the occasion of the electoral prince Frederick August’s marriage to the daughter of the Habsburg emperor, the Archduchess Maria Josepha.
The building was mostly destroyed by the carpet bombing raids of 13–15 February 1945.  Much of the original masonry and sculpture retains the black scars of the intense fire.  Alas, the gleaming glory of the Zwinger can never be fully restored and though it survives in form, its soul has been exiled.

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